In the second episode in our series on emerging trends in employee health, we chat with SentryHeath’s COO, Steve Sablan. He discusses the value of health data analytics in ensuring program success.
Steve explains why employers should move away from “one-size-fits-all” health programs. He explains why employers should take advantage of solutions that employ cutting-edge health data analytics. Intelligently identifying individual risks and needs, these solutions drive better participation and keep employees engaged.
We also talk about the key components of a hyper-personalized employee experience. This includes how health data analytics plays a big role in driving employees to the right programs at the right time.
To learn more about the value of good wellness data analtyics in health and wellbeing solutions, watch this webinar. In it, Matt Doctrow, SentryHealth’s Senior VP of Analytics, discusses how using health care analytics can create positive outcomes, ROI, and VOI.
In This Podcast
As Chief Operating Officer at SentryHealth, Steve Sablan is responsible for the teams that design, manage, and enhance SentryHealth’s WellOnMyWay wellbeing solution. He brings more than 20 years of health care experience backed by a successful track record of leading agile, fast-moving technology teams. Steve is experienced in designing, deploying, and maintaining innovative health care solutions that continuously increase value for providers, employers, and employees.
Hello, welcome back to For Your Benefit, sponsored by Sentry Health, creators of Well On My Way, a leading employee health
and wellness solution. This is the second episode in our series on emerging trends in employee health and wellness. I’m Meghan
Henry, Marketing Director for SentryHealth. And today I’m talking with Steve Sablan, Sentry Health COO. Steve is going to be
talking with us about the value of wellness data analytics when it comes to employee health and wellness. Thanks for joining us today, Steve.
Thanks, Meghan. And looking forward to it. Thanks for having me today.
About Steve Sablan
Absolutely. So let’s start by learning a little bit more about you and your role at SentryHealth.
So I joined SentryHealth about two years ago. One of the first initiatives that we worked on was just an interface engine because
we saw just a huge, huge need. And we’ve got this data from all these different systems. There was just a huge need to get the
data in a normalized format. And so we started working on that interface engine to about two years ago. And then we also have been working on Well On My Way, which is a digital wellness program. So we’re really excited about that.
But just a little bit about my areas of responsibility. I oversee the product development team so our product owners work with our software engineers, our architects, and the way that we have our teams broken apart. We’ve got our user interface team that works on user experience. And then we also have our data integration teams that work with all of our different partners that really do the hard work of trying to get data from point A to point B to get that data normalized and into the well on my way system. And then we also have a third team, Meghan, that is our wellness data analytics team, led by Matt Doctrow, our Senior VP of Analytics and Matt’s team.
Really, once the data is brought into the system, we look for all the different insights to do artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, and eventually machine learning. So we’ve got a lot going on. Again, I’ve been here for a couple of years and we’ve got just a really fabulous team and looking forward to kind of talking to you about all the other things that we’re doing.
But prior to that, I was the Chief Information Officer for an analytics company and our company. And prior to that, I was an architect for a managed care organization in the behavioral health field and then also for a hospital system as well.
But, you know, throughout my career, one of the things that I have been heavily involved with is data integration. And there is a lot of data in all these various systems. There’s a lot of solutions out there. And, you know, we’re excited because we feel like we have really solved a huge problem to get all that data, get it aggregated. and get it into one place where we can really mind the data. We can really analyze the data and really drive specific outcomes based on that data.
Role of Wellness Data Analytics
Awesome. So what I’m hearing is, is that you’re the right guy to be talking to today about the value of data when it comes to employee health and wellness. So let’s start with the basics. Tell me about the role of data in health and wellness and why is that so important to us?
So what we see today in the digital space is there’s a lot of what we call “point solutions” out there. Solutions that solve a particular problem, whether that be a chronic condition, whether that be a financial health problem, whether that would be emotional health or a behavioral health problem. So there are thousands and thousands of these point solutions out there that really solve a specific need.
What we have done within WellOnMyWay is we provide a platform to really get the data. And when we say get the data, you know, we’re not only getting the data, but we’re importing that data, that information. We’re translating that data or normalizing that data. And we’re putting that data and information in a central repository that pulls all these inputs from all these different point solutions, all these different data sets and really normalizes it and makes sure we make sure that the data is clean. We make sure that the data has been reconciled and we put it in the repository so that that is really the first point, the starting
point. And what I’ve seen out there in the marketplace today is, you know, we’re very unique in providing this service to where we’re aggregating that data, normalizing it, and storing that data in a centralized database and data store.
Benefits of Hyper-Personalization
Excellent. So when talking about personalized journeys, I’d like to talk a little bit more about hyper-personalization. And that’s a trend really that can only be possible with the use of data. So, Steve, tell me a little bit more about how can data be used to drive a personalized experience for each employee.
So what we know about the space is there are no two people that are the same. And I think that’s what has happened over time in the digital wellness space and the wellness space as we’ve tried to kind of push certain people into certain wellness journeys that really don’t fit without really understanding what’s going on with that particular person, that particular member. And so we’re really excited when we talk about personalized journeys.
