Seattle, WA (June 12, 2018) – Brook, a leading digital health platform for chronic disease management, and Independent Health today announced a strategic partnership to provide enhanced resources to help its members self-manage their care and make the best decisions about their health. In addition to collaboration on technology development and delivery of new services, Independent Health is participating in Brook’s round of financing. With Independent Health, Brook has completed a seed round of $4m from a group of investors. President and CEO, Michael W. Cropp, M.D., MBA, will also join the Board of Directors of Brook.
Brook, a Seattle based digital health company, is developing a personal health assistant technology that provides simple, impactful, data driven support – with medical and health services professional coaching – to help individuals manage diabetes and other chronic conditions. Independent Health, headquartered in Buffalo, has about 380,000 members, and is known for its innovative health-related products and services, which enable affordable access to quality health care.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic diseases and conditions are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems:
- As of 2012 about half of all U.S. adults — 117 million people — had one or more chronic health conditions. One in four adults had two or more chronic health conditions.
- By 2014, 40% of adults 40-49 years old and 37% of adults older than 60 years old were obese.
- Seven of the top 10 causes of death in 2014 were chronic diseases. Two of these chronic diseases — heart disease and cancer — together accounted for nearly 46 percent of all deaths in the United States.
- Eighty-six percent of the nation’s $2.7 trillion annual health care expenditures are for people with chronic and mental health conditions. These costs can be reduced.
- From 2012 to 2017 the cost of diabetes increased 26%
- In 2017, the cost of diabetes was $237 billion in direct medical costs and $90 billion in reduced productivity. The largest contributors to the cost of diabetes were higher use of prescription medications beyond diabetes medications ($71.2 billion) while medications and supplies to directly treat the diabetes were about half of that ($34.6 billion).
New Innovations: Assisting with the management of chronic conditions
“Our partnership with Independent Health is ground-breaking for individuals seeking to manage their chronic diabetes condition, and it is equally exciting for medical and health care professionals. Independent Health is a great partner for Brook because of its innovative approach to providing the best medical and health services to the community. Independent Health is sharply attuned to the fact that consumers want to be empowered in a “light weight” fashion – an approach that can be done at their convenience and, most importantly, one that is highly personal to them. Today, technology can help personalize treatment using a process that can be customized and flexible,” said Oren Nissim, Co-founder and CEO, Brook.
Independent Health is dedicated to providing its members with tools, resources and benefits to better manage their health. This includes being one of the first health plans in the country to offer a nutrition benefit that rewards members for buying fresh fruits and vegetables. The company also established a wellness program, called FitWorks® Rewards, for all of its small group and individual members to help keep them motivated and to stay on track with their health by offering monthly rewards that can be used for a variety of health and wellness goods or services.
In keeping with this strategy to engage its members in their health, Independent Health worked with Brook in 2017 on a pilot program to provide its digital personal assistant to help Independent Health members with diabetes better manage their health via a smartphone.
“Due to the overwhelming success of the initial pilot and how well it was received, we have partnered with Brook to expand the capabilities of its digital personal assistant to help more of our members with chronic conditions,” said Dr. Cropp. “One of the key actions needed to improve the quality and efficiency of health care is providing individuals with programs, services and resources to make better, more informed health choices; Brook aligns perfectly with this effort.”
How Brook Works - Augmented Intelligence
Brook combines the collection and assessment of data with the opportunity for human connection and conversation via its specialist expert team. The goal is to empower people to have complete control over the management of their condition, turning it into a natural course of action and behavior. The technology allows for easy data collection, and capability of turning the information into insights for people to make impactful decisions about their heath.
Utilizing mobile sensors, Brook tracks and interprets critical data such as activity and sleep, and runs a powerful routine analysis engine that quickly captures diabetes and behavior data. Brook than combines and connects the use of a chatbot with a human expert team. This unique process is Augmented Intelligence - to provide people with a 24/7 support for their successful diabetes management.
Educating Consumers and Medical Professionals
“Diabetes is a condition that stays with you every day. To live with it requires patience, and people with diabetes must make countless small decisions on a daily basis. People with chronic conditions need solutions to help manage their health better. What’s exciting about Brook is that it can help people – every day – remain engaged in the management and oversight of their condition. Brook is charting a new course for diabetes management,” said Dr. Irl Hirsch, Head of Medical Advisory Board, and University of Washington School of Medicine.
Adds Nissim: “Because of opportunities with data analytics and machine learning, Brook can specialize in Augmented Intelligence: empowering people to do more at home and making recommendations that are highly personal to focus on what the patient needs in the moment. Our mission at Brook is to empower and inspire people to live their lives without the burden associated with managing a chronic condition. We look forward to working with individuals and medical professionals from across the country to educate people about this self-managed service.”
Brook is your Personal Diabetes Assistant and your companion for personal empowerment and intelligent support.
Brook provides simple, savvy, data-driven support to help you stay in a healthy blood sugar zone. The company believes in progressive empowerment for better living with diabetes and other conditions. For more information, please visit: