How a SaaS platform powers digital therapeutics and patient engagement programs for leading healthcare organizations – Interview with Dr. Amir Kishon, Chairman and CEO at RMDY Health

Digital therapeutics lead a new chapter in healthcare by utilizing technology to enhance patient care. Cloud-based digital therapeutics SaaS platforms offer healthcare stakeholders a novel way to transform their digital health programs to better engage with their patients, thus empower patients throughout their health journey.

 

Digital therapeutics SaaS platforms enable healthcare stakeholders to build agile personalized patient engagement / management programs with novel therapies and services to significantly improve the effectiveness of their care and make a major difference in health outcomes. Digital therapeutics technology-based solutions much like a drug can be used to influence disease and can play a prominent role in assisting patients in a wide range of chronic conditions, such as diabetes, respiratory, cardiovascular, HIV, mental health, etc. Having live coach interactions or a peer group support prompt substantial changes in patients’ behavior, help prevent disease progression and allow to manage more effectively one’s everyday condition. Leveraging SaaS technology for effective development of digital health patient engagement programs and adherence management can drive forward value-based care and push to higher quality today’s population health management.

To shed crucial insights on how to drive better user engagement and behavior change, as well as the concept and business model behind RMDY Health, one of the leading Digital Therapeutics Companies, we talked to Dr. Amir Kishon, Chairman and CEO.

 

How a SaaS platform powers digital therapeutics and patient engagement programs for leading healthcare organizations

 

Enjoy the interview.

Research2Guidance: Can you explain what the RMDY service offering is?
Dr. Amir Kishon: RMDY Health is a Digital Therapeutics company. Our SaaS platform powers Digital Therapeutics and patient engagement programs for leading healthcare organizations. Essentially, we help them very effectively manage large populations of patients through their mobile phones. Our partners can provide guidance to patients, then monitor those patients, as well as identify patients that need special attention and be able to communicate with them to help them change their behavior. I would say this is a classical digital approach for population health management. Such solutions can be used for: condition management, management of patients after their discharge from the hospital, and wellness coaching. It is also a wonderful solution for pharmaceutical companies and medical device companies to onboard patients unto therapy.

Research2Guidance: Why and when did you start your company?
Dr. Amir Kishon: We started RMDY Health 3 years ago, after a successful pivot from a wellness company. Our original wellness solutions offered a layered approach to delivering a combination of self-management, community and dynamic content to the growing numbers of health consumers online.

As the digital health market has evolved, so did we. We made a major pivot from wellness management to healthcare and clinical management and that prompted us to change our name from Wellness Layers to RMDY Health. The new name reflects our commitment to making digital transformation possible for more organizations, clinicians and patients.

In essence, we created a SaaS platform that enables any healthcare stakeholder to create their own digital patient management solution and extend the value of their existing clinical, onboarding, and adherence programs very rapidly – “a WordPress for Digital Therapeutics”. As engaging online healthcare consumers gains momentum, we’re helping stakeholders connect with their patients to provide continuous care and support in meaningful new ways.

Research2Guidance: Your main focus is on patient engagement, why?
Dr. Amir Kishon: Our mission is to help healthcare and wellness companies position themselves at the forefront of digital health with powerful solutions that enable real-time clinical intervention, care coordination and personalized patient experiences. Understanding how digital technology can impact care to increase efficiencies and improve outcomes has become the new industry mandate. Patient engagement is the key to helping make this all possible.

Research2Guidance: How are you driving engagement?
Dr. Amir Kishon: Human behavior is complex. It’s easy to assume that patients will follow doctor’s orders and take their medications as prescribed because they care about their health. But in reality adherence is a huge issue and patients simply need help. Our model of engagement is centered around relationships because that kind of one-on-one interaction and support can make a huge difference, whether it’s with a personal care coach or with a peer group. For example, when a patient logs an activity on our platform, it triggers a reaction either automatically through the system or through an assigned coach who is monitoring patients’ behavior online. So, the patient is always engaged in a dialogue based on their behavior or needs in the moment.

This form of digital coaching moves the responsibility from the patient who thinks: “I just need to take care of my health and get this information” into something more binding where the mindset is: “I have commitments to my coach and I want to make sure that my coach and I agree on targets and how I will fulfill them.”

Our coaching model has created a significant change in the engagement levels we see using the RMDY platform. Generally, if you just give patients health tracking tools, their engagement usually runs below 20%, or even as low as 10%. When we add coaching into the equation we see how engagement can skyrocket to over 50%. In many cases with our clients, we even see engagement levels go over 80%.

Research2Guidance: How active are users on your platform?
Dr. Amir Kishon: The coaching approach created a major change in how patients are being engaged. So, it depends – we have clients with over 80% engagement on a daily basis. Another example is a client with a rehab center where we were able to improve engagement from a weekly interaction to one that is 3 times a day, using RMDY. Since the system optimizes for efficiency, some of the interactions are automatic while some are handled in person by a live coach. So greater online activity and engagement can be managed very efficiently.

Research2Guidance: What is your business model?
Dr. Amir Kishon: RMDY is software as a service so the fee is based on the number of patients or clinicians on the system. For example, we have two projects with a large medical device company. One of them supports high-risk diabetes patients to help make sure they are measuring their blood glucose, eating well and taking their medications – in other words full management of patients once they leave the hospital. This is done on a per patient basis. In another solution, our client is using RMDY to onboard patients on a new device. Here the fee is based on the number of support agents using the system to engage with patients.

