Welcome to the outcomes Rocket podcast where we inspire collaborative thinking, improved outcomes and business success with today’s most successful and inspiring healthcare leaders and influencers. And now your host, Saul Marquez
: Welcome back once again to the outcomes rocket podcast where we chat with today’s most successful and inspiring health leaders. I welcome you to go to outcomesrocket.health/reviews where you could write and review today’s podcast because he is an outstanding contributor to Health in the software space and in general. His name is Matt Park, Vice President of Sales North America at Dacadoo. Dacadoo is the health score company providing a mobile first digital health platform that helps people to live healthier more active lives. He’s had a really great history really a veteran in software he was around even before there was windows. So this guy knows what he’s up to and his experience has gone through the continuum of the provider side but also especially the employer benefit side through H.R. software that helps managed care of people and now at Dacadoo he’s doing some pretty cool things and so including key measurement indicators to help you stay healthy. So I thought it’d be a great place to have a conversation about the things that they’re doing there and couldn’t be more excited to have you on the podcast Matt.
: Thanks, Saul pleasure to be here.
: Absolutely. So what is it that got you into the health space to begin with.
: Well that’s a good question. I’ve always been really interested and more and more so over the last few years in things like nutrition and exercise I’ve always been very conscientious and really wondering you know when the sort of health care business was going to get more focused on how they get people thinking about and care of themselves. So it’s always been on my mind I’ve done lots of research on it over the years and it was really just coincidental just as I was thinking about changing jobs few years ago that I was approached by Dacadoo and it’s a Swiss company based in Zurich Switzerland. And to me that was already interesting because I’ve lived overseas in three different countries that I speak fluent German and that’s always kind of a hobby of mine a slight interest. So that was interesting. And then the fact that they were doing a digital health platform and wanting to launch in North America that was super interesting to me because that’s really what I do and have done best over the years is startups in the software business and I’ve started up companies for U.S. companies I’ve started up European operations in several different countries over there with different U.S. companies and then I’ve started up different companies and divisions of companies around the U.S. too. So having the chance to start up the operations for a Swiss company in the U.S. that was really exciting especially in the health sector.
: Yeah that’s for sure and you obviously have a really amazing background in helping get companies off the ground here and abroad. Dacadoo is special. So you want to tell us a little bit more about what they do and why it’s different.
: Yeah this is really an interesting company. So first of all we it’s a digital health platform to engage people and healthy lifestyle and better nutrition exercise mindfulness things like that but more importantly they spent several years before rolling out their first product to create their core intellectual property which we call the health score and the health score is unique because it’s a real time health score. Think about a credit score for your health for.
: Exactly what I was thinking about.
: And yeah I caught your batting batting average and health. So it’s changing in real time and this is what makes it really unique it changes in real time. It’s composed of over 100 different data points about human health that we track and those roll up into three subcategories of health that we call lifestyle body and mind. So we’re looking at holistic health not just one aspect of health and not just one category but really all the different inputs that really do impact your overall health. So the lifestyle component represents things like movement nutrition stress and sleep body is age weight height gender blood pressure blood values so all of your biometric information and mind is emotional and mental well-being. So that’s a core piece of the IP and then we have a full platform so now that you know your health score now that you know your credit score so to speak you’ve got to have a way to manage it right. You need a way to make it transparent to the user. What does it mean. How is it changing why is it changing how can I manage it and improve it. And that’s what the rest of the platform does.
: That’s super interesting and I think about this as sort of the consumer facing side of early warning scores not sure if you’re familiar with early warning scores or not Matt.
: Early warning scores. I mean you mean at no risk scores if that’s what you mean.
: Yeah exactly. So there are risk scores early warning scores for clinicians they take like mews is one of them. Mews right and take an aggregate score of several different parameters and it’s a single number that alerts a clinician if something’s going wrong way ahead of time before it actually happens. And so basically I’m looking at this is just like wow this is so cool. This is a way that you can use it outside of the four walls of the hospital before you end up there.
: Yeah no we could actually do that. I mean we could deliver that kind of information to clinicians as well because the health score itself is actually based on really serious science. And underneath the health score there’s a complex set of risk models. So the original sort of concept of creating the whole score was to answer the question you know what are your chances of dying in the next X number of years. So that number can be any number that we plug in there 10 years 12 years whatever. And so in order to create the score the founder of the company Peter Artemus was able to enlist the help of an MIT professor. Professor Dr. Lawrence Jacobs who was a long time professor there in theoretical physics who also happens to be an M.D. and now works in cardiovascular research at the University of Zurich. But Peter was able to get Laurent’s to help him to create the models that would create ultimately the health score. So the health today is based on 300 million person years of clinical and customer data and that’s a lot that’s a lot of person years.
