Health and wellness startup Novu believes that treating people as consumers instead of patients is the key to developing engaging and quality products; and the best way to help them adopt healthier behaviors in the long run.

When it comes to eHealth, users want to be treated like consumers

While many health services are blooming in the shape of apps or web services, much of the interaction users have with the health system’s participants are negative. They call their insurance company to resolve claims or billing issues, and they only interact with hospitals when a health issue becomes serious. Practitioners are often the only trusted party in medicine-related organizations, when they are receiving care or a physical. Wellness system Novu aims to build a consumer experience for patients that builds consistent, positive health improving experiences by treating them like consumers. Novu Founder and Executive President John Wicka tells l’Atelier that the company plans to improve health and the ROI of employers and medical providers by influencing behavior and building trust.

A wellness program that focuses on long-term engagement

Novu provides its members with an interface where they can assess their health level (their Lifescore), choose a wellness goal, and receive customized activity recommendations to improve that score and work towards the goal. They can complete these activities alone or with companions they can find on the Novu website, and by doing so receive points that they can redeem for products, local deals or charity contributions. With wide adoption within an organization, employers get a healthy workplace culture, lower healthcare costs, and increased productivity. Health care providers are able to have more influence on their patients to improve behavior, as well as to build the relationships that so often are lacking in contemporary health system culture.

Maximizing the user experience through games and mobile

Wicka’s team hoped to build a product that bridges the gap between short-term engagement (motivating members to eat better or go for bicycle rides) and long-term value (better health). Their mobile component gives members added convenience, or can be used as a standalone product. By combining that with game mechanics - the LifeScore and Reward Points - Novu provides tech innovations that have been selected as appropriate, logical within the product, and positioned to optimize engagement.

By Ivory King