Animation finds a home in developing apps that better manage diabetes

Animation finds a home in developing apps that better manage diabetes

Healthimation is combining digital animation, personal interaction and interactive learning to create a healthcare app for bettering managing diabetes.

Apps can be effective tools for helping patients better manage their health, but if an app fails to fully engage the patient, odds are the patient won’t use it as prescribed or at all.

Recognizing that solving the patient engagement puzzle plays a big role in the success of a healthcare app, Boston start-up Healthimation is combining digital animation, personal interaction and interactive learning to create a healthcare app aimed at keeping users interested and engaged for better managing diabetes.

Based on the Joslin Clinic’s Why Wait program for managing diabetes, Healthimation’s mobile app helps diabetes patients improve their overall health and lose weight by creating a fun and animated environment to guide them through the Why Wait program.

"Healthimation charges patients $49.99 a month to use the app, however, some insurers have shown a willingness to cover the cost of the app in trials."

“Putting a structured medical program into an app is challenging, but creating an app that engages all the different user segments to prevent churn is equally as challenging,” says Seavey Bowdoin, CEO for Healthimation. “Engagement can’t just be achieved through the use of text and images.”

To give its app the stickiness needed to appeal to the wide range of diabetics likely to use it, Healthimation created an animated character named Lena that guides patients through the program and serves as a virtual companion on their journey.  As a character Lena is fit, but also funny, aspiration, and portrays emotions to which users can relate through facial expressions that celebrate a patient’s achievement or express concern when goals are not being met. She will also do the unexpected at times, such as remind the patient to weigh herself or ask the patient if she has eaten, to keep patients engaged, says Bowdoin.

Lena also guides diabetes patients through exercise programs, demonstrating the proper technique for each exercise. To ensure that Lena demonstrates proper form when doing each exercise, Healthimation wired exercise physiologists with body motion sensors as they performed each exercise and captured their movements in in three dimensional images. Lena’s character was then superimposed onto the 3D images. Exercise plans are personalized to a patient’s physical needs and conditioning.

Nutrition plans are tailored to a patient’s food preferences to establish healthy eating habits to help them lose weight and keep it off. Patients are also paired with a certified, personal health coach with which they can chat individually through the app and as part of a group session. Each coach manages a group of 15 patients.

The idea for adapting Why Wait to a healthcare app grew out of Bowdoin’s experience as a Type 2 diabetes patient at Boston’s Joslin Clinic, which is an affiliate of Harvard Medical School. After successfully completing the Why Wait program, Bowdoin approached his physician Dr. Osama Hamdy, who is also the medical director of the obesity clinical program at Joslin Diabetes Center and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, about developing an app around Why Wait. Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that may be reversed through diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes.

“The Why Wait program has 12 years of clinical evidence that it works and I thought why not find a way to make it accessible to people outside the Joslin Clinic,” says Bowdoin a former executive with Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment division.

Currently, several health systems—Atrius Health, UMass Memorial Health Care—and Boston Children’s Hopsital are using Healthimation’s Why Wait app. The company is also in discussions with insurance carriers and employers about making its app available. Arabic and Chinese language versions of the app are also being tested in Dubai and China, respectively, the company says.

Healthimation charges patients $49.99 a month to use the app, however, some insurers have shown a willingness to cover the cost of the app in trials, Bowdoin says. The company is also talking to insurance carriers about including coverage for the app in their plans.

Down the road, Healthimation plans to enhance the Why Wait app’s engagement capabilities by creating storylines for Lena outside diabetes management. One potential storyline involves casting the character as a film noir detective that interacts with users to solve a mystery. “Going outside the normal parameters of a health app to infuse entertainment helps develop more affinity for the app and trust in using it,” Bowdoin says.

WBUR: From Dying Wishes To Support For Substance Users: How 5 Health Startups Tackle Tough Problems

From "From Dying Wishes To Support For Substance Users: How 5 Health Startups Tackle Tough Problems" by Rachel Zimmerman for WBUR.org

Seavey Bowdoin, a banker turned video game executive, was overweight and suffering from Type 2 diabetes when he walked in to the Joslin Diabetes Center for help. There, he met Dr. Osama Hamdy, medical director of the hospital's obesity program. As the two chatted about treatment options, they came up with what would become the startup Healthimation. They envisioned a super-engaging, game-like digital platform that was visually luscious and compelling; one that would take diabetes sufferers through a rigorous, evidence based program called, "Why WAIT."