: That’s a ot person years.
: Very hard to duplicate. I mean just to have the access to this amount of information. So it really was several years of research and science by Dacadoo to create this.
: Pretty cool. What does Dacadoo mean.
: It actually is sort of a made up word according to her it is the sound of the rhythm of music I guess as they as they talk about it in Switzerland.
: Dacadoo OK alright, very nice
: Maybe you can think of Dinka do if you know you know Jimmy Durante.
: Oh yeah. Oh yeah
: OK. There you go.
: So man that’s so cool. That’s really interesting and your customers obviously being employers and listeners if you’re an employer thinking about your rising health care costs let’s face it next to labor and just supplies your healthcare bill is probably one of the largest and average is eight to ten percent increase costs here. What can you do. What things can you apply to help curb those costs that are really limiting your competitive abilities here. Because we’re in a global economy. So you know something to think about. Can you highlight a little bit about who uses you guys and maybe a way that you’ve helped improve outcomes for companies.
: Yes absolutely. So our customers were really a technology company and a technology platform so our platform is really designed to enable entities to shape it to their own needs. So you know we enable customization very easily. Wait labeling branding as well as you know putting in their own content and managing that. So our customers tend to be higher level entities that we deal mostly with insurance companies so both health insurance and life insurance companies we deal also directly with large corporate wellness programs so directly with the corporations. And then lastly and very interesting and more recently we’re getting a lot of customers in the pharma business who are focused basically on specific medications and impact the health of specific populations that have chronic illnesses. And if you think about it if you combine healthy lifestyle better nutrition and exercise with most of the major chronic illnesses you can have a significant impact and outcome on those people’s health. I guess I should say for the fifth category that we work a lot with is health tech. So this is the sort of the greater healthcare ecosystem of technology companies that are designing products and applications apps portals et cetera to solve all of these problems and Dacadoo’s core technologies and we have a number of component technologies can also be licensed to our open API and then incorporated integrated very easily into other platforms.
: Very cool very cool. And Matt can you share a story of how your technology has improved outcomes. Anything you have in mind.
: Yeah yeah absolutely. So in the last few years we had an analysis and assessment done of a large group of active users that were out of one specific country and that was over the course of about three years of their use of the technology. And so we were able to come up with some really good stats showing that the average user’s key health measurement and I’ll tell you what those are improved significantly. So following formation is useful so the variables that we were measuring were weight waist size systolic blood pressure diastolic blood pressure resting heart rate diabetes risk and hypertension risk and we slow increases for the percentage of Dacadoo users that got impacted ranged between you know 10 percent and 40 you know something percent depending on which of those categories you’re talking about. And the the average decreased meaning benefit because if your heart rate lowers or your blood pressure lowers that’s good so that’s when the rate decrease. But the improvement I should say ranged from 3 percent at the low end to about 30 percent at the high end depending again on the variable that we’re measuring and then we we do another measurement because of the the core risk engine that this is built on. We can measure some interesting things. So we produce another measurement that’s called healthy years gained and 80 percent of the users had two and a half healthy years gained. Well I think that’s a really good metric.
: That’s awesome. Hey I’ll take two and a half more years.
: Yeah exactly what you want them healthy right you are healthy.
: Oh healthy. Absolutely yes. Healthy years. Sign me up Dacadoo
: That’s pretty cool. Without a doubt. And. Think about all the things that employers can be doing for their employees or the payers could be doing for the lives that they cover. This is definitely something very interesting and why not. I mean we have dashboards for everything else. Why not have a dashboard for our own health.
: Yeah agreed. And I think this is one of the big things missing in wellness programs and in all entities of companies organizations the health care system that are trying to help people improve their health is the real time impact of programs doesn’t exist. It’s very hard to measure. And so in wellness programs I wrote a paper on this last year and part of it was about what I call the the measurement conundrum. And that’s because we don’t know how to measure the health impact of our wellness programs in a short term way. So what are companies doing. They’re trying to find a way to figure out that claims are going down and all of the people in the in the health insurance business have told me that’s a three to five year project. So you know eventually people realized that’s not going to work. So they try to figure out that well we can measure absenteeism and presenteeism of employees that would surely show the data that we need to prove that it’s you know our programs are working. But you know with most companies using a PTO system today you don’t really know why people are even absent.
