– Digital behavior change startup Wellth closes $10M in Series A funding led by Boehringer Ingelheim and yabeo – DaVita, and others will help drive care plan adherence for high-risk patient populations
– Powered by a behavioral economics engine paired with an intuitive, consumer-grade smartphone experience designed to motivate and delight, Wellth rewards members with daily financial incentives for verifying adherence to prescribed care plan.
Wellth, a platform designed to improve treatment adherence using behavioral economics, announced today that it has closed $10M in Series A funding. Existing investors yabeo and Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (BIVF) co-led the funding round with participation from returning investors AXA Venture Partners, New York Life Ventures, NFP Ventures, I2BF Global Ventures, and Partnership Fund for New York City, and new investors Rock Health and DaVita Venture Group.
Financial Impact of Care Plan Adherence
Failure to comply with prescribed care plans is one of the costliest problems in healthcare, leading to diminished health outcomes and increased care utilization. In the U.S. alone, half of patients with chronic conditions do not adhere to their medications, resulting in $300B of preventable costs to the healthcare system a year. This problem is only getting worse, with chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and COPD becoming more prevalent every year. While others have tried to boost adherence with technology, reminders, and coaching solutions, Wellth is a pioneer in applying the concepts of behavioral economics to create motivation and improve population health at scale.
Better outcomes with behavioral economics
Founded in 2014, Wellth is a digital behavior change company that creates de novo motivation in the highest-risk, least engaged segment of the chronic disease population. Powered by a behavioral economics engine paired with an intuitive, consumer-grade smartphone experience designed to motivate and delight, Wellth rewards members with daily financial incentives for verifying adherence to prescribed care plan.
Wellth members receive financial incentives, nudges, and behavioral reinforcements to establish healthy, lasting habits. Once enrolled, members use Wellth’s platform to submit scheduled check-ins aligning with their care plans. Check-ins, typically completed daily, require users to submit a picture of their target behavior at a set time (e.g., medications placed in the palm of their hand, glucometer or blood pressure cuff readings). These check-ins are immediately processed by Wellth’s AI technology for verification, and insights can be relayed directly to care teams. Members get a fun, easy, motivating experience along with instant gratification in keeping their endowed daily amount, which they “cash out” at milestone intervals throughout the duration of their program.
While patients usually intend to adhere to care plans and build healthier habits, the complexity of human motivation all too often stands in the way. By bridging the intent-to-behavior gap with frequent financial rewards for completing an action, Wellth has demonstrated the ability to create long-lasting results. Even when selecting for previously nonadherent patient populations, Wellth members demonstrate 89%+ average care plan adherence over a 12-month period, generating a 2-6X ROI to Wellth’s customers.
These shifts in behavior change have resulted in significant improvements to clinical and financial outcomes. By utilizing the Wellth platform, customers have seen results such as a 45% reduction in readmission rate after heart attacks, a 92% decrease in avoidable emergency department visits, and a 1.3 reduction in HbA1c levels amongst high-risk diabetics.
Wellth’s customers have also achieved a Member NPS of 88. To date, Wellth has predominantly focused on underserved and complex patient populations that tend to have the highest nonadherence rates and make up 80% or more of health care costs within a population.
With 85% quarter-on-quarter and 403% year-on-year enrollment growth in Q1 2020, Wellth plans to use this new capital to support rapid scaling to address larger and broader populations of patients. In 2019, Wellth partnered with AXA Equitable to launch a first-of-its-kind life insurance product that rewards patients with diabetes with premium savings for better disease control. Wellth is also currently partnered with Boehringer Ingelheim to bring value-based collaborations to the market between payers, providers, and biopharma with the goal of increasing medication adherence to reduce costs associated with poorly managed chronic conditions.
“Our mission has always been to seek out and support the patient populations that need help the most,” said Wellth CEO and Co-founder Matthew Loper. “The current coronavirus pandemic has further increased the need to support the health of vulnerable populations remotely with digital tools. It is crucial for our customers to help vulnerable populations control their disease states outside of in-person care settings as much as possible, and for our members to have additional financial support through their earned Wellth rewards in this particularly challenging time.”
This article originally appeared in HITConsultant.