Engaging and empowering people and communities
to meet their healthier self
By Julien Venne
Partnerships & Development at Sharecare Europe
Being healthy is a challenge for everyone. Number of factors are playing in it, such as your genetics, how you live, where you live, what you eat, if you exercise or not, if you’re stressed or not, if you sleep well, the medication you need, etc. It could be overwhelming and sometimes difficult to cope with all dimensions at a time. And this is the case whether you’re healthy, you have a chronic condition, or you’re in a frail situation (elderly people, hospitalisation…).
At Sharecare, we believe that, beside the amazing progresses of medicine and science on personalised treatments, one of the current biggest challenges is to enable people to manage properly and to improve their health and wellbeing. Each individual can act on it, every day, every second, by making healthy choices. The living environment is also playing an important role, as it will determine the resources you can have access to, but also the potential risks you’re exposed to.
When global major health issues are related to chronic diseases and ageing population, each individual, supported by a large multi-stakeholder ecosystem (health/social professionals, community, policy-makers…), has a major role to impact her/his quality of life and wellbeing. Thus, our modern societies are expected to create systems able to cure, to care and to prevent, providing the insights and tools empowering people.
That’s why, with our partners, we focus on developing solutions which help people to meet their healthier self in a holistic manner.
For this job, we’ve built an interdisciplinary team mixing health professionals, digital technologies and data scientists, engagement and behaviour change experts, and communication/marketing staff.
The challenges of behaviour change and personalisation
“Smoking is dangerous for your health”, “Eating better will increase your life expectancy”, “Regular physical activity will improve your mood and help you to better focus” … we could mention plenty of healthy principles like these that most of the people have heard (so) many times. But human being is paradoxical: even if we know the good practices, we often don’t apply them in our life. Human being is, by nature, irrational. The good news is that this irrationality is as well predictable, as demonstrated by the famous behavioural economics scientist, Dan Ariely . One can design strategies and tools in order to play with these cognitive biases and the “auto-pilot mode” which shape a large part of human behaviours.
So, to adopt a healthier lifestyle, to manage better a chronic condition or to age well, we obviously need literacy about what is good and what isn’t for our health, but we also need a plan to act, we need resources, expertise, tips, reminders, nudges, motivation…
In a word, it is a journey, in which we need daily support and consistency to live healthier.
For this, coaching approaches have demonstrated their efficacy to engage people in reaching objectives, both at personal or professional level. Bringing knowledge to somebody about her/his improvement areas, convincing her/him that it is worth it and doable, helping her/him to set goals, suggesting a plan for action with reasonable steps, enabling this person to monitor her/his progresses and providing motivation are key elements for a successful support.
But obviously, one size doesn’t fit all! Adopting a new lifestyle is difficult, so, an irrelevant support drives to people’s withdrawal. It is where data and digital technologies are playing a key role enabling a real personalisation of the services.
We define the Sharecare solution as an engagement platform. So, when a new member joins our programmes and all along her/his journey, we focus on understanding who she/he is and what are her/his intrinsic characteristics and objectives. We have developed a science-based health risk assessment, called the RealAge™, which has been completed by 45+ million people across the world. These data, based on demographics, health risks assessment, psychometrics, preferences and behaviours, will ensure the relevance of the personalised journey that we will propose, and ensure the engagement of this member on a long-term basis.
 Predictably irrational, Dan Ariely, February 2008
A holistic omnichannel and engaging approach
Additionally, we have to take in account that people’s life in the physical world and in the digital sphere are nowadays completely intertwined. Sharecare team believes that it is essential to offer to our members to access their daily support and all data and information in an “omnichannel” mode through mobile app, web portal and phone.
We also integrate to our programme, all the resources (such as health and care professionals, social support, public or community services, sport installations, events and workshops, etc.) locally available in the natural living environment of each member. As an example, a person who is advised to start a physical activity, will find in her Sharecare app what kind of exercise is adapted to her profile, she will be able to discover the options, to discuss it with her coach by phone, to choose the preferred activity and to identify around her where and when to practice. She then experiments a seamless journey across all channels.
