health123
Health123 is a platform that offers an individualized guide for improving your health.

There is already a bevy of health and wellness startups out there in a very crowded space. But a new Seattle startup backed by some big names is trying to break into the scene with a robust intelligence platform that features an individualized dashboard for improving your health.

health123logoHealth123, which just raised a little over $1 million, is all about empowering people to take control of their health before they have to go to the hospital and pay big medical bills. Its mission is to “make prevention popular” by knowing which metrics to use to monitor your health.

“Fitness trends, devices and initatives will come and go, and expand and mature,” co-founder and CTO Rebecca Norlander said. “We want to be able to take in data from all of those and simply, consistently show you the impact on your health and welness at the member level.”

Norlander, a former Microsoft exec, co-founded the company with her former colleague and current Acxiom CEO Scott Howe, as well as Rachel Lanham, a former Razorfish exec. Howe had the idea of putting nice infographics together with biometric data and sought out Norlander and Lanham in the summer of 2011.

health123overview1

Two years later, Health123 is live. The website features a digital dashboard that integrates devices like FitBit and wellness programs that target specific health issues, as well as at-home blood testing. Users can create profiles, complete assessments and use tools that help you generate, understand, and keep track of all kinds of health metrics. Specifically, there five main metrics:

  1. Weight Control (includes: BMI, Waist Circumference)
  2. Heart Health (includes: Lipid Panel, Heart Risk, Blood Pressure)
  3. Nutritional Balance (includes: Diet, Digestion, Blood Sugar)
  4. Energy Levels (includes: Vitamin D, Fatigue, TSH, Sleep & Activity Habits)
  5. Emotional Wellness (includes: Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Social Wellness)

Those stats are then built into a management platform that can recommend small weekly changes to positively impact your results over time. The plan is to have users then accumulate points that can be used to unlock offers and benefits.

Health123 founders Scott Howe, Rebecca Norlander and Rachel Lanham.
Health123 founders Scott Howe, Rebecca Norlander and Rachel Lanham.

Health123 is a freemium service and Norlander compared it to LinkedIn. Individual members can use the platform for free with the option of paying for additional services.

The company plans on making money via paying entities. Health123 is working with several employers to roll the service out to their employees, who can reap the benefit of the dashboard while employers can understand their employees’ health and wellness issues better.

“They can then target them with appropriate programs and measure the efficacy of those programs over time,” Norlander explained. “At the aggregate level, we will help employers target the actual health issues in their organizations, and measure which ones work — or don’t. There are quite a few cost-saving opportunities for employers in that.”

Eventually, Norlander said she envisions Health123 as an easy-to-use tool for everyone to be more engaged in their health and wellness.

“It’s a long-term play,” Norlander said. “We’re excited. We are looking for partners and investors who want to be a part of it.”

health123infographic

Previously on GeekWire: The Most Valuable Pitches (MVPs) from Nike Accelerator Demo Day

Comments

  • Jill

    This is a particularly dumb-ass idea. Why would you use this when there are free services that do the same, even for employers. Why would any employee want to use this nanny-cam in their lives when employers would use it to discriminate? The time you need your employer’s support and insurance is when you have problems – why set yourself up for a layoff to be monitored? Health information should be private and providing a bit a of swag reward to an employee for participating is crap. A 2 dollar piece of swag or even a small reduction in premium doesn’t fix being discriminated against on the job and losing a job, and it’s those very people who need a job for insurance.

    This looks like some sort of idea to make people think these people have jobs of some importance while they don’t need to work for the money and are trying to trade up in their lives and get some media. A startup for the idle wealthy that won’t take up too much of their time?

    • Dianne Juhl

      Jill, you make a relevant point about the potential downside of employers misusing their power – their capacity to affect change for good or for ill.

      Why don’t you stick with that question and pursue it until you hear answers with which you are comfortable? Why the reach for discrediting this startup’s leadership team? Who is served by your prejudicial statements? Example: “don’t need to work for money”, “trade up in their lives”, “startup for the idle wealthy that won’t take up too much of their time”. Really, how do you know? And who benefits from this type of discrimination and bias? I would think you’d be willing to follow thru on your important question rather than take this conversation off the rails with your biased comments.

      For example, let’s consider the upside to this startups’ work. The fact is that people do want easy-to-use wellness diagnostic tools, this includes leadership of companies and/or HR departments (the employers) and employees. Fully 30% of companies indicate that medical expenses are a significant financial challenge for their employees. I believe this financial challenge is underreported by companies.

      So let’s also connect the dots between the potential usefulness and desirability of this tool and employees’ onerous medical bills (the #1 reason people go into debt). This startup’s idea could possibly help to avoid the unexpectedness expensiveness of life that employers and employees alike face when dealing with health and medical issues. The evidence is clear that financial stress overall continues to have a detrimental impact on workers, with recent studies showing a worsening effect on employee distractions and workplace productivity at large.