Bowdoin went through the program himself and to date has lost about 60 pounds, putting his diabetes into remission, he says. But sticking with the regimen was tough, and often painful. "Nobody wants to change their lives. It's incredibly difficult," he said. Any site trying to tackle weight loss and obesity must also address emotional and behavioral challenges, he added: "Because it's such a miserable process, we had to make it fun.

As a former senior director for Warner Brothers who worked on games including "Lord of the Rings," "Batman" and violent "Mortal Combat" products, Bowdoin recruited friends from the gaming world and Hollywood to join the company.

One element that makes the product feel different than the multitude of weight loss apps available is Lena, the beguiling digital companion, who serves as the user's trusty guide. Carefully designed to be perky, just a little curvy, fun and relatable, Lena takes patients through a daily journey toward healthier living through humor, stories, cooking tips, positive reinforcement and various visual treats. She's like a Pixar-infused Lucille Ball. "We created a crazy app that doesn't look like health care," Bowdoin says, "so every day you want to go back."

Alaina Adams, a Ph.D. engineer, is Healthimation's CEO. She says the site essentially takes an established, hospital-based weight-loss program and "frees it from the walls of the hospital" so it can be used in a mobile environment by patients around the world. Ultimately, she says, it could draw insurers to cover the program and also bring down health care costs. The tough part, she says, is to stand out amid so many other weight loss programs and to actually change longstanding behavior. "We've looked at what works outside the health care industry. Why are people playing 'Candy Crush' and all these games?"

The first 12 weeks of the program are more intense, with a personalized nutrition and exercise plan. To deal with the potential emotional barriers, the site also connects users to a personal health coach and a support group (real, not virtual).

The product is now being used in a number of pilot locations, but Adams says there are several partnerships in the works, including some hospitals. Currently, Healthimation is launching in the U.S. and China, and looking to expand in the Middle East, with a regional office in the United Arab Emirates.

Providence Business News: Dr. Hamdy educates business leaders about diabetes at RIGBH summit

DR. OSAMA HAMDY, medical director of Joslin Diabetes Center’s obesity clinical program, was the keynote speaker at the Rhode Island Business Group on Health diabetes summit on Jan. 20. PBN PHOTO/NANCY KIRSCH

DR. OSAMA HAMDY, medical director of Joslin Diabetes Center’s obesity clinical program, was the keynote speaker at the Rhode Island Business Group on Health diabetes summit on Jan. 20.

PBN PHOTO/NANCY KIRSCH

PROVIDENCE – Dr. Osama Hamdy, medical director of Joslin Diabetes Center’s obesity clinical program, calls diabetes a “global health crisis” wreaking havoc on an individual’s eyes, kidneys, feet, nerves, heart, reflexes, etc., and reducing one’s longevity. “I usually say [diabetes] is like termites; you don’t see it, but, in reality, it affects every single organ in the body,” said Hamdy, who also directs the inpatient diabetes program at Joslin, which is affiliated with Harvard Medical School, and who served as the keynote speaker at the Rhode Island Business Group on Health’s “Summit on Diabetes Prevention,” which was held Jan. 20 at the Providence Marriott Downtown.

Across the country – and in Rhode Island – the situation is dire. Every year, approximately 69,000 Rhode Islanders are diagnosed with diabetes; currently, approximately 108,000 Rhode Islanders have diabetes, only some of whom know their diagnosis. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that diabetes has an approximately $1.1 billion annual impact in Rhode Island – an estimated $800 million was spent in 2012 on direct medical expenses for diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes, pre-diabetes and gestational diabetes, and another $300 million was spent in 2012 on indirect costs from lost productivity due to diabetes. Further, CDC data show that medical costs for people with diagnosed diabetes incur an average of 2.3 times the medical expenses of their non-diabetic peers. Approximately 43 percent of employees in Rhode Island diagnosed with diabetes are responsible for an estimated 87,000 work days lost due to diabetes in any single year.

