Stephanie Tilenius, Founder & CEO
We are nearing the end of point solutions in the employee wellness space,” begins Stephanie Tilenius, the CEO and founder of Vida Health. Companies have reached a tipping point in managing multiple point solutions they have in place for addressing different chronic physical and behavioral health conditions of employees. Many of these point solutions also lack a human-centric approach, and as a result, they witness single digit adoption rates among employees. The need of the hour is an all-encompassing solution that can combine technology with a human-centric approach to address chronic and co-occurring physical and behavioral health conditions.
Enter Vida Health. With a horizontal platform that can deliver a breadth of personalized programs tailored to each individual’s chronic, behavioral and lifestyle health needs, Vida removes the need for point solutions while empowering individuals to transform their lives through better health.
As a virtual care provider, the San Francisco-based company is on a mission to bring together the best of technology and human connection to create a collaborative model for healthcare that drives better outcomes at lower costs. Through its mobile app and connected devices, Vida provides personalized chronic condition management with evidence-based digital therapeutics and health coaching and therapy to assist individuals in managing and improving conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, depression, and anxiety. “This integration between physical and emotional health is essential because every chronic condition is essentially a behavioral health condition,” asserts Tilenius.
For Tilenius, This is Personal
A seasoned entrepreneur, Tilenius has played an instrumental role in building e-commerce game-changers like eBay, PayPal, and Google Wallet. Now, with Vida Health, she’s bringing that same level of revolution to the healthcare industry. “I started Vida because I couldn’t sit around any longer and let the chronic disease take over the country, our healthcare system, and my own family. My father had five chronic conditions—obesity, diabetes, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and mild depression. My brothers and I struggled to care for him. What we really needed was the ability to provide consistent, day-to-day continuous care through a single service and platform. But such capabilities continue to be elusive in the existing healthcare systems,” says Tilenius. Vida overcomes these challenges and offers a system that is scalable enough to reach and cover people suffering from chronic physical and mental health conditions.
Today, Vida is in the business of enabling self-insured employers to take better care of their employees and health plan providers to take better care of their members. The firm is trusted by Fortune 500 companies to activate, engage, and empower employees to live their healthiest lives.
A Personalized Health App
For employees, using Vida is like having a health coach or therapist in their pocket at all times
Vida’s machine learning-powered HIPPA-compliant app offers digital therapeutic programs that are grounded in science and take a “root cause” approach to drive behavior change that lasts. Once users fill in their eligibility and health data, the app matches them with five health coaches or therapists to choose from. After users choose a health expert through the app, they can share their health data via connected devices (like activity trackers, scales, and glucometers) and then work with the coach or therapist on a personalized digital care program and health goals. The coach or therapist creates a personalized plan for each user with regular video/phone consultations and daily motivational messages. Additionally, users receive content, lessons and audio/video practices in the app to guide them through the digital therapeutics.
"At every step, Vida makes it easy for the users to set the health and fitness goals in their way and time, and achieve them with the help of a great health expert"
“It’s like Facebook Messenger and FaceTime in one place,” says Tilenius. “Then, depending on whether the user has a chronic condition or what their goals are, we can help them, and put them on a personalized program,” she adds. For example, users who are at risk of developing diabetes can follow a proven regimen to lose weight, lower their blood sugar, reduce their A1c and reduce their medications. “The app can also connect with over 100 apps and devices so that we can get all the relevant data and learn more about your health. It’s an on-going, continuous relationship,” Tilenius says.
"This integration between physical and emotional health is essential because underlying every chronic condition is a behavioral health condition"
By integrating data from connected devices, Vida’s app can track vitals, as well as gain insights into exercise, diet, sleep, and weight. Using machine learning, Vida can further customize the individual’s plan and content and it makes it easier for the coach or therapist to analyze the behavior and health conditions of the person to address the root cause of the problem.
Vida’s digital therapeutic programs for lifestyle risks, chronic conditions, and behavioral health can be sold standalone or bundled in one platform.
Tailored Solutions for Employees
For employees, using Vida is like having a health coach or therapist in their pocket at all times. Coaches and therapists answer users’ questions on time as well as encourage them with texts and content. “At every step, Vida makes it easy for the users to set the health and fitness goals in their way and time, and achieve them with the help of a great health expert. “Vida makes accountability easier: if you’re slacking, you won’t have to tell your coach because they’ll already know.” They can then help you find the solution and get you back on track,” Tilenius adds.
“Vida offers a breadth of different programs, and that was very attractive to eBay because we didn’t have to partner with a separate pre-diabetes program or a chronic care program or a smoking cessation program. We wanted to use technology to deliver and delight our employees. We also wanted to make sure that the employee was always in the center of everything that we do,” said James Sumortin, Senior Benefits Program Manager at eBay, one of Vida’s satisfied customers.
Vida’s value proposition can be best exemplified with the success story of Cisco, the American technology giant. Cisco wanted to offer therapy to its employees to help them deal with work-life stressors and personal issues that might stand in the way of their performance. Cisco took its efforts to the next level by providing employees with Vida’s virtual care platform, with one-on-one health coaching and guidance on nutrition, exercise, sleep issues, and stress management. “Additionally, Vida offered other support, like in-person therapy via some of Cisco’s onsite health centers.” They also offered an online five-session mindfulness course and numerous other online mental health resources.
“Irrespective of the type of company— from high-tech to traditional, or manufacturing to retail—we work with everyone who wants to have a personalized platform. The platform will deliver lasting behavior change as it integrates individual expert care with machine learning and remote monitoring capabilities. This leads to real outcomes, such as a 7-10 percent weight loss in the first year, a 50 percent reduction in depression and anxiety, etc. We can deliver real cost savings in the first year,” explains Tilenius.
“We are continually growing, scaling, and partnering with other companies to distribute our software and services, to address the increasing challenges in the employer market,” informs Tilenius. “There are plenty of other companies that are caring for conditions, but we choose to care for people in their entirety, and that’s where we excel.”