July 24, 2014
Healthcare messaging service HealthCrowd, led by advertising veteran Neng Bing Doh, knows firsthand the power of communicating in multiple formats to reach customers. To that end, the digital health company has expanded its DH*RMA platform to transmit messages from payers to Medicare and Medicaid patients to boost engagement beyond text message alerts. In addition to SMS text messages, payers can use its digital platform to reach members through email, instant messaging, mobile websites and social media channels.
At a time when payers need to be more customer-centric, HealthCrowd views its approach as giving them a clear view of how each customer interacts with the company and their engagement level. Given the pressure to reduce healthcare costs, tools that can help payers and providers figure out how to reach members and engage them are just the sort of thing that’s needed, founder and CEO Neng Bing Doh said in a phone interview with MedCity News.
“If you go to any health insurer they don’t know the last time their members emailed or whether they sent a text message. It is so uncoordinated; they don’t have a unified and holistic view of any one patient at any time. We fill that gap,” she said.
The company’s name stands for Dynamic Human-activating Realtime Multimodal Automation. Doh said the platform is designed to learn from the preferences of its customers’ members to deliver helpful reminders to help them manage their health. Its first use case was prenatal care, but it also covers several different conditions and initiatives such as Type 2 diabetes, asthma, COPD and smoking cessation, for example. Doh said she doesn’t view the messaging system as simply alerts and it’s not a diagnostic tool. Instead the platform is designed to persuade people to do something or change their behavior to improve their health.
“For each action we want to get across, we have hundreds of ways to say the same thing,” with different levels of urgency, Doh said. “Scare tactics work for some, but not for everyone.” The message may also be friendly or presented as a gain-loss. Such as, if a member doesn’t take action on something they will lose something.
Here’s an example of the kind of messages it sends: “Did you know that even a 1% drop in your HbA1c blood test can cut the risk of heart attack by 14 percent? Get yours checked soon.”
Additionally, HealthCrowd’s service is also used to follow up with patients after they’re discharged and behavioral health support. It charges customers a monthly subscription fee based on how many of their members use the program.
Earlier this year it rolled out an analysis tool to help customers see how responsive their members are through a combination of behavioral and clinical data.
Most of its funding has come from angel investors, such as Band of Angels.