August 10, 2018

How big brands evaluate digital health solutions

Commentary
Julie Carty

To better understand how the HealthXL Members currently evaluate digital health solutions for their organizations, as a customer rather than investor, we spoke to a number of the different stakeholders within the community. We interviewed representatives from J&J, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Imperial College Health Partners and BTG. That allowed us to identify the key attributes and create a scoresheet that allows easier evaluation. Note: the scoresheet doesn't replace due diligence!

10 attributes when evaluating digital health solutions:

Scoresheet (see template below)

To illustrate how it works in practice, see the brief case study about Aetna's partnership with Wildflower Health's app. It's followed by the scoresheet where we've scored their pregnancy health tracking app for each of the attributes based on Aetna's strategic objective for the partnership.

Case Study: Aetna and Wildflower Health

Aetna had a strong maternity program, but would have to wait until a medical claim was made to offer it, which in most cases was half way through a pregnancy, when many of the most critical preventative measures delivered through the program were no longer as effective. Why was this important to Aetna? The late adoption led to a reduction in potential medical cost savings. For its commercial health plans, Aetna used Wildflower Health’s DueDatePlus app, a pregnancy health tracker. It was so popular among their customers so that Aetna partnered with Wildflower Health who customized the app to encourage enrollment into Aetna’s maternity program ‘BeginningRight’. When a user downloaded DueDatePlus they were asked if the were an Aetna customer, a simple yes or no. If yes, the users were offered the Due Date Plus for Aetna app, from which Aetna could administer their maternity program at a much earlier date than they ever could previously when relying on being informed by a medical claim. As a pregnancy health tracker, DueDatePlus delivers a program to help track pregnancy milestones, deliver reminders and personalize actions. The customized version of the app also connects to Aetna's services such as 24/7 nurse support and the BeginningRight maternity program. It also allows customers to look up health issues related to pregnancy, get weekly updates such as ultrasound videos showing what babies look like at each stage. Wildflower Health allowed Aetna to increase the adoption rate of their maternity program at an earlier stage of pregnancy, improve medical cost savings, all by leveraging existing infrastructure, resources and content through a new mobile delivery channel. Meanwhile, apart from being a new customer for Wildflower Health, Aetna were driving customers from their maternity program straight to DueDatePlus. Even from an outsider's perspective there are a number of attributes which clearly shine through as scoring 5/5, but let's go through each of the attributes individually to score them.

You can create a copy of the template here