Project aims to engage high-risk patients in city of brotherly love

By Kate Spies
08:21 AM

At core of ‘EverBODY Get Healthy’ is its IT

PHILADELPHIA – The rewards, the point systems, the streamlined functionality… don’t be misled by the game-like structure of the “EveryBODY Get Healthy” care system. The platform is a lifestyle changer – specifically, one that’s expected to improve more than 120,000 lives in the greater Philadelphia area.

Portland, Ore.-based Finity Communications will be integrating the system using a $4.9 million grant from the department of Health and Human Services to catalyze a major health effort in the high-risk demographic of the Philadelphia area. The award was one of HHS’s 26 innovation grants announced on May 8.

The project is expected to save nearly twice its original price tag through enhanced care: $8.7 million over the next three years. The project will also generate 12 new healthcare jobs and train an estimated 13 healthcare workers.

The crux of the project is its IT, said Finity vice president and CIO Justin McCormick. The EveryBODY Get Healthy system technology will generate individualized patient portals for at-risk Philadelphians. Through the portal, providers will be able to monitor and track patient progress, create care management plans, and continually analyze treatment progress.

The program pairs Finity’s communication platform with the technology of Farmington, Conn.-based SCIOinspire, the nation’s leading claims-analytics company. “Combining the front-end communications platform with the claims analytics engine in a closed-loop technology system allows for pre-populated assessment, medical alerts, real-time metrics, dynamically generated mobile and web messaging and automated behavior-based system evolution,” said McCormick.

“Finity is the architect, the platform provider, and the wellness and disease management program provider… SCIOinspire will provide results-driven care analytics and ROI tracking,” said Finity’s director of health and wellness Alexandra MacDonald.

On the provider side, this sort of combination generates the necessary tools for increasing care quality and decreasing costs, said Finity President and CEO Deborah Stewart.

But EveryBODY Get Healthy’s toolbox extends to the patient side as well; “We’re hoping, by using complete new engagement methodologies, completely new technologies and completely new programs that are really targeted to understand this demographic, to speak in their language,” she said.

The project will target low-income, high-risk patients, said Finity’s creative director Devin Paladeni; interacting with and motivating these individuals on a patient level has been challenging in the past.
“Imagine being an 18 year-old girl with two children and living on an income of $9,000 or less – how do you motivate and change the behavior of that population?” asked Stewart.

Enter the game-like face of Finity’s technology. The program is geared for ease-of-use, incentive-based participation. “We believe this integrated and highly flexible approach will help us overcome traditional engagement issues,” said McCormick.

“One aspect is that we focus on modifying one behavioral change at a time,” said Paladeni. Program targets include drinking enough water, eating fruits and vegetables, and a walking challenge. The EveryBODY Get Healthy profile will track and compare a patient’s progress to the recommended level, and generate a clear lifestyle picture.

Besides self-awareness, participants can hope to gain incentives through the challenges. “We encourage through team competition, through social network aspects with EveryBODY Get Healthy, through rewards, through visual achievements and so forth,” said Paladeni.

The program will be available on smart devices – outlets that have been extending Internet access to low-income citizens. “Until recently, this disadvantaged population had lesser access to the web, but smartphones changed that dynamic. The program takes advantage of this trend,” said McCormick.

After tackling a tricky demographic, Finity leaders hope EveryBODY Get Healthy can be implemented throughout the nation – and, eventually, around the globe.

“We are testing it with the most challenging demographic because if we can prove it here we believe it will work everywhere,” said MacDonald.

So, though its communication front maintains the ease and excitement of an online game, Finity leaders emphasize the deep, underlying efficacy of the program’s architecture:

“This is very game-like,” said Stewart. “But it’s one of the most complicated architectures and networks because we’re linking both disease management and wellness, and health benefits and medical management therapy. We’re linking things that have never been linked together in one automated profile… We have a lot of passion for this, and we’re excited by it.”