      My guess is that employers would want this tool for their employees so that *everyone* is paying attention to the bigger picture of career, physical, and financial well-being. Plus, everyone wins when productivity and financial well-being because people are proactively attending to health and wellness. For certain, this proactive attention is good for *both* the company and the employees’ bank accounts in the long-term.

      Abundant regards,

      ∞ Dianne

      Dianne Juhl
      Founder & CEO, The Feminine Face of Money
      email: dianne@femininefaceofmoney.com
      phone: 206.850.2261
      facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheFeminineFaceOfMoney
      twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TFFOM
      youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/DianneJuhl
      linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/diannejuhl
      pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/diannejuhl
      web: http://www.femininefaceofmoney.com

      • Jill

        I get that you have to defend your friend. However, everyone wins when health information is neither metered or monitored by an employer. Health information should only be the business of an individual and her doctors.

        There are many, many cases of discrimination as workers get older or get either temporarily or chronically sick. There are assumptions about weight and relative health and even other habits. This is the case although health information is supposed to be kept private. Whether hosted through an incentive plan or just insurance claim info.

        Claims that information will be kept private through an incentive vendor are bogus. If a company provides incentives, these incentives are reported to a company, and even premium reductions offered to employees are knowable by a company. There are few legal protections as they are often signed away under pressure.

        A person ought to be able to live as they want outside of work. This monitoring creates a society where people who hit a patch of bad luck or who don’t fit the norms are punished. People can do the same monitoring for free outside of any employer or insurance company association and it is safer for them to do so. Employees have great advantages to doing this and I’d advise any client of mine if I were a money adviser to keep it private, keep it safe, you never know if you could be targeted. Any lawyer would advise a client to remain in a better power position and private is that position.

        • Dianne Juhl

          Jill,

          I appreciate that you took the time to more fully speak your mind about the Health123 product idea. Your points are valid. I also appreciate when you debate the product concept or solutions-based ideas with me, but not when you get personal in the criticism. You don’t know me well enough to speculate on who is, or is not, in my friendship circles. You also do not know my company well enough either to speculate on possible motivations for spending my resources in commenting here, other than The Feminine Face of Money advocates for viable solutions in the problem space where Health123 is working because women’s health is universally interconnected with women’s wealth and this shapes and has impact on our financial lives for good or for ill.

          I have stated that are clear physical and economic costs of being unhealthy, and the implications for people and companies are unmistakable. My company believes these costs — the sheer physical pain and suffering and the financial burden on individuals, companies or organizations, and societies do not get enough attention. So Feminine Face of Money supports solutions which help people to monitor the essentials of physical well-being and boost it because, from a holistic perspective, these solutions could boost people’s financial and career well-being too. One of FFOM’s motto is: “Your Health is Your Wealth”

          If you want further data and evidence of the interconnection between financial, physical, and career well-being please reference a book titled Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements by Tom Rath and Jim Harter and published by Gallup after a comprehensive world study.

          Abundant regards,

          ~ Dianne Juhl, Founder & CEO
          The Feminine Face of Money
          dianne@femininefaceofmoney.com
          206.850.2261

          • Jill

            I do know you have relationships with the founders of the company. I get you have to defend them.

            The best position for any woman to be in as an employee is one where her health information is kept private, between only herself and her employer. It is true: “your health is your wealth” for if you get sick, too many employers will begin the process to look for reasons to dump you. Why provide extra documentation to them? Any lawyer or financial advisor would tell a woman, keep it private, keep it safe, when it comes to her own personal health information.

  • Jeremiah

    I’ve actually been using it for a while, and find the virtual dashboard a cool way to get a snapshot of my wellness.

  • Neil Greenwell Sr.

    What’s your deal Jill….? Why are you so adamant about criticizing a new health & wellness start up? I understand your point about companies using the info to “weed” out the high risk or problematic employees but they can find any reason to let someone go. The job market has become very competitive and if this program encourages a person take some positive personal action to “change” their health patterns to something/anything better than what they have been doing, not just for personal health & satisfaction but a way for being motivated to keep their job or to help with a promotion by improving their health or staying healthy (not creating health cost to the company or self) then I would encourage this as a positive “push” in the right direction for those that would never have any desire or self motivation to monitor their own health desire to better their self. We all could use a little positive motivation, that’s a big part of helping one another through the challenges of life whither it be exercise or Buisness/personal goals & If it saves the employer & employee money, & in the longterm improves the health of a companies employees it’s a win/win/win situation. The company saves money, has employees that have better production as a direct result of health & wellness. They will be sick less and feel good more often and know that the company values their health and that they should too. Less turnover would be a benefit as well. You would have employees that would feel more “engaged” in their company and this is a very valuable emotion that helps with retention especially going forward with the grass looking greener as companies fight to keep you or entice you jump ship. I personal see it as a positive program. It’s easy, functional and gives me a quick aesthetically appealing snapshot and reference as to where I am and useful tips and encouragements to improve and better myself. I am great full for anything that can help me be better than I was the day before all these days…. Way to GO Heath 123 !!!