“After Joslin enrolled prediabetic patients several years ago in a randomized clinical trial to prevent Type 2 diabetes and followed their progress for several years, we were shocked by the results,” said Hamdy. Lifestyle changes – consume less fat and fewer calories, exercise at least 150 minutes a week and maintain a loss of 7 percent of body weight – led to a 58 percent risk reduction in developing diabetes, while taking Metformin, an oral diabetes medicine, achieved a 31 percent risk reduction.

Discovering that group intervention and social interaction, engagement with a health coach and regular follow-up helped ensure compliance with nutrition and exercise lifestyle changes, Joslin developed Why WAIT, a program offering those resources that earned an American Diabetes Association award in 2015. Why WAIT is expensive, Hamdy acknowledged, and not easily accessed by people across the country.

Enter Healthimation, a Boston-based company that licensed the Why WAIT program from Joslin to offer individuals the program’s key elements via a mobile phone app. Available in multiple languages, the app includes an avatar named Lena, online learning, personalized schedules, customized food and fitness choices, and access to a human coach.

An individual consumer’s subscription cost for the app is $50 a month for the first three months, with a monthly maintenance fee thereafter, said Healthimation Chief Executive Officer Alaina Adams. As for employers and health insurers, Healthimation, whose board president is Hamdy, seeks to create “win-win” scenarios to share in those companies’ financial successes derived from the progress employees and insureds make to improve their health. “We’ll talk to them about some shared business model [for the cost],” said Adams, who expects to release news soon of some major companies’ interest in the Healthimation app.

The app, which will continue to evolve and offer new features, is convenient and simple to use, said Adams. “We’re pushing the envelope in integrating with wearable technologies and GPS,” by recommending nearby restaurants and grocery stores with healthy food choices and offering incentives and discounts. The Why WAIT program can integrate with employees’ electronic medical records and help drive down health care costs, asserted Adams.

Healthimation, which hired individuals from the video game industry, is one of 31 entities, chosen from more than 430 applicants, named to the first digital health startup cohort established by MassChallenge, a technology accelerator in Boston. Healthimation and other participants in the PULSE@MassChallenge initiative will work in MassChallenge’s innovation lab for six months, receive advice and counsel from Boston-area advisers and compete for more than $100,000 in awards.

“The statistics on diabetes are shocking [and] unacceptable… 80 percent of Type 2 diabetes is preventable,” Robin Bouvier, co-chair of the RIBGH Health & Productivity Committee, said at the summit. “We’re not seeing the public outcry the way we have with tobacco. … [Diabetes] is killing our workforce and driving down results in Rhode Island and across the country.” Obesity – closely correlated with diabetes – has supplanted tobacco as the number one cause of preventable death.

With approximately one in 11 people in the country having diabetes – more than 29 million –diabetes is the most common disease in U.S. hospitals, Hamdy said. Noting that obesity and diabetes is on the rise, he attributed the genesis of this growing problem to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food pyramid from the 1980s, which pushed carbohydrate consumption.

Redox: CES2017 Friday Recap: Healthcare Goes Virtual

Redox: CES2017 Friday Recap: Healthcare Goes Virtual

Healthimation provides a taste of healthcare’s coming “gamification” revolution.

From "Redox: CES2017 Friday Recap: Healthcare Goes Virtual" by George McLaughlin for Redox.

As the story goes, former video game experts from Warner Brothers, Vivendi Universal, and Hasbro got together to form an “entertainment studio” for healthcare. Their first product is a diabetes management application built on the long standing diabetes management program, “WhyWAIT”.

What struck me about Healthimation’s demo of their application was the quality of the digital avatar, “Lena”. She seemed more like a character out of the newest Pixar film than some emotionless virtual assistant. While “gamifying” evidenced-based clinical programs is an obvious opportunity, the difficult part lies in actually making a compelling game. If Healthimation’s product in use comes anywhere close to the quality of the demo, they may be on to something big. Definitely a group worth keeping an eye on. 

