Blending high touch with high tech, Healthy Interactions adds depression, CVD modules

By Jonah Comstock
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Healthy Interactions, a population health company that offers both digital and in-person programs for chronic disease management and education, announced last week that it has added two new programs, for cardiovascular disease and depression, to its portfolio. 

The company's initial focus was on diabetes, and it launched its original program, diabetes self-management education and support, in 2005. The roster now includes insulin initiation, mealtime insulin, managing diabetes during Ramadan, diabetes prevention program (DPP), Type 1 diabetes, hypertension, COPD, CHF, asthma, Parkinson’s, weight management, nutrition counseling, tobacco cessation, and falls prevention, in addition to the two newest programs.

Healthy Interactions' programs are used broadly by groups like OptumCare and have been validated in more than 50 independent studieswhich have shown that the program can reduce A1C by 1.71 on average, increase diabetes medication adherence by 77 percent, and increase statin compliance by 85 percent.

CEO Paul Lasiuk told MobiHealthNews that the company's trademark is a combination of high-touch and high-tech interventions, combined with a Socratic approach to teaching.

"Being able to introduce the digital platform to patients or members during an in-person session is a massive advantage," he said.
"If you look at the demographics of people who have chronic conditions, they’re not as digitally inclined and if you can introduce and walk them through the digital tools, contextually during in-person sessions with their peers in an in-person environment, it has tremendous advantages versus asking somebody to download something and figure it out. So you see better compliance rates, usage rates. And the net is patients love the high-tech, high-touch experience; the net promoter scores are off the charts; biometrics are dramatically improved; care compliance dramatically improve; outcomes improve; which obviously helps the health systems; and the economics are improved as well."

Healthy Interactions leverages 10,000 healthcare professionals across all 50 states, as well as a digital platform that links up with a variety of connected health devices. In addition, Healthy Interactions offers a clinical decision support software offering to supplement their population health modules. 

"Our digital [offering] is designed again to augment what we’ve learned over 13 years of engaging patients with chronic conditions," Lasiuk said. "What works? What doesn’t work? What is engaging? All these sorts of elements — we’ve tried to cherry-pick all the best elements of our insights around how to engage patients with chronic conditions. We’ve built that into our digital platform so that it can stand alone but it also can complement the in-person experience."

The company is entirely self-funded, Lasiuk said, and hasn't spent money on marketing.

"We believed we could build a better mouse trap and we believed everyone at the time was pursuing an education/content play and we didn’t think that was the right way," Lasiuk said. "We felt it was more about how do you create a contextual experience to help patients internalize information in a very different way."