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Scouting Report-Well: Empowering and Incentivizing People to Engage in Their Health

The Driver:

Well Dot, Inc., or “Well”, is a healthtech company based in Chapel Hill, NC, and Newton, MA that is founded by Gary Loveman and Dave Werry with a mission to be the world's most effective partner in the advancement of individualized health. They recently raised 70 million in a Series B funding for their consumer-focused health improvement platform which combines leading-edge artificial intelligence, advanced behavioral economic techniques, and on-demand human guidance. The Series B funding was led by Valeas Capital Partners, a recently launched investor-operator firm led by Ed Woiteshek and Rob Little (former Hellman & Friedman colleagues) along with a new investor group of 12 unnamed prominent CEOs and senior managing partners at top-tier private equity firms. Existing investors General Catalyst and partners of Hellman & Friedman also participated in the round.Well plans to use the new money to expand its business with large employers and community health organizations, in addition to growing its direct-to-consumer offerings.

Key Takeaways:

  • Well is attempting to be a consumer health platform that proactively delivers a personalized health advancement scale.

  • Live health experts are available for on-demand support to its members to assist in the navigation of health care services.

  • The platform facilitates members’ engagement with personalized actions, incentives, and concierge services to improve their health, instead of using episodic interactions to intervene only when a problem arises.

  • Well offers a wide range of services including preventative care, condition management, and mental health over members’ lifetime and members are given rewards for health milestones achieved.

The Story:

Gary Loveman (chairman & CEO) and Dave Werry (co-founder, President & COO) established Well Dot on January 2019 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. According to Well, the company's AI-driven health engine analyzes each member’s health triggers and promotes personalized, achievable steps toward improved health. Gary was previously the EVP of Consumer Health Services at Aetna where he led their efforts in the areas of consumer, data, analytics, marketing, pharmacy, and clinical. Before Aetna, Gary was the long-time Chairman & CEO of Caesar’s Entertainment Company where he pioneered the customer loyalty and rewards program that adapted the use of analytics to influence consumer behavior in the hospitality industry. David was previously the VP of Transformation at Aetna where he oversaw the member-facing capabilities for the enterprise. These areas included Aetna’s digital assets, high-touch clinical services, as well as business units in healthcare payments, benefits enrollment, and population health management. Together, Well was founded to help every individual take control of their health, adding a layer of ease and empowerment to improve a system that’s badly broken while cutting healthcare costs for employers. After decades of healthcare and consumer experience, the founders built Well to deliver personalized, concierge-style health advancement to the masses. According to the company, “they are all-in to deliver for their members — and disrupt healthcare in the process”.

In November 2019, the company picked Chapel Hill over Boston for its headquarters after being approved for an incentive package worth nearly $3.9 million. Well now has more than 90 employees across all of its locations and generates $6.38 million in sales. Well works like this: employers sign up to offer the app to employees, and each individual employee can choose whether to opt-in. If an employee opts in Well gets access to some of their health information and uses that to get a sense of what activities or tasks to push to the workers. Well now serves thousands of members across many corporate clients and says they will launch with additional jumbo employer customers in 2022. According to Well, the company is working directly with community health organizations and direct-to-consumer offerings in collaboration with leading consumer brands, providing more avenues for consumers to access Well's digital health platform. Well has not shared any revenue or membership numbers to date however, Werry said the company's next phase is adding more members. According to Ed Woiteshek, of lead investor Valeas Capital Partners, “Well has developed a differentiated and fundamentally unique offering that is proving successful at helping members make meaningful progress on their health and wellness goals”.

The Differentiators:

Well claims to stand apart amid a crowded marketplace by trying to improve a broken consumer experience for more than 100 million people. According to the company they want to be the first to offer proactive personalized healthcare and services at scale. Whether you want to start sleeping better, managing your health needs, or taking your medications, the app is intended to help users achieve their best health through reminders and rewards through their platform. In addition to the app, users have access to a team of live health guides and nurses who can assist them in reaching their goals as well as the potential to earn rewards for taking “healthy actions”. To help increase your participation in activities, Well utilizes your healthcare provider in an effort to find services and products within coverage of your plan while delivering daily health recommendations. Some competitors such as Unforged focus more on subgroups of the population such as Gen Z with mental health concerns while also charging a subscription fee service. One of Well’s goals is to demonstrate that the time and money that can be saved through the app can outweigh the cons of physically going to see a health professional for the same advice you may receive from one of the live experts or nurses.

The Big Picture:

Well’s platform and other inexpensive digital tools like it may be paving a new way towards assisting employees on focusing on their own wellness. As digital health has been making inroads into more traditional healthcare delivery during the pandemic, so too should it progress in the ways we address prevention and wellness. With its unique way of utilizing an AI-driven health engine which analyzes each member’s health triggers, it promotes personalized, achievable steps toward an improved health status all while being rewarded for it. Given our sedentary lifestyles, Well’s platform may be most useful to those who need that extra boost of encouragement or those who are confused on how to start on their journey to a healthier lifestyle. In addition, Well’s solution could be helpful for those who could use a little nurturing in making the best choices for themselves. Research has shown that such nudges by employers tend to work. For example, according to an article in Corporate Wellness magazine, “nudging creates a default for people by playing on their subconscious system by winnowing down or outright eliminating options, which in turn, prompts healthier behavior.” In addition to helping employees lead physically healthier lives, services like Well can help with employees mental health. As corporations look to reduce burnout Well is taking the initiative to create sustainable health habits among employees for better health outcomes and lower costs for self-insured employers. Today, about 1,200 people use the Well app which will allow them to drive their own health decisions.


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