: And by the way when they are sick they come to work because they don’t want to lose their PTO days which they think are vacation days. So that’s not that’s that’s so true. That’s a statistic from the H.R. organization.
: That is fascinating. And so what you guys are doing now is through your IP you’re helping people with an early indicator of their investment in wellness.
: Yeah it shows an early indicator because you can run a program let’s say that you want it to run a challenge for the month of February and maybe it was something as simple as a walking challenge you know trying to get the population of our employees out walking more and promoting it and talking about it at the end of the month of February. Wouldn’t it be nice to run a report and say Hey people congratulations we just ended our challenge. It was a great success. We were able to improve the health of the average participant by 12 points. And that to me is the kind of thing that people need to understand Hey what I did is working. I see health score going up every day and that’s the feedback that people really lack in anything that they do exercise weight loss nutrition is that instant pat on the back. Hey this is working it’s helping you be healthier.
: If there’s anything that will help improve it is measurement and for sure sounds like this is a novel way of measuring the impact of these programs. I like how you guys sectioned things off into a lifestyle mindset and body. I think it’s pretty cool that you guys have specific measurements that lead to the indicator and as pretty interesting how you guys have done it.
: Yep by the way it’s not novel DaVinci came up with this idea. You remember his picture of the man. Yes. His arms out that was basically lifestyle body and mind what he considered holistic human right. So that’s what we use.
: That’s pretty cool that you mention that Matt because it’s not new. However I’ve had a couple of guests on the podcast say something very insightful is that innovation and healthcare happens with implementation and so ideas and technologies exists but when you can actually implement them and apply them like you guys have that’s when the innovation happens in healthcare. And you guys are definitely doing it.
: Absolutely. And because of innovation there’s currently 300 and 18000 apps health apps and the App Store 318000 apps. Is that what it’s up to now. Yes. Is whooping up like 200 in something every day. Ok so imagine the amount of data that’s being created about people’s health and imagine how different and disparate that data is.
: Oh my gosh.
: And imagine if you’re a consumer and you’re trying to measure all these different things and using different apps that none of this data would ever make sense if you put it all together. So I believe that there’s a big problem and that is the normalization of health information so some kind of standard framework that the health tech world is going to have to start building apps in so that they come together and mean something to the consumer that they’re trying to impact by the way they’re all being built with really good intent and I believe that that really is true. And a lot of them can do great things and it’s super what the innovation I see at these conferences it’s science fiction almost. But we’ve got to come up with some standardization. So and one of the ideas and obviously I’m certainly heavily biased in this area but what are the ideas that helps to make this normal is a standardization of a score health score that everybody who is involved in healthcare knows oh well what’s your health score. Well I’m a I’m a 750. That’s great. Or I’m a 550. People know what that is.
: What brought you down. What happen.
: But imagine you know consumer financial business without a credit score today it would be.
: Yes it would be. Yeah that’s a really interesting thought and would be interesting. I mean now with the you know what does it mean for use 5 and people getting access now. They’re are going to be required next year to give access to patients, give data access to patients. And so I think we’re getting closer and closer to that. I think you bring up a really great great point because if we don’t do some sort of standardization things will continue to get pretty confusing.
: Yeah pretty messy.
: So Matt give us an example of a time where you had a setback and something that you took out of that a learning.
: From my perspective when I started two years ago with Dacadoo to launch into North America with this new app I basically was chasing everything that was you know I’m responsible for growing the market so I was chasing everybody who was interested. And I did spend a lot of time with health tech companies early on because they were finding out about us. We were exhibiting at shows and things like that. And there was tremendous interest and I thought this is going to be a great area of the market for us. And I still today think it’s going to be but it still hasn’t become because I think there’s a lot of innovation there’s a lot of new companies there’s a you know a lot of innovators and many of them really wanted to have a health score in their application when they saw what we were doing because it made total sense as part of what they wanted to deliver to their customers. And I spent a lot of time on it. But what I didn’t realize was that a lot of these companies barely had a product yet. No I wasn’t really dealing with and no disrespect to those companies by the way. But.
: Yeah of course.
