With an intent to deliver an innovative wellness offering that combines proven science and practical methods to prevent and reverse chronic diseases related to lifestyle, ConnectWell was conceived. ConnectWell is an independent and trusted provider of health and wellness content for its partners to fully engage their population in their health and well-being.
How it All Started
The demands on the healthcare system have dramatically shifted from acute care to chronic care, given the steep rise in the prevalence of chronic disease. As chronic conditions are long-term health issues and often driven by lifestyle choices, people must get more involved in managing their care in order to maintain their health, believes Andrea Bloom the Founder and CEO of ConnectWell.
As a child of a physician, Andrea’s exposure to the field of healthcare from a very early age became a springboard for her career and passion for helping people achieve well-being. After receiving her BA from UC Berkeley, and MBA from Harvard Business School, Andrea started her career in healthcare at Johnson and Johnson’s diabetes division in Silicon Valley. This is where she learned how people with type 2 diabetes can successfully manage their disease through healthy eating and increased physical activity.
Andrea realized that many people were exposed to healthy lifestyle practices only after they were diagnosed, and sometimes only when they would see their doctor. Most people have an opportunity to prevent, delay, and reduce the severity of chronic diseases if they have ongoing access to a trusted, comprehensive source of information that engages them to be more proactive in preventing disease and adopting healthy habits.
Observing these trends, Andrea created ConnectWell, and shifted her focus from disease management to wellness. To empower people in their health and well-being and incorporate healthy lifestyle habits into daily living, they need access to engaging, accurate, up-to-date, and expertly vetted health information. Andrea assembled a Scientific Advisory Board comprised of subject matter experts in different areas of wellness. She built a team of talented, experienced individuals with diverse backgrounds who could hit the ground running and work in an entrepreneurial and collaborative environment. Together they created and deployed consumer-oriented wellness programming in the areas of healthy eating, physical activity, stress management, sleep, and maternal health.
The Perfect Conjunction
Andrea could see the digital revolution unfolding and that it would eventually hit the healthcare system – enabling the ability to scale health information for easy access, anytime and anywhere.
In 2017 ConnectWell formed a partnership with the UC Berkeley School of Public Health to digitize and disseminate their vast collection of health and wellness publications. For 36 years, the UC Berkeley School of Public Health has been a pioneer in providing evidence-based wellness information.
Combining ConnectWell’s lifestyle-focused content with UC Berkeley’s condition management content was the perfect marriage to create a holistic consumer digital health experience.
An Integrated Content Suite
ConnectWell works with a broad array of healthcare providers, health engagement platforms, health device companies, benefit providers, and employers who license and integrate its content into their platforms and engage the people they serve in their health and well-being. These companies can now deliver on the promise of improving the health of those they serve by integrating the ConnectWell Content Suite as part of their services.
The Content Suite has 3 areas that are complementary in supporting total health and well-being:
Health & Wellness Digital Library: Extensive coverage of health, wellness, and disease topics from A to Z
Wellness Initiatives: Wellness education with strategies and tools to help in the adoption of healthy lifestyle practices
Healthy Recipe Collection: Healthy recipes that are tasty, easy to make, and made from whole foods and healthy ingredients
As English is not always the primary language for many people across the U.S., ConnectWell has made content available in all of the “threshold” languages recommended by Medicare and Medicaid. This enables customers to activate “underserved” communities.
Content is optimized for all device screen sizes so that whether an end user is using a computer at home or a smartphone on-the-go, they can access content. Furthermore, UCTV video presentations from University of California experts are woven throughout the Content Suite to enhance the user experience.
Videos have subtitles available in dozens of languages enabling a wider reach. ConnectWell’s multi-lingual capabilities have enabled international expansion. In January, the company’s content offering will be rolled out in the Middle East and Africa. People across the world are hungry for health and wellness information that is accurate, up to date, and from a trusted source.
Incorporating Ever-Evolving Technical Trends
Being located in the heart of the tech community has given Andrea and her team the advantage of tapping tech talent and incorporating ever-evolving technical trends. The underlying architecture of ConnectWell’s content offering makes it visually oriented and easy to navigate, while providing seamless integration into the portals of their customers.
Andrea says, “As part of the digital health ecosystem, we continue to meet innovative companies that we collaborate with to deploy our content in creative ways. We learn from each other and together build out platforms that scale health literacy and health engagement.”
An Interactive Digital Health Offering
The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed how people prioritize and engage in their health and interact with the healthcare system. Underling health conditions have a major impact on how people fare if they get COVID-19. Virtual care models are key factors to engaging people in their health and well-being. Accessible, accurate, current, expertly vetted health information from a trusted source is critical so people can make informed health decisions.
ConnectWell is launching an interactive digital health offering that was co-developed with Outgrow, an interactive digital tools company and platform. With 50% of people in the U.S. having high blood pressure, and 88% of people with prediabetes not knowing they have the condition, it is key to engage people with virtual health tools and pull them into the care funnel.
These tools can be placed on the “digital front door” of ConnectWell’s customers to re-engage the people they serve in their health. The first launch includes 11 underlying health conditions that make people vulnerable if they get COVID-19. Plans are underway to build on this to activate people virtually in their care across dozens of health conditions. These virtual tools provide the vehicle to make people aware of their health risks and then to seek care.