All of these “ingredients” are today allowing the Sharecare solution to be one of the most engaging platform on the digital health market.Of course, engagement is essential. The issue with number of digital health tools, such as mobile apps, is that people use them a few days and then quit. This phenomenon prevents from a real impact on people’s wellbeing. At Sharecare, with the help of science, we have designed each component of our solution to maintain long-term usage
It starts with the content that we propose to our members, which is personalised and relevant, science-based and validated, engaging via several formats (text, videos, infographics…) and easy to remember. Moreover, as explained above, our programmes with personalised goals and steps ensure their full relevance and a great level of engagement of users. Then, we deploy a series of tricks reinforcing this engagement, such as with timely and multi-channels notifications according to user’s preferences, with targeted campaigns raising awareness about risky behaviours or preventive screening, gamification strategies (involving users in challenges) and with the creation of incentives schemes rewarding our members if they accomplish specific objectives or if they adopt healthier behaviours everyday (we call them “Greendays”).
Last element in our approach is the continuous evaluation of the impact on health and wellbeing outcomes, on costs and on long-term behaviour changes. It makes no sense to launch an initiative, to evaluate only one time at the end of a pilot and then to decide if yes or no the programme is efficient. People are evolving, their preferences change and we need to dynamically adapt the solution to our members. That’s why we’ve built an integrated real-time reporting tool, providing aggregated and anonymised data to monitor continuously the population health and wellbeing, the behaviours and the consumption of content, programmes, challenges, etc. in order to produce key performance indicators (KPIs) around outcomes or engagement levels. This is very useful for our partners decision-makers, in the design process of next campaigns, public policies or next investments in new services or infrastructure.
Please contact us to start the movement!
In conclusion, empowering and engaging people and communities for a better health and wellbeing is our mission. We have started to create what we call “movement” in several places across the world and in particular in Europe, triggering new lifestyles impacting both individual and collective levels. We are deploying this holistic approach and prevention strategies with cities and regions, but also insurers, employers and even professional sport clubs (like with the Hawks NBA team in Atlanta ). The Sharecare platform provides each person – no matter where they are in their health journey – with a comprehensive and personalised health profile where they can dynamically and easily connect to the information, evidence-based programmes, health professionals and other local resources they need to live their healthiest, happiest and most productive life.
Sharecare design and perform solutions and support programmes enabling individuals to improve their lifestyle in a sustainable way, whether they are healthy citizens, chronic diseases or hospitalised patients, or frail people (seniors, Alzheimer or Cancer patients, etc.). Sharecare combine expertise in medical, behavioural and technological fields, to support its customers (insurers or mutual funds, assistance companies, employers, hospitals or local authorities) to improve the health of their members/employees/patients/citizens. They access to omnichannel personalised programmes, through digital tools, coaching by phone or face2face services. Part of a single platform bringing “All your health in one place”, the Sharecare mobile app offers a unique user experience, with a personal health assessment (RealAge™ test), various trackers, a rich personalised e-coaching content, a personal health profile, tailored challenges and access to local health professionals and services. The purpose is to empower each individual to make the good daily choices bringing the right information, at the right time and through the right channel. In France, Sharecare is partnering with the national social insurance (CNAM) around the “sophia” programme (chronic diseases management – diabetes, asthma) and around the national smoking cessation e-coaching programme “Tabac Info Service”. Sharecare collaborate also with Inter Mutuelles Assistance (assistance company) for their service “ima s@nté”. Sharecare Movement Solution is currently working with several regions and cities across Europe for the improvement of their population’s health and wellbeing. Collaborating with local authorities and local ecosystem’s stakeholders, our solution ensures strong citizen engagement in healthy living journeys, impacting both individual behaviours and life environment. Data and information measuring and monitoring engagement, impact and outcomes, enable decision-makers to better manage their actions.