Research2Guidance: Who and where are your main competitors? How do you differ?
Dr. Amir Kishon: The world of Digital Therapeutics is very active because stakeholders are looking for efficient ways to engage patients, reduce costs and improve patient outcomes. The market attracts different players. Well-known companies like Omada Health and Livongo provide services based on the connected coaching paradigm. The RMDY model is different because we don’t provide the services, just the digital therapeutics platform to help organizations white-label their own service for patients. A few other companies, like Salesforce, also provide a platform for creating different solutions but they focus on enabling the clinician or organization side and less on the front-end patient experience.

What differentiates RMDY is the extent of the highly personalized functionality we provide across disease states and therapies to help organizations connect with their patients online. This can range from simple tracking tools to remote telehealth applications that can be delivered wherever their patients are, either through a website or an app. It also goes without saying that our longstanding experience serving healthcare consumers has gone a long way in making our technology what it is today. Our platform is different because it’s truly turnkey. Any stakeholder can use RMDY to rapidly and easily configure HIPAA-compliant digital therapeutics solutions that extend their programs or services for patients, within as quickly as a matter of weeks.

Research2Guidance: What are your Top 3 product priorities for the next 1-2 years?
Dr. Amir Kishon: Companies like ours are basically working on several objectives. One of them is making the RMDY system more efficient. We started with one coach for every 100 patients and now we are at between 500 to 1,000 patients per coach, and we want to make the system more efficient through AI, machine learning and automation. A second key priority is connectivity. We see tremendous value in connecting our system with electronic medical records, so the relationship with the patient can continue at home after they leave the hospital. All the data needs to cross with their electronic medical records. And finally, as a cloud solution we want to incorporate more and more capabilities like medical care paths, and more communication tools into the platform. Our goal is ensure RMDY clients have access to the most comprehensive digital solutions.

Research2Guidance: In which markets are you working?
Dr. Amir Kishon: We are working in several markets. One category is condition management. For example, our partner VillageCare here in NYC has been using RMDY to manage 6,000 HIV patients and support their adherence with medication. In Israel we are working with a rehab center in one of the country’s largest hospitals. Another category is patient relationship management – supporting patients when they go on a specific therapy. This includes clients like Medtronic. We help them to educate or onboard patients onto therapies or a new device. We work with Novartis in cooperation with the American Heart Association to support heart patients and in the wellness coaching market with companies like Betr Health and NuStart on diet management and diabetes prevention.

In addition to working with specialty providers, pharmaceutical and device companies and in the wellness market, we’d like to expand to health plans and eventually see how we can help power clinical trials.

Research2Guidance: What are the challenges that you are facing while working in the digital health arena?
Dr. Amir Kishon: Digital is still an early market. While stakeholders now fully understand and believe in the potential of digital, they are not necessarily at a point where they are buying and implementing such solutions. So much of this is understandable as innovating in healthcare is not simple. Between the regulatory environment, data connectivity requirements and the varied needs of so many different patient populations, complexity exists on so many levels. So while everyone understands that digital health is going to be very powerful and the momentum keep getting bigger, taking the first step can be extremely difficult. A good example is one high profile behavior healthcare company that was still communicating with patients by telephone. We were able to convince them to test RMDY with a small pilot project and after just a few weeks of partnering with us, they saw the benefits of “going digital” and the focus moved to how the whole company can mobilize towards digital. And this was before they even formerly launched the pilot! So, we moved from a small pilot to a full project very rapidly.

Research2Guidance: It is interesting that, for example, the addressable market for different chronic diseases is huge; e.g. the Diabetes addressable market is 425M people, but less than 1% of them are actually using the available digital health solutions? Why is that?
Dr. Amir Kishon: In my opinion just having an app is not enough. In order for a successful digital solution to be on the market you need 3 key ingredients: the patients, the technology needs to be available (e.g. video conference, integration with wearables, etc.) and the third component is the professional side. Once you connect the clinician side with the patient, this is where the magic happens and we see engagement jump from 20% to over 80%. Until the right resources are allocated at on the provider side to enable a real connection between these two parties, the adoption rate of the available digital solutions within the target group will be low.

Research2Guidance: Would you like to share a topic that we haven’t touched but you feel is important to be talked about?
Dr. Amir Kishon: We have a huge opportunity. Most of the patient population that we deal with has mobile phones. For the first time in the history of medicine you can actually monitor and communicate with patients outside the clinic or hospital setting. In essence, digital therapeutics is able to “squeeze the doctor into your pocket.” If we add AI and machine learning to that, supporting patients on an ongoing basis also becomes very efficient.

This is a unique opportunity to change healthcare. It is not about improving a specific procedure or creating a better drug; this is about a systematic change in healthcare with the ability to monitor and support patients at home. In my opinion, with AI, we can really create what I would call “self-driving healthcare”. Cloud-based environments now exist to manage large populations with a very small footprint of clinician interaction. It’s a powerful paradigm for change across healthcare that can make a meaningful difference in minimizing costs and improving patients’ lives.

Research2Guidance: Thank you, Dr. Kishon, for your answers. We wish RMDY’ Health all the success.

 

About RMDY Health
RMDY Health (formerly Wellness Layers, Inc.) is a leading provider of collaborative digital therapeutics solutions for the healthcare industry. Its cloud-based SaaS platform offers a complete DIY digital framework to help stakeholders design their own continuous care programs and support plans to onboard and engage end-users immediately. RMDY’s Web and mobile solutions support a range of digital therapeutic initiatives with a focus on chronic disease management, medication adherence, health rehabilitation and employee wellness. With installations at leading health companies like Medtronic, IBM Watson, the American Heart Association, Betr Health and VillageCare, RMDY currently supports tens of thousands of online health consumers in areas like diabetes, DPP, HIV/AIDS, oncology and obesity. To learn more please visit our website at www.RMDY.health or contact us at [email protected]

 

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