TORONTO – After four years of relying on Vivametrica Inc. to successfully boost the health and wellness of its clients’ employees, Sprout Wellness Solutions Inc. has taken the next logical step by acquiring the Calgary-based health analytics company. Vivametrica measures and predicts employee health risk, outcomes and longevity using data from personal sensors and wearables.
“They do a fantastic job measuring and predicting health risk outcomes and are the only analytical solution I’m aware of that incorporates disease and mortality risk, all of it validated by third-party, world-class company insurers,” Sprout Wellness CEO Neeraj Sharma told BioWorld. “We felt acquisition of Vivametrica would be the right thing to take Sprout to the next level.”
"Rather than a ‘one size fits all’ measurement, we've taken a complex analysis of thousands of data points to create actionable individual health insights,” said Vivametrica founder and CEO Rick Hu. “In turn, better health data and user engagement will unlock new and valuable opportunities for employers and insurers."
It’s all in the hub
Many private companies offer employee health and wellness programs, notably employment assistance programs (EAP), followed by periodic scoring of an employee’s physical and mental well being. The trouble is many of these programs are so disjointed and cumbersome that employees have no idea what’s available to improve their health and well-being on the job or how to access it.
Toronto-based Sprout Wellness rectifies this, Sharma said, by tying its workplace enhancement platform into the systems its client companies commonly use to drive morale. This includes introduction of easily navigable mobile apps and web-based sites that boost and track employee engagement and answer wide ranging questions employees have about their specific health and wellness challenges.
“We bring all of the good health and wellness programs in your company together in one hub so that if an employee needs something that pertains to their wellness they go there,” said Sharma. “It’s easy to find. It’s not the employee clicking thirty-two times on an intranet site.”
Employees begin by undergoing a health risk assessment using Vivametrica technology which cuts down the hundreds of questions conventional risk assessment surveys ask employees. In some instances, as a part of those assessments, employees will also undergo blood, BP and heart rate tests.
“What we’ve done is created biostatistical models that do a lot of that risk prediction using smaller amounts of data,” Hu told BioWorld. In addition to age, weight, height and gender, Vivametrica gathers available information such as physical activity, sleep patterns and heart rate from a simple wearable such as a Fitbit, Apple watch or smartphone.
“In other words we’ve really streamlined it so that the individual can do that health risk assessment without feeling imposed upon,” said Hu. Not only does this produce an accurate benchmark of health and wellness, “it drives usage to a whole different level,” added Sharma. Sprout boasts an employee completion rate for disease risk prediction that is five time higher than traditional risk assessment methods.
Several companies have seen employee use go up by as much as 80%, but perhaps the best part is what employees see at the end of the day, said Sharma. “Vivametrica technology allows us to tailor programs to help people move their wellness scores up.”
What have you done for me lately?
While Sharma won’t say precisely how much Sprout is spending to acquire Vivametrica, he remains bullish on the work his staff will be doing in concert with Hu’s team. The job now is to further integrate the two companies’ wearables technologies while continuing to intermesh their data analyses platforms. A more immediate opportunity, said Hu, is to measure the impact Sprout’s platform has on the health of client companies.
“Improved employee health translates into tangible positives for corporate clients and insurance companies as well as the individual,” said Hu. “The tangibles are decreases in health costs and improved productivity that can then be measured. We think we can do a better job of that.”