Wellness Data Analytics Collection
We get all the data and the data comes in all kinds of different forms, all kinds of different fashions. We’re getting data such as a member roster, we’re getting demographic data. And within that demographic data, we have capabilities to receive data so we can look at productivity within an organization. We can look at absenteeism within an organization. So that’s one set of data that we receive.
We receive claims data. So historical claims data, we want to look at that particular member at that particular population, and we want to see historically what’s going on with that particular member. And this really gets back to this hyper-personalization approach that you’ve asked me about.
We get biometric information, we get about we’re requesting biometric information once a year or any time that biometric data changes. We’re looking at pharmacy data. We’re looking at lab data.
And so what we do with all this information, all that data has been out there for years. But what makes our platform, what makes our engagement personalization very different is we take all this data from all these disparate systems and we normalize the data at the member level to where we can really see the differences, the deltas in the member based on all of this information. And from that, then we can really drive member populations into certain programs that make sense based on what the data is telling us.
And essentially, you know what, as I’ve been in the space and kind of seeing other solutions out there, you know, there we’re trying to put people in a box when what we’ve done here within the well on my way platform is really personalized that member journey, because, again, there are no two people that are the same.
There are a lot of people out there that are motivated by different things. There are different things that are driving them. And so having the data consolidated at the member level to really drive that hyper-personalization piece is critical to our success. And we feel like we’ve got something very unique within the well on my way platform.
Excellent. It sounds like by having all of that data, that really the member’s experience has improved. Not having that, perhaps they just wouldn’t have the type of experience that that health and wellness programs really want them to have.
One of the other things is, as we have that data and as we have that information, I mean, that’s one set of data. The other set of data we have is once someone is in our platform, you know, we’re watching, we can see the clicks. We can tell when a certain member is actually clicking on educational materials.
We can tell when a certain member is in the platform and they’re interested in learning more about diabetes or they’re interested in learning more about exercise, losing weight, and drinking more water. You know, they’re interested in learning more about stress at work. And so that’s what’s also unique.
Yes, we talked about all the different data sets that are out there that have been out there for years. You know, but what’s different about our platform is we’re
also taking all those clicks within our product and we’re also tying that to the member level so we know what the members are interested in. And we’re personalizing those that activity to really draw the member journey.
Let’s shift gears a little bit and talk about wearable devices. I have an Apple Watch. My kids have it, but it seems like everybody these days is wearing something that tracks steps. Are there other fitness tasks? Is that information something that that can be used to the benefit of a wellness program?
Absolutely. This is another subset of data that we are really excited about that we’ve been working on that’s provided as part of our platform is a way you know, there’s so many devices out there, Apple, Fitbit, there’s that industry is changing. The hardware is changing constantly. The apps are evolving. So within our platform, within the WellOnMyWay platform based on.
With the user’s consent, we can start syncing data from all these different devices. It started in the wearables. How many steps are you taking? How many paces are you going? What are your sleep habits? And it’s really just evolved to just this unbelievable set of data that is really real. So we’re looking at how many paces someone is walking during a day. We’re looking at all of this data.
And the great thing about it is what we’ve worked really, really hard on in the platform is to take also this wearable data and tie it at the member level with all these other claims, data, biometric data, all these other types of data and activities that are going on in the platform. So we’re really excited about it. We’ve had a couple of calls with a couple of really major vendors out there and looking at kind of their roadmap activities then. And wow, what an unbelievable opportunity.
But yes, we’re vendor-neutral when it comes to all these devices. You know, we want to get the data imported into our system. We want to get it tied at the member level. And then we have another powerful set of data that we’re looking at real-time to look at what’s going on. What’s the particular member within their particular journey?
Value of Reporting Wellness Data Analytics
There’s a lot of data that we’re looking at to personalize these journeys. But then from the employer perspective, they’re looking at data from the sense of what kind of reporting are they getting. So how important is reporting when it comes to digital wellness?
Reporting is critical to any business, especially in the digital wellness space. You know, what is the value? And not only that, there’s a lot of data out there and it seems like we get a lot of data and reports put out. They’re pushed out once a month from various vendors and various different providers out there.
But what’s really different about the solution that we have is we take that data and that data is really yes, it looks great on the page, but we take that data and we take that data and transform it into information to where we can really set up actionable takeaways. And let me give you an example of that. We very well might have a population that initially when we engage, they had a lot of chronic conditions within the populations or they had this or that. We can look at this data and we can say, you know what, based on how they’re trending, there’s a need for an additional COPD solution or there’s a need for an additional financial health solution or behavioral health solution.
And so we’re really using that data to really not only drive reporting back to the customer, but also, what good’s the data if it’s not actionable? We’re taking that data and we’re putting that in front of employers. And we’re saying, listen, here’s what we’re seeing in the data. Here’s what we recommend. So maybe they initially didn’t sign up for a particular program because there just wasn’t a trend in the data at that time.
