Numera launches social, mobile wellness platform

By Eric Wicklund
10:23 AM

Telehealth programs are typically targeted at a specific segment of the population – those with chronic conditions, or located in a remote area of the country. Numera wants to expand that presence.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based health and wellness technology company, fresh off new contracts to provide services in the UK and through American Well’s Online Care platform, is now introducing a social platform designed to reach anyone who uses a smartphone or Facebook.

The “Numera|Social program, unveiled at this week’s <a href="/directory/health-20" target="_blank" class="directory-item-link">Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco, is designed to “engage with the consumer where they sped their time,” said Tim Smokoff, Numera’s CEO. He and Mark Oswald, the company’s chief technology officer and vice president of engineering, say the product is designed to be taken on by organizations such as health plans, providers, insurers, employers and wellness organizations, re-branded and pushed out to their members and/or employees.

“Numera|Social is different from wellness programs of the past for several big reasons,” said Smokoff in a press release issued this morning. “We are tapping the influential power of family, friends and peers with similar conditions in a thoughtful way. We are focusing on measurable results. And we are following the science of health behavior change. By focusing on how to help individuals make good daily decisions for better health we can keep them engaged, and even extend the impact to their friends. It ignites a chain reaction of good will and good health.”

The platform is the latest in a series of moves by Numera – a new company comprised primarily of former Microsoft and Revolution Health executives – to push health coaching and measured wellness programs out to the general population. Rebranded earlier this year (it had formerly been known as iMetrikus), the company has since announced a partnership with HealthTrio LLC to push biometric data out to consumers, another deal with Appello to launch a telehealth service in the UK and a third with American Well to deliver health monitoring information to online encounters between patients and physicians.

Smokoff says the company’s vendor-neutral products, Numera|Net and Numera|Engage, are designed to create simple platforms that capture objective health information and "give it a richer experience."

With Numera|Social, that experience is now being offered on mobile and social platforms.

“The idea is … to give individuals a set of tools and goals and help them track their progress, then keep them motivated,” said Oswald. “We’re giving them a plan marketplace, giving them access to experts, giving them a chance to create their own plans … and getting the interest of their social communities to see what you’re doing.”

“It’s engagement data,” he added. “We want people to feel like [their healthcare] is under their control.”

Several organizations, including RealAge, the American College of Sports Medicine, HealthLens, Audia Health, GAIN Fitness and Vivity Labs, joined Numera at Health 2.0 to launch the program.

“We look forward to offering our 10 million+ members access to Numera|Social’s innovative health solution,” said Gregg Zegras, CEO of RealAge, a San Diego-based publisher of health and lifestyle news. “The approach offered in their flexible social and mobile platform will give us the opportunity to actively engage users who seek to manage their health through a variety of media channels.”

According to Smokoff, telehealth programs haven’t gained much success as of yet because “they’re not simple enough.” People and organizations have trouble engaging with the system, he said, and wireless and mobile platforms still have too many protocols and barriers to access.

“For us, it’s not about the hardware,” he said. “It’s about coming in. In the end, we’re selling a service … and lowering barriers.”

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