A Look Back: Omada Health

Sean Duffy (right) is co-founder & CEO of Omada Health, a member of Rock Health’s first class.  We caught up with him to get his insights looking back at his time at Rock Health.


Tell us a little bit about Omada Health.  Where did the idea for the company come from?
Omada Heath started as an internal project at design firm IDEO. My co-founder and I were tasked with thinking about how the best disease prevention medical literature could be turned into effective, engaging, and beautiful digital products. We quickly narrowed in on prediabetes as a place to start, and our first product Prevent (http://preventnow.com) is an online program for people with prediabetes to help them lose weight and reduce their risk of getting type 2 diabetes.


Where was Omada when you decided to apply to Rock Health?
Omada was just getting off the ground. We had raised no capital and were a driven team of three. It was essentially day zero for Omada. Rock Health actually launched a few weeks after we left IDEO, so the timing couldn’t have been better. Our “living room” work stretch lasted only three weeks.


Why did you apply and choose to come to Rock Health?
We were immediately sold on the people. Halle and team were a blast to work with and were clearly mission driven. Right off the bat we felt how useful it might be to have a little extra camaraderie and support from fellow health entrepreneurs. We would have applied just to be around the Rock Health crew and teams, but it also turned out Rock Health had a strong curriculum and extensive network of partners.


What was your first day at Rock Health like?  A typical day?
The first day was mostly getting to know our cohort and getting our computers set up! But a typical day at Rock Health consisted of us  working heads down with occasional social breaks. And lots of laughter. Our class was a blast. Wonderful people.


What was the most valuable thing about being a part of Rock Health?
It’s the answer that many would give, but that’s because it’s the right answer: the people. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve relied on other Rock Health companies for guidance and advice. Just today Jack from Clinicast introduced me to a friend who is a data-modeling expert with health claims. The seed capital is nice, the partners are great, but the people are priceless. That’s cheesy but true.


How has Omada grown since you graduated from the program?
We’ve grown an enormous amount. We’ve run three pilots at this point, and have brought hundreds of people through our program. And perhaps most exciting, we officially opened our program both to the public and enterprise clients in December. We’re just now starting to run groups with various self-insured employers and health systems. Our team has also grown to 8 people and we’re hiring about 5 more.
Rock Health is accepting applications for its fifth class until March 17th.