The Power of the Ecosystem to Transform Healthcare

This article was originally published March 5 on LinkedIn. You can see the original article, here.

Last year a record-setting $5.8 billion in investment flowed into digital health. It’s no secret that digital health has been one of the fastest growing and most innovative sectors in the last decade. We have seen powerful new apps, tools, and services enter the market that can help people access better healthcare, manage their conditions, and adopt healthy behaviors.

In fact, there are now so many choices of digital health point solutions — from expert opinion services to activity trackers, and from diabetes management to cognitive behavioral therapy — that for consumers, the options are overwhelming. It’s difficult to find the right solution at the right time. And if employers are offering these solutions as part of a company’s health benefits program and employees cannot find what works for them, no one uses them, and they deliver no value — in improved health, increased satisfaction, or in cost-savings.

At Castlight we are on a mission to make it as easy as humanly possible to help people navigate healthcare. To do that, we have to harness the power of the digital health ecosystem and simplify it for employees.

Being an open platform and growing an ecosystem of best-in-class digital health solutions is a top priority for Castlight. We added 14 new partners in the past year, expanding our ecosystem rapidly and enabling us to now sell 50 different vendors pre-integrated with our platform. For employers, this simplifies procurement, contracting and implementation. For employees, this gives them a central hub to easily access all of their benefits that will engage them in their health and help them make better healthcare decisions.

Our ecosystem partners are so supportive of Castlight’s vision, products, and team that 16 of them participated in our 2018 kick-off meetings last month. The partners offered Castlight’s team a deep-dive into their solutions — how they work, what makes them engaging, and why Castlight customers will find them valuable. We got a chance to fully explore how our technology can improve our users’ physical, financial, and mental health.

  • Fitbit got us all moving and helped us understand how employees track activity to improve health.
  • Livongo showed us the power of personalized health insights for managing chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension.
  • meQuilibrium gave us a picture of how stress affects employee satisfaction and productivity and how resilience training can help manage it.
  • Ovia Health helped us understand the importance of helping employees navigate fertility, pregnancy, and parenting.
  • Zipongo provided cooking demonstrations of their healthy recipes and showed how technology can help take the guesswork out of nutrition for employees.
  • Big Health demonstrated how Sleepio uses proven Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help users sleep better and improve their mental health.

We also heard from 2Morrow Health, which offers digital coaching and and smoking cessation solutions; 2nd MD, which provides expert opinion; Kurbo Health, a family weight management tool; Hinge Health, a musculoskeletal health solution; Retrofit, which provides nutrition and weight management; Enrich, a financial wellbeing solution; Quest Diagnostics, which offers biometric screening; and Infotech Wellness Checkpoint, a health risk assessment tool.

While this was tremendously valuable to our team, it was our goal to provide even more value to our partners. Paris Wallace, CEO of Ovia Health, put it best after the meeting: “Castlight is committed to partners. By expanding their partner ecosystem, they are able to meet employees wherever they are on their unique healthcare journey. Our maternity and family benefits solution, Ovia Health, supports families from fertility tracking and pregnancy through return-to-work and parenthood, which is a great example of how Castlight offers varied solutions in their wellness suite so they can help fill a health need for every aspect of the employee’s life.”

“By combining Livongo’s approach to chronic condition management with Castlight’s health navigation platform, we are providing our members the care they need, faster.” said Jim Pursley, Chief Commercial Officer of Livongo. “And integrating a comprehensive ecosystem in the background makes managing benefits easier for our clients.”

Dickon Waterfield, Chief Commercial Officer at Big Health offered, “The great thing about working with Castlight is that it makes contracting a breeze for our employer partners. We don’t need to involve procurement or legal for a lengthy contract negotiation or security audit because Castlight has done the hard work ahead of time. This is really easing a burden off benefits leaders and allowing them to focus more time on selecting and implementing the best programs for their employees rather than deliberating on contract minutiae.”

Ultimately, we are simply not able to make healthcare as easy as humanly possible without WORKING together with the best point solutions on the market. To truly improve people’s lives, we can harness the power of healthcare technology and accelerate its adoption. This is central to our mission, and we look forward to growing adoption and engagement in our innovative ecosystem in the coming year.