    Tip: negative criticism,bitterness,spite,envy,fear are all poisonous feelings and operate like a viral virus …. Awareness to these feelings and choosing to correct our feelings & thoughts towards a more positive emotion ensures our best Health & Mental Wellness. It’s as easy as 1.2.3.

    • Jill

      Dude, if the startup can’t take criticism, then it truly is a vanity project by a few people hoping to get their egos rubbed off.

      I get it. You have some connection with the company and parrot out their press releases like a male cheerleader – “way to GO Health 123!!!” Three exclamation marks!!! Whee!!!

      I get it. You are for employers being the nanny state for employees. Employees owe them their private lives. And you say this all under the flag of concern trolling the health of employees. “we could all use motivation…” And your ethics are about making some coin out of nagging and narcing on the personal health of employees to employers.

      But for free people can monitor their own health and keep the info entirely private. Anyone who is a financial adviser, a lawyer, or just has a person’s individual interests at heart would recommend keeping all health information out of the hands of employers. Health 123 is a race to the bottom of extending employer control to people’s private lives and also to bring pressure and notice to those “bad” employees who are non-compliant for refusing to use the rating system. Even incentives and lower costs given to employees disclose the “good” people from the people that deserve to be rated “naughty” perhaps “not trying enough” by the intelligence given by some web app.

      Meanwhile, to make a better world where employees preserve their privacy and power to live as they will outside of work, there are better solutions. Better solutions for legal protections for employees. Better solutions to prevent discrimination in employment and health care coverage. Hey, even better solutions to remain motivated to make changes in your life and truly being empowered to do so, instead of giving up power.

      And I doubt I’d want the mental giants of this company passing information about me to employers. Their app looks like something a a lowly paid students did or free interns did as a project that will “lead to places” for them with an unsecure database. All the other positions in the company look like vanity positions for people that need an important title and a reason to get media from time to time.

  • Neil Greenwell Sr.

    What gets measured gets improved. You have a reference point. If it creates accountability with yourself knowing that your company is aware of your state & progress. Then you will be more apt to improve and that is the healthy bottom line. Wish we had something similar for congress.

    • Jill

      Yeah, and speaking of congress, we should work on laws that protect employees from being pressured to participate in programs that continually rate how “good” the employee is on health indices. Giving them freakin’ homework on how “good” they are at living their life or fighting age or that weight gain after pregnancy. Yes, work can never be left at work.

      A person’s job performance should be the only thing an employer tracks. Let’s tell Congress that.

  • Renee Bornfreund

    Jill – Why so angry? Understand your concern about companies misusing this information but the overall intent of this company and it’s programs are for health and wellness.

    • Jill

      It’s a bit sexist of you to assume that making good criticisms of a company is being “angry.” Perhaps if I got some botox so I wouldn’t furrow my brows…

      Seriously, if an employee objects to giving information, is your first play to ask why they are so angry? That doesn’t help sell the product, honey.

      The overall intent of the company is to make money by selling employee information to the company to reduce their insurance payload. How do you do that? By pressuring and getting rid of “problematic” employees. By using information that should be between an employee and his or her doctors. By “concern trolling” employee health, yet putting the employee at a distinct disadvantage position. The best position for an employee to be in is one where their private life and health is kept private. After all, it is when the employee begins to get health issues when they really need insurance and a job. To protect the interests of the employee, they should kept all health information private, even if they are healthy now. The option to stop giving health information or to never give health information is really a false option, because if you don’t you are “non-compliant.” The idea that the employee’s health information is kept private is false, because of analytics provided the employer and because incentives paid or given the employee is tracked and many times appears to payroll.

      People who are interested in improving their health can do so using private and free apps.

  • NG Sr.

    Many employers are jumping on the wellness trend. Even some traditional employers, such as financial and health care consulting firms, have installed treadmill desks. Some employers, including AOL, also have nap rooms, saying that sleep deprivation hurts workers’ health and productivity. Last year an annual employer survey by professional services company Towers Watson showed that the number of companies offering financial incentives to get healthier has doubled from 36 percent in 2009 to 61 percent in 2012.

    At a time of soaring health care costs, employers see the wellness programming as a worthwhile investment. There’s a “need to find solutions,” Weizel told KARE-11. As a result, Dairy Queen also plans to soon add yoga and fitness classes on site.

    http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2013/06/27/dairy-queen-treadmill-desks/

Job Listings on GeekWork