: I needed I needed to focus my time on companies that were you know more mature in what they were delivering. And so I think that now I know what companies to work with or what would it look what they should look like for me to spend my time with. So from a sales and marketing perspective I think that it’s pretty unique. There’s so much going on in the health tech space in this digital health world that you just have to be careful where you spend your time.
: I think that’s a great call out and if you had to boil it down to just the qualification process how do you do it now.
: First of all.
: Stage of business sir is it is revenue. What do you do to to qualify.
: Yeah. One is just ask you have requirements. I find that you know sometimes. Now that’s one of my first questions. But you know I found that a lot of companies say you know what we have is really cool and they wanted it but they didn’t exactly have requirements to know what they were going to use it what they were going to how they were going to put a product together. And then certainly I think what stage they’re in what size customer base they have if they don’t have a customer base what they want to put our technology in it to hopefully you know when it rolls out and help attract customers I get it. But can they afford to do that. And most likely they can’t.
: Now it’s a great learning and and definitely it’s easy to get excited about a product and lose time and before you know you spent a lot of time going after potential customer. And there it goes because they weren’t qualified really great share. Matt thank you for sharing that.
: No my pleasure.
: So in this part of the podcast we’re going to do a lightning round. We’ve got four questions here. It’s the 101 on how to be successful in health care with Matt Park. And so we’ve got four questions lightning round style followed by a book and podcast that you recommend to the listeners. You ready.
: I’m ready.
: Awesome. What is the best way to improve health outcomes.
: Best way to improve health outcomes would be to clearly identify how you’re going to measure them. How are you going to measure the outcome that you want to be able to report on until you understand the whole equation then you can create the way to prove it.
: Love it. What’s the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid that.
: I think kind of what I said before about this business is so big there’s so many different aspects to a digital health and you think you know what it means but it means so many different things. So I think you need to narrow your focus if you want to be successful in the digital health space you need to narrow your focus on what area are you going to play and is it a defined space. Or am I helping to define it.
: Love it. How do you stay relevant as an organization. Despite all of this change.
: We spend an awful lot of time getting out in the market. I think last year at Dacadoo even though we’re a small company we did 17 conferences in the U.S.. Wow. The guy presented at 13 or 14 of them and we did probably that many in Asia and that many in Europe as well. So we are like super active out in the market and that way we get to touch what’s going on. And it is changing so fast it’s incredible so you have to be there live to hear what companies are saying what the leaders of the companies are saying.
: What’s one area of focus that should drive everything in a health organization.
: The end user the patient. If it’s a medical organization then the patient if it’s a corporation it’s the employee it’s the constituent it’s the end user and it is because technology for technology’s sake just is waste. And you don’t realize who’s going to use it and how are they gonna feel about using it. And you see a lot of this quite frankly with 315000 apps out there. It’s scary right. So you’ve got to focus on the end user.
: What book and what podcasts would you recommend to listeners Matt
: The book than the one that I’m reading right now is sales are the new cure by Robin Smith and Max Gomez.
: That’s really science fiction that’s happening right now. It’s incredible. Foreword by Sanjay Gupta. So very cool. And of course I mean I would recommend this here outcomes rocket podcast.
: Thank you. Thank you very much my friend. Listeners don’t worry about writing any of this down. All the pearls that Matt has shared you could find those at outcomesrocket.health/park that’s Matt’s last name PARK you could find all the show notes, links to the books he recommended links to Dacadoo and all their on their one page. So Matt before we conclude our love if you could just share a closing thought what the listeners. And then the best place that they could get in touch with you.
: Sure. Closing thought is I think that there’s a lot of good things happening in digital health. And as I mentioned before with a focus on the consumer on the patient on the end user I think that the people that are in digital health are in it for more reasons than to make a buck. They’re in it for sincerely wanting to make and have an impact on people. And I think that it can happen. Digital Health will play a big role in that but we have to be extremely focused and aware on every time we bring something to market. How will that really impact in a positive way. Our consumer.
: A great message and what what what does the best place for the listeners to get in touch with you or follow you.
: Yeah sure. So I think you know just by my e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org that’s the easiest way.
: Awesome. So listeners you’ll find that again at outcomesrocket.health/park and just want to thank you again Matt for spending time with us. Really looking forward to seeing how you guys revolutionize this space of just this one score for everybody’s health. Thank you so much for spending the time.
: Thank you Saul, that was great. Thanks.
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