Rick Lee, in an interview with MobiHealthNews, discusses the continuing evolution of MeYou Health – from its beginnings as a subsidiary to its new role as an independent company uniquely positioned to work with health plans. Read it here!
Today MeYou Health has announced a new CEO and a new round of funding from Ballast Point Ventures and Blue Shield of California!
Serial health care entrepreneur Rick Lee, co-founder of Healthrageous, Quality Oncology, and Value Health, and a group of experienced health care investors have joined forces to re-energize MeYou Health (MYH), a Boston-based digital wellness platform for health plans. Lee, backed by Ballast Point Ventures, Blue Shield of California, and several prominent individual investors, recently led a buyout of MeYou Health followed by substantial growth financing for the company.
MeYou Health is happy to be named one of The Boston Globe’s Top Places to Work for the second year in a row! This year, MeYou Health was third on the list of top small employers. Check out the full list of small employers in Massachusetts that made the cut.
Coverage of the 2015 Top Places to Work made it clear how these companies have created a place where people love their jobs. According to The Boston Globe, “[A]ll the winners share a few key traits: treating workers well, giving them a voice, and encouraging them to have some fun while they’re at it.” Here are a few more areas where MeYou Health shines:
The QuitNet community has many milestones to celebrate today!
QuitNet has been connecting thousands of members on their quit-smoking journey since 1995, making it the Internet’s longest-running quit-smoking site. The heart of the site has always been the community that uses it. On QuitNet’s 20th birthday, we’re celebrating that community along with another important milestone: today, the QuitNet community added its 20,000th member since relaunching in March!
Founded by MeYou Health's chief medical officer Nate Cobb, MD, QuitNet began as a single Internet message board and quickly evolved into a community where ex-smokers came together to help newcomers quit and fellow ex-smokers stay quit. The site has gone through many different stages and updates as technology continued to change, but the core principles of social support remained intact. Over the past two decades, QuitNet has been the subject of multiple NIH grants and studies and nearly 20 peer-reviewed academic publications. In March 2015, QuitNet was relaunched for web and mobile devices with a brand-new design.
Today, QuitNet continues to grow and expand, all while honoring its important legacy. Watch the video to below to celebrate along with the MeYou Health team and members of the QuitNet community!
Fitness trackers are everywhere, and with them, the ubiquitous goal of reaching 10,000 steps a day. But where did this number come from – and is it the ideal number of daily steps for the average person?
The origin of 10,000 steps a day dates to 1965, when a man named Y. Hatano created an early version of the pedometer. It was called the “man-po kei,” which translates to “10,000 steps meter.” From there, the Japanese popularized the goal of 10,000 steps a day, and over time, it became the broadly accepted goal for people who hoped to walk their way to fitness.
Pedometers have come a long way in the last 50 years (just take a look around at people’s wrists!), yet the goal of 10,000 steps a day stubbornly remains. The problem? A step goal that’s too high and never varies isn’t just boring: it’s also a deterrent for the 44% of U.S. adults who are so sedentary that they walk fewer than 5,000 steps per day. This is why Walkadoo was designed to make more steps in reach for everyone.
Walkadoo is a wireless, pedometer-based daily activity program that’s a little bit different each day. Instead of giving you one goal that never changes, Walkadoo’s specialized software adjusts and evolves to your walking patterns and gives you a new, manageable step goal every morning. Each day brings a different number of steps to aim for – one that’s just right for you. You and other members can connect, share, and celebrate your successes on the Walkadoo website. And those who like to compete can even join walking derbies.
The Walkadoo app is free, and there’s no need to buy or connect a separate device when you join, thanks to the in-app step tracker. It’s compatible with the iPhone 5, 5s, and 6 – but unlike so many other activity tracking apps, it won’t drain your phone’s battery. (Already have a fitness tracker? Walkadoo also supports popular devices such as Fitbit, Jawbone, and Misfit.) Get started and take the first step with Walkadoo!
At MeYou Health, people arrive each morning knowing their day will be filled with collaboration, creativity, and enthusiasm. We’re dedicated to improving people’s well-being with our products, and having a great place to work allows us to achieve great things.