But now, because we’re trending the data month over month, year over year, now, we’re really looking at the data. The data is evolving. And what we’re doing is saying, hey, there are opportunities for financial incentives here. There are opportunities to improve your population, to make them more productive, to make them happier employees by looking at a couple of different programs. So that’s the other piece that we’re really excited about is, you know, when we’re showing this data and information to employers, it’s actionable.
And, you know, there’s a term that’s used, Meghan, out in the industry and that’s engagement. And that term is used very loosely. And what does that mean? Well, it means different things to different people. But for us within our WellOnMyWay platform, engagement means based on their data and their information, driving them to the right programs to improve their overall health and, you know, and not conforming them to just a box and saying, you know what, everybody’s the same. You’re all in this employer people group. So we’re just going to give you all the same things. That’s traditional wellness. And that’s really, you know, what we’re bringing to the table. We’re really consolidating the data. We’re putting that in front of employers. And we’re really not only that, we’re saying here are the interventions that can lead to success, can lead to improved outcomes.
What to Look for in a Health and Wellness Solution
So I think it’s interesting how all of these things tie together ultimately to make sure that the employee and the family members have a really good experience. To when we talk about reporting, what kind of information should well-known solution vendors be providing employers? So let’s say an employer is looking for a new vendor. What are the things that he or she should be looking for as far as reporting and data goes?
You know, we just talked about engagement. So, you know, our members and a population and a cohort, are they engaged in the products and services that are available for them? And if they’re not, why not? And so, you know, that is one of the things that we look at.
But, you know, there’s so much wellness data out there. But even just, you know, at a high level, you know, we’ve got chronic condition management data and information, biometric data, trending claims data, clinical information, financial information, behavioral health. You know, we’re seeing a trend in behavioral health with the pandemic. And it is a concerning stat out there.
One of the things to what we’re seeing also is and what research shows us is, folks that are having emotional or behavioral health, you know, you’re not seeing that necessarily in some of the claims data. You’re seeing that in other factors, you know, you’re seeing that when when we’re kind of looking at certain things within the platform because we’re tracking the clicks. We’re tracking the reporting, we’re tracking the activity. So even though a person might not be in the program, we’re showing employers, you know what, your population has clicked on this material that that relates to weight loss or that relates to emotional health. They’re very interested in this material. So what are what can we do to kind of enroll them, engage them, get them in the programs? That’s advantageous.
And another piece that we’re doing that we’re really excited about, I mentioned Matt Doctrow, who’s got over twenty five years of a reporting experience, and we’re super excited to have Matt on our team. We’re also taking this data and we’re also doing predictive analytics on the data. And so what we can do, we can take the data, we can run it through a set of algorithms, we can run it through a set of rules that will essentially tell us people that are low, medium and high.
And let me give you an example of that, Meghan. We might we might have a population right now where someone is at medium risk to develop pre-diabetes. And so what we want to do, we want to use the data to proactively engage that population that are maybe on the cusp of being a pre-diabetic or diabetic. We want to get ahead of that. We want to start getting them through our proprietary campaign engagement engine that we have within the well on my way engine. We want to start reaching out to them. We want to start calling them. We want to start engaging them with with Amanda Evans’ team on the member engagement services. And we want to get them into the programs that where we can get ahead of those chronic conditions.
Predictive Wellness Data Analysis
But, you know, we’re predicting that with the data, we’re not throwing a dart at a board,we’re using the data to really drive all of that predictive analysis. And then also we’re using our engagement, our engagement services team, to really drive that forward and to get them in the right and the right programs, to get them the right education, to get them the right material that they need to get ahead of that. Because, you know, all of all of those things in that scenario that I mentioned, you know, these chronic conditions, they are just high cost drivers for an organization.
If we can get ahead of that by the data and we can get ahead of that and really stay ahead of that and get them enrolled in the right programs, you know, it’s that’s exciting for me because now we’re really using the data from that personalized approach to really drive outcomes, to drop interventions and to really drop the bottom line. And also a happier workforce, a more productive workforce, a workforce that, you know, that week that can be excited about coming to work. And, you know, and so really, that’s at the end of the day, our digital wellness program and that’s what we designed, is very flexible. And we’re really excited about all the wellness data and all the opportunities that we have.
Well, Steve, on that note, we’re going to wrap up this episode of For Your Benefits. I’d like to thank you for joining us. And if you would like to learn more about this and other emerging trends in health and wellness, I encourage you to visit the SentryHealth website at www.sentryhealth.com. And if you like what you heard today and you want to hear more, please don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast. We’re going to keep informing you about what’s happening in the world of employee well-being. Thanks again for joining us. And we’ll see you guys next time.
Want to learn more about SentryHealth? Simply fill out this form to request a consultation and learn more about our solutions.
Want to learn more about SentryHealth? Simply fill out this form to request a consultation and learn more about our solutions.