Check out this article for more information on the Healthimation.

Weight Loss and Its Cardiovascular Benefits Continue for Five Years in Real-World Clinical Practice

Why WAIT reduces risks for obese patients with diabetes—even those with relatively little weight loss over the long run.

BOSTON – (January 4, 2017) – Joslin Diabetes Center’s intensive life-style intervention program for obese patients with diabetes continues to offer health benefits for participants five years after they begin the intervention, a new study demonstrates. Participants in the Why WAIT (Weight Achievement and Intensive Management) program lost substantial amounts of weight, and even those who maintained relatively little loss of weight after five years demonstrated reduced risks of cardiovascular disease.

Osama Hamdy, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.E. is a senior endocrinologist, clinical investigator and Medical Director of the Obesity Clinical Program and Director of the Inpatient Diabetes Program at Joslin Diabetes Center, and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Osama Hamdy, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.E. is a senior endocrinologist, clinical investigator and Medical Director of the Obesity Clinical Program and Director of the Inpatient Diabetes Program at Joslin Diabetes Center, and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

The study followed 129 Why WAIT participants with an average body-mass index (BMI) of 38 (a BMI higher than 30 is considered obese). Participants showed an average loss of body weight of 9.7% (24 pounds) at the completion of the initial 12-week intervention, and maintained an average loss of 6.4% (16 pounds) at five years.

“This weight loss was very impressive, since we know from previous research that if this population can maintain a 7% weight loss, they show a marked improvement in insulin sensitivity and many other cardiovascular risk factors,” says Osama Hamdy, M.D., Ph.D., medical director of Joslin’s obesity clinical program and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the longest follow-up in the real world of clinical practice to show encouraging results that weight loss can be achieved and maintained,” adds Hamdy, lead author on a report about the research in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.

Among Why WAIT participants, the study found, reaching the target 7% weight loss after one year was a good predictor of maintaining weight loss over longer periods. The researchers divided the participants into two groups, depending on whether participants reached that level of weight loss after a year. The group that didn’t achieve this goal saw an average weight loss of 3.5% after five years, while the second group (with 53% of participants) maintained an average loss of 9.0% at that time.

These varied results were reflected in measurements of hemoglobin A1C levels. (A1C is a standard assessment of blood glucose levels over two to three months, and people with type 2 diabetes seek to keep their A1C levels below 7.0%.)  The higher-weight-loss group saw average A1C levels drop from 7.4% to 6.4% at 12 weeks and then slowly climb to 7.3% over the five-year period. In the lower-weight-loss group, results were not so positive—average A1C decreased from 7.5% to 6.7% at 12 weeks and then rose to 8.0% at five years.

These A1C trends were reflected in patient use of insulin and drugs that help maintain control of blood glucose levels, blood pressure and cholesterol level. Prescriptions of these medications increased significantly among lower-weight-loss participants, but either did not change or dropped in the higher-weight-loss group at five years.

However, the lower-weight-loss group maintained better LDL (bad cholesterol) and HDL (good cholesterol) levels over five years, and their average blood pressure remained unchanged during that time.

The higher-weight-loss group also maintained improvements in their LDL and HDL levels over the length of the study. Additionally, these participants showed lower blood pressure at 18 months, although blood pressure returned to baseline levels after five years.

The Joslin study didn’t include a control group of patients, but obese people with type 2 diabetes generally continue to gain weight over time, increasing their risks of cardiovascular damage, Hamdy says.

Launched in 2005, the Why WAIT program aims to deliver an innovative and achievable combination of nutritional, exercise, medication, learning and monitoring offerings. Among its benefits, for example, “the plan is designed to maintain muscle mass during weight loss so most of the weight loss is from the fat mass, and people will retain high energy expenditure for long-term,” Hamdy says. “This study demonstrated that they were able to do this.”

In addition to lifestyle interventions, obese patients with diabetes may have the option of weight-loss treatment with medications, gastrointestinal procedures and bariatric surgery. In studies comparing Why WAIT with two common types of surgery, it was found that patients in the intervention program reported better or equal