We’re delighted to have won Top Small Employer in The Globe’s Top Places to Work rankings, and we’re eager to share what makes working at MeYou Health so special.
What do we do at MeYou Health?
We build web and mobile behavior products that help our members improve well-being and turn small actions into healthy habits. As a wholly owned subsidiary of Healthways, we can focus on product, maintain a startup atmosphere, and be dedicated to building great software – all with the support of a large, well-established health services company. Our goal-oriented process keeps our members’ needs at the forefront and drives all of our design, content, and engineering decisions, every day.
Where do we work?
Our new office is in a stylish building in the Fort Point Channel neighborhood of Boston. We’re a 10-minute walk from South Station (with a shuttle that travels back and forth for those rainy or chilly days), and there’s ample parking nearby for those who drive. It’s sunny and bright at MeYou Health, with big windows that offer great views of the city. The space is modern, with exposed brick and beams, but also cozy, from our lounge to our warm and friendly dining area.
Who works at MeYou Health?
There isn’t one sort of person who works here! The MeYou Health team spans the worlds of design, engineering, science, writing, medicine, and data, creating a culture where collaboration is at the center of everything we do. We share product updates at bi-weekly catered lunches, where designers, engineers, and other team members talk about their successes and see techniques that their colleagues are using. Some of us even work together on outside projects when the day is done.
How do we promote well-being at work?
We don’t just aim to improve others’ health – we’re committed to our own physical and emotional well-being, too! At MeYou Health, there’s a running club that pops out for quick runs, and people play pickup games of basketball and soccer. We take group walks around the neighborhood and eat lunch at our long, communal tables. We enjoy our time together here at work (and spend time together outside of work!). We’ve created an atmosphere that’s relaxed, fun, and genuine.
Why is our work meaningful?
People who work at MeYou Health make a living and a difference. We create products that improve people’s lives and enable them to transform their social networks into support systems. Our flagship product, Daily Challenge, encourages members to complete one small, healthy action each day. Over the last few years, our product suite has grown include a walking app, a weight management app, and a platform that houses all MeYou Health products and lets members track their well-being over time. We are also currently re-designing QuitNet, the largest online community of smokers and ex-smokers worldwide. We feel lucky to have such an impact on people’s well-being, and it’s rewarding to see firsthand how we help our members every day.
We love hearing positive sentiments from our Daily Challenge members on a daily basis. Reflections on their experiences and the power of small actions help us feel that we’re accomplishing our mission. Thanks to our research team, we now have another indicator of success: scientific evidence!
A study published yesterday in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine showed that Daily Challenge measurably improves the well-being of participants, particularly those who engage socially with others in their network.
Led by Nate Cobb, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for MeYou Health, and Josée Poirier, PhD, Director of Program Design and Research, the results of the study not only prove the power of online social interventions to impact well-being, but they also validate the effectiveness of Daily Challenge specifically.
After months of collecting data from more than 1,500 participants, Daily Challenge was found to improve well-being within 30 days and maintain the improvement over 90 days, especially for members who were more socially engaged within the product (i.e., those who had connections).
“The effect found in this study has the potential to drive large-scale population impact,” Dr. Cobb says, adding that all well-being interventions need to be continuously refined with more research. “This is the approach we take with Daily Challenge, and why it’s proven to be an effective, scalable solution to improve well-being, with significant potential to impact health care costs.”
Daily Challenge is a product the MeYou Health team can feel good about creating, and one that Daily Challenge members can feel good about using. Although publication of the study is indeed a victory, Dr. Poirier says it serves to fuel further iteration for Daily Challenge as we work toward improving the DC experience for members.
She also explains that research and science play a major role in everything that happens at MeYou Health. “Research is not solely used for evaluation purposes. It informs all our decision-making throughout the product development process.” The scientific validation gained from the Daily Challenge study is rare among well-being applications, and we are using the same diligence and evidence-based iterations to create Walkadoo, our free walking product, as well as our weight-management product currently in development.
“The most exciting part is knowing we have an application that people appreciate and want to use, and that it’s scientifically shown to be effective,” Dr. Poirier says. “We have both sides of the equation.”