Portfolio News8/6/15

An inside look at digital therapeutics pioneer, Omada Health

Written by Danielle McGuinness

Marketing

Within the shadow of San Francisco’s iconic Transamerica Pyramid, a team of 21st century superheroes is working tirelessly to tackle our nation’s chronic disease crisis. Three out of four Americans will now die prematurely from a preventable condition, so Omada Health—one of Rock Health’s first portfolio companies—has pioneered a new world of digital therapeutics with seamless design at the forefront. Their innovative online platform, Prevent, combines technology, behavioral science, and social support to reduce preventable disease risk.

Prevent is a 16-week online platform that introduces and reinforces positive behaviors, turning healthy choices into lifelong habits.

“Healthcare products and services are so important, they should ideally be the best designed products on the market. We are dedicated to making that ideal a reality,” explains Omada’s CEO, Sean Duffy. This mentality pushes the team to perfect the art of user-focused design and evidence-based behavioral strategies. And they’ve been wildly successful on many fronts. 65% of users are still engaged with Prevent after 12 months, while medical costs related to diabetes are notably reduced—a huge bonus and ROI for health plans and employers.

Omada has just as mindfully cultivated a unique company culture. All employees are first and foremost inspired by the goal to help people live free of chronic disease. So what does a typical day at the Omada office look like? They’ll do heads-down work for a few hours, then stop for a block walk or head to a lunch-and-learn on getting better sleep. After helping tens of thousands of Americans adopt healthy habits, they’ll duel in an afternoon ping pong tournament.

“We strive to make the experience of working for Omada as engaging and enjoyable as the experience of being in our program,” quips Duffy. “The little things end up mattering most when it comes to workplace happiness; whether people like their space and have access to all the tools—and healthy snacks—they need.” It’s this philosophy that attracts people who are passionate about work of the highest quality at the intersection of technology and healthcare. Omada doesn’t seek out any one type of person; they want people who think creatively about big problems and bring a different perspective to the table. Above all, at Omada, “we’re healthy, we’re quirky, we do things a little bit differently, and we actually like one another.”

 

The Omada Health team brings their ideas out of the box and onto the drawing board.

Meet some of the team:

Adrian James, President

Tell us about your background.
My attraction to problem-solving and machine shops took me into mechanical engineering. From there I moved toward medical device design, eventually settling more broadly in health care, designing for people and interaction challenges.

What do you do now?
I’m a co-founder at Omada, serving as President and focusing most on product these days.

What do you love about working at Omada?
I love the people at Omada and I love feeling confident that the problem we’re addressing is worth their valuable time. I think we’re positioned to have an amazing shot at helping a lot of people live free of chronic disease and I don’t ever want to let that opportunity slip.

 

Sina Habibian, Data Engineer

Tell us about your background.
Prior to Omada, I explored a few different avenues by working at a physics institute in Germany, studying at Peking University in Beijing, and cofounding an online recruitment startup. In this progression, I realized that I wanted to positively impact people’s well-being with my work and entered the world of health!

What do you do now?
I am working on Omada Labs, Omada’s analytics and experimentation arm. Over the last few months, I have been improving the product by building an A/B testing framework and adapting the program for each participant with machine-learning algorithms.

What do you love about Omada Health?
I wake up every morning excited about what’s in store at Omada. I’m working alongside smart, mission-driven, humble, and fun people. What I love in particular is the amount of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking people bring to their work and how we are all personally engaged in improving the company’s overall offerings.

 

Felicia Becerra, Support Specialist

Tell us about your background.
I attended community college after high school, where I met an amazing and inspiring English professor, Mrs. A. Mrs. A’s literature and creative writing classes led me to UC Berkeley where I received a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Scandinavian Studies. I’ve always been a helper, and quickly realized academia wasn’t the right place for me to make a difference.

What do you do now?
I’m now part of the Support team at Omada Health. If you have questions, I have answers (even if the questions are about Vikings).

What do you love about working at Omada?
I love working for a mission-based company, knowing that I am helping others every day.

If you want in on the crusade to end chronic disease, you’re in luck. Omada is looking to add more creative problem-solvers to the team. So grab your cape, check out their open positions, and get ready to help save the world with the power of prevention.

 

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