Bill Gianoukos from GoodPath talks about Digitization in the Employee wellness arena and Workforce Health Management
1. Tell us about your role at Goodpath.
I’m CEO of Goodpath. I founded Goodpath with my two co-founders, Carl Nehme and Dr. Akl Fahed in 2018 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I work alongside world-class medical, technology, and product teams to bring a better approach to health.
2. Can you tell us about your journey into this market?
We founded Goodpath because we saw that traditional healthcare in the US is broken. Our current healthcare system focuses on diseases that affect life expectancy like cancer or heart disease. However, care for chronic conditions that don’t impact life expectancy but have a negative impact on quality of life, like musculoskeletal care, is complicated, costly, and doesn’t always result in positive outcomes. Often, patients have to stitch together treatment on their own, going from specialist to specialist, and never getting at the root of their condition.
Carl, Akl, and I have the ability to address that. Carl and I are serial entrepreneurs and technology leaders. Before Goodpath, we co-founded an augmented reality platform that we sold to Wayfair, where we both got what I call PhDs in ecommerce. Akl is a cardiologist and scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He is an advocate of integrative care as a more effective treatment approach than conventional care alone and is a thought leader in healthcare innovation
We have seen amazing growth which only confirms our suspicion that there is a need for innovative solutions like Goodpath.
3. How do you think technology is changing the HR Sector?
Technology is making care more accessible – the only trick is still finding it.
Technology has helped employers offer innovative health and wellness benefits to their employees.
That has been particularly important during this pandemic when access to traditional care has decreased.
4. How is digitization reforming the employee wellness arena?
Digital care is making it easier than ever for employees to get access to quality care from the comfort of their own home. It’s also allowing for much greater personalization, where people can get custom-designed care, as opposed to a “one size fits all” playlist of stretches or breathing exercises. Since no two people are alike, their care should not be either.
At Goodpath, we make the process very simple AND completely personalized. All employees have to do is:
1. Take a 5-minute health assessment covering all aspects of their care
2. Enroll in an individualized program that’s accessible from your home and includes physical therapy, nutrition, mental wellness treatments, medications, and more
3. Engage with your dedicated health coach who supports you every step of the way
5. How can companies take a unique approach to workplace health and wellness offerings?
Simply put, integrative care is the leading approach to workplace health and wellness for innovative companies. Integrative care is more effective than conventional care alone. Multiple clinical studies have shown significant improvement in individuals’ health outcomes and a massive reduction in employers’ healthcare costs. Specifically:
● 4 out of 5 people report less back pain
● 4 out of 5 people report better sleep
● 7 out of 10 have reduced IBS symptoms
Successful integrative solutions are also digital/physical hybrids, allowing access anywhere, including an employee’s home. In fact, a survey showed that 83% of people prefer to continue telehealth even after the pandemic recedes. The digital healthcare model aligns with the new work-from-home-and-office model. Online integrative care will become the new norm and will lead to smooth program adoption.
At Goodpath, we offer integrative care directly to employees. We provide treatment plans personalized to each person’s unique and complex condition. With every employer Goodpath onboarded in 2020, we consistently received feedback from benefits managers that, compared to other solutions, our programs are adopted much quicker by their employees.
6. Why is integrative wellness critical to assuaging issues related to dwindling mental health and wellness?
Work from home has taken a severe toll on employees’ mental and physical health. It is causing employees to be more stressed, sleepless, and experience severe burnout, which can be challenging to manage without access to the appropriate resources. Many employees are also working longer hours, taking away from the time needed for mental health treatments and exercise, time with family and friends, or simply relaxing.
Because of this, employees need different types of support from their employers. Integrative care treats the whole person, not just symptoms. It accounts for stress as both a cause and symptom of pain, troubled sleep, or digestive issues. We know this is true in our customer base, as a recent Goodpath Employer Health Index study found that 79% of people taking our sleep assessment experience symptoms of both anxiety and depression. Our integrative programs are designed to account for that, addressing stress as well as other contributing factors, to provide members with complete solutions, as opposed to a single treatment approach.
7. How does integrative care specifically differ from conventional care?
Integrative care combines conventional and complementary care. It uses multiple modalities to treat a person, which allows Goodpath to treat the whole person.
8. How do employees benefit more directly from integrative care?
Delivering comprehensive wellness cannot be achieved by adding piece-meal activities like an on-site yoga studio or a free subscription to a meditation app. Employees have the arduous task of patching together different treatment plans on their own. It also assumes that employees are self-motivated and can overcome the pandemic fatigue of replacing live resources with online ones.
Integrative care is the new tool employers can now offer to their workforce. It works better than conventional care alone and as we mentioned, is highly personalized, making it that much more likely that employees will start and stick with a treatment program that leads to better health outcomes.
9. What are some of the tips for employees as they navigate burnout, and why aren’t typical employee assistance programs (EAPs) enough when it comes to addressing mental disorders?
This pandemic has brought new words to our vocabulary, like “tech neck”, “doomscrolling”, “covid-fatigue”. They reflect the reality that living through this pandemic has taken a real toll on the mind and body. The definition of one’s health, now more than ever, includes mental health. Addressing chronic conditions is complicated by the effects of social isolation, inertia, and lack of direct access to services.
Employers offer solutions in the form of EAPs. Those can be great resources for people in danger, but are often underutilized by people who are “just pushing through it”.. Goodpath programs include emotional and physical components. We consider the whole person and create a plan to meet their short- and long-term needs for back pain, troubled sleep, and digestive health. For the best possible health outcomes, employers and HR teams must turn to options that address the whole body through a holistic approach to treatment.
10. What book are you currently reading?
I just finished Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. It’s an amazing “insiders view” on how our healthcare system is optimizing for extending life expectancy (Survival) vs quality of life. Our mission in Goodpath is to improve quality of life for our members and Dr Gawande’s message resonates with our team.
11. We have heard that you have a very joyful work culture, we won’t mind having a look at some of the pictures?
Sure. Here are some from when we were still in office and some while we are remote. You’ll see even when we are all remote, we focus on maintaining connection through little things like happy hours or inside jokes.
12. Can you give us a glance of the applications you use on your phone?
Being an early entrepreneur in mobile, I have 100s if not 1000s of applications on my mobile devices (I have both an iPhone and a Pixel). The apps I use most often are typically effective but dull productivity apps and music apps.
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