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Connecting & reconnecting with our core: science, design, people & outcomes

By Chris Cestaro, VP of Marketing

Certain moments in a company’s life call for reinvention. 

After a year of expanding our program to offer care for new conditions, and following the close of a fundraising round earlier this summer, it was time to refine Omada’s brand to reflect who we’ve become. Things have changed a lot in our rapidly growing part of the healthcare world, but at the core, Omada remains the industry-leading Digital Care program helping participants build healthy patterns for life.  

Moments of reflection can also be a chance to recommit to the values that have long been the foundation of your organization. While Omada has evolved rapidly to better serve our participants’ needs, we are more committed than ever to the four core pillars that have given us the privilege of helping more than 260,000 participants as they work with our hands-on coaches to adopt the small lifestyle changes to achieve their health goals.  

Starting with Science

Three out of four Americans will die prematurely from a condition that’s mostly related to lifestyle, or their daily habits or circumstances. The promise of digital care – to expand access to care exponentially, and to expand the reach of clinicians while personalizing interventions to maximize their impact  – is unprecedented. But it has to be done right, or your solution runs the risk of replicating the failings of traditional interventions, disappointing participants and in turn those vested in their economic and productivity benefits. Or, perhaps worse, perpetuating the failings of yesterday’s healthcare system by treating individual patients alike, being overly reliant on expensive devices, or telling people to change long-standing behaviors with little to no empathy.

Omada was built on a science-first approach, and continues to place this value at the forefront as we innovate.  Whether it is achieving full Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognition or the integration of FDA-cleared devices that monitor blood sugars, the commitment to clinical best practices, evidence generation, and true clinical impact is in our DNA.  Some competitors have adopted an approach that looks similar, but there are huge differences between publishing results to look good, and putting your organization through true clinical rigor to prove the efficacy of creating sustainable  lifestyle change for patients. Omada has chosen the latter path. The quality of our 11-peer reviewed studies, and the work we’ve done on the largest Randomized Control Trial (RCT) on diabetes prevention, prove it.  We know that long-term success in healthcare requires the backing of our peers in the broader medical community.  And as a licensed healthcare Provider, we hold ourselves to the same high standards. As some digital health companies have experienced, clinical rigor is an area in which you simply can’t cut corners.

Deepening with Design

Omada is in the business of helping people change their habits to achieve lifelong health. To succeed, we must start with the human-centric lens of empathy for our participants.  From our smart scales and connected glucometers or blood pressure cuffs, to our intuitive mobile interfaces, we’ve assembled a talented team of designers and engineers who create easy-to-use tools that fit into people’s lives and engage them to create lasting behavior change. Companies often trumpet that their data science or devices drive the value in the patient care interactions.  Omada believes the best healthcare requires that participant needs drive solution design, making the technology an intuitive aid. 

Put simply, centering your strategy around the latest device, or algorithm, without thinking deeply about human emotions and behaviors, repeats the mistakes of traditional in-person healthcare, just in digital form. This is why Omada regularly iterates our participant experience with hands-on sessions in the homes of our users.  Each and every week, designers and product teams talk with participants, and collaborate on how our products can provide the most motivational and engaging experiences. Omadans know that for healthcare to work, it has to feel simple and it has to fit into their lives.

Empowering With People

The CEO of a digital health company recently said, “The human touch is important when things are serious. But we don’t need a coach to tell us to eat broccoli if we can do it in an app.” Unfortunately, the clinical evidence contradicts this claim.  The path to - and away from - chronic disease is complex. No one succeeds on their own. Our health is heavily influenced by our environment, the people around us, and the small decisions we make knowingly or unknowingly.   

Omada’s decades of expertise in behavioral science tells us that building the confidence to make and sustain healthy choices requires consistent human support from real people with whom an individual has a personal, trusting relationship, and to whom they feel accountable.  Our health coaches understand that coaching is much more than an emergency alert system, it’s the backbone on which sustainable lifestyle change is built.  Our success stories speak directly to the power of our approach. 

Insisting on Outcomes

As everyone knows, our industry is gradually shifting from fee-for-service to fee-for-value.  Research has shown that focusing on outcomes generates results. Since Day One, Omada’s billing model has been outcomes- based. We sign contracts without any promised revenue.  Unless we enroll participants, and get them to achieve meaningful results on key health metrics, we don’t succeed.  Assuming this level of risk is as unique in digital health today as it was when we started eight years ago. But more than anything, it is evidence that we walk the walk of our company’s mission. Too many companies have fallen into the trap of assuming that delivery of a program - or even just superficial engagement and alerts – is the same as reaching meaningful clinical results. Omada’s philosophy is different; we stake our business on it.

Growth in the digital health market shows no signs of slowing. At times of rapid expansion – for our company and our industry – these four pillars ensure we never lose our footing.