I vividly remember the day that I launched Hello Heart at DEMO Fall 2013 in Silicon Valley. I had landed in Silicon Valley just a couple of weeks earlier, with two bags, a bike, and a big dream.
After a couple of rollercoaster years in the “patient seat,” I knew that healthcare was broken, and something needed to change. Someone needed to help patients understand and improve their own health, and I had a burning desire to get up and make that a reality. I explained my vision of giving people a complete view of their medical condition and tools to help them understand what it all means. I truly believe that having a deeper understanding of your own health encourages you to be more engaged, make better decisions, and gain control of your health. We are the most important stakeholders in managing our own health.
I was young and making my first steps in Silicon Valley as a CEO, but one thing was clear, I spoke from my heart. And people felt it. They fell in love with the vision of giving power to patients to be the owners of their health journey, and I ended up winning the DEMO Gods award out of hundreds of startup pitches. I remain grateful for that moment that helped us cut through the noise and put us on the map, and for all the support that I have received over the years from so many people that helped execute our vision.
Back then, our product was in its infancy. But our vision has always remained our north star, empowering people to understand and improve their health. Hello Heart helps so many people today manage all of their heart health risk factors. We help people track blood pressure, pulse, cholesterol, medication, activity, weight, and so much more. We are scaling fast and helping people manage their health and understand it. But still, it’s hard for people to clearly see how MY behavior is impacting MY health. Which is why now, I am so proud and excited to announce the launch of Dot-to-Dot. This is a breakthrough, AI-driven feature that helps users connect the dots on their health habits in a smart way. I imagined this nine years ago, and now it’s our users’ reality.
What Makes Dot-to-Dot so Powerful?
The biggest problem with heart risk factors is that they are silent. You can’t see or feel blood pressure, cholesterol, or irregular heartbeat. People “know” taking medication, managing stress, eating better, and being active is good for their heart, but they can’t see or feel it. So they may wonder, “Are the changes I’m making really working? Do they have an impact? I ‘think’ it’s working, but is it really?” That’s the beauty of Dot-to-Dot.
Think of other apps that people use to track lifestyle habits like sleep apps, fitness apps, etc. Users can see graphs of how their behavior changes over time. That is helpful, but it is not the full picture. What users cannot see is how their health may correlate with the choices they make. Dot-to-Dot is the first solution of its kind that reveals this critical connection by correlating simple lifestyle choices — such as taking a pleasant walk — to heart health in a way that makes sense.
Another way to grasp the essence of Dot-to-Dot is by looking at the digital transformation of sports. Technologies that measure athletes’ health and performance are transforming how they train, compete, and manage their careers. Now, imagine a version of this technology that is available to the average person for managing something extremely important to everyone, regardless of age or demographics: heart health
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., and 47% of U.S. adults have hypertension, a top risk factor for heart disease. While many people may find it daunting to make behavioral changes in order to improve their health, it doesn’t have to be. Dot-to-Dot helps people see personalized trends in how their choices, such as weekly minutes walked or whether they took their medication, correlate with their blood pressure. Seeing the dots connected empowers them with insights to build and reinforce lasting healthy habits. Simply put,
Dot-to-Dot is a new innovation that is leading the digital transformation of healthcare, specifically in heart health management.
How Does Dot-to-Dot Work?
The AI technology behind Dot-to-Dot is advanced, but using it is simple. Dot-to-Dot’s AI engine scans all of your health data and behavior patterns in the app and looks for positive correlations. Once it finds a “match,” it will surface the insights and show you in an easy-to-understand graph. For example, it will show you how the additional minutes of walking you added this week are correlated to you lowering your blood pressure. You can easily see how there is a correlation between your positive lifestyle changes and your actual heart health trends. It reinforces positive behavior and makes you feel good about the choices that you make and how they are actually impacting your health.
You can’t see or feel high blood pressure or high cholesterol, so this is a revolutionary way to help people connect the dots on how specific behaviors are impacting their heart health. With these smart insights, they are encouraged to take specific actions that may help improve their heart health. By helping people understand and act upon these correlations, they can improve their quality of life.
Helping Employees While Reducing Cardiac Claims Costs
Cardiovascular disease is not just a major health risk and concern for millions of people. It is also enormously costly. Cardiovascular disease, which includes both heart disease and stroke, is the most expensive chronic disease in the U.S., with an overall cost of about $363 billion each year. At an organizational level, cardiovascular disease is consistently among the top drivers of claims costs for many large employers. On average, employers spend $9,842 in total medical costs for individuals with hypertension.
Now, with the advanced insights delivered by Dot-to-Dot, employers can empower their employees even more to improve their heart health, while at the same time reigning in claims costs.
Looking Back and Looking Ahead
Hello Heart has come so far and grown so much from those early days nearly a decade ago. But what hasn’t changed — and will never change — is our unwavering focus and commitment to put users first and empower them to understand and improve their heart health using technology and behavioral science. Dot-to-Dot is a perfect illustration of how we transform our vision into reality. We aren’t just dreamers at Hello Heart. We’re also doers!
But if you think that even for a moment we are going to rest on our achievements — think again! We have several more exciting innovations in the pipeline, at various stages of development. Stay tuned for updates in the new year.
The journey so far has been incredible, and the future promises to be even brighter. In closing, I would like to thank my amazing team, our great customers, our loyal users, and our roster of strategic partners for being part of the Hello Heart story!
Hello Heart is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment. You should always consult with your doctor about your individual care.
1. Gazit T, Gutman M, Beatty AL. Assessment of Hypertension Control Among Adults Participating in a Mobile Technology Blood Pressure Self-management Program. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(10):e2127008, https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.27008. Accessed October 19, 2022. (Some study authors are employed by Hello Heart. Because of the observational nature of the study, causal conclusions cannot be made. See additional important study limitations in the publication. This study showed that 108 participants with baseline blood pressure over 140/90 who had been enrolled in the program for 3 years and had application activity during weeks 148-163 were able to reduce their blood pressure by 21 mmHg using the Hello Heart program.) (2) Livongo Health, Inc. Form S-1 Registration Statement. https:/www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1639225/000119312519185159/d731249ds1.htm. Published June 28, 2019. Accessed October 19, 2022. (In a pilot study that lasted six weeks, individuals starting with a blood pressure of greater than 140/90 mmHg, on average, had a 10 mmHG reduction.) NOTE: This comparison is not based on a head-to-head study, and the difference in results may be due in part to different study protocols.
2. Validation Institute. 2021 Validation Report (Valid Through October 2022). https://validationinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Hello_Heart-Savings-2021- Final.pdf. Published October 2021. Accessed October 19, 2022. (This analysis was commissioned by Hello Heart, which provided a summary report of self-fundedemployer client medical claims data for 203 Hello Heart users and 200 non-users from 2017-2020. Findings have not been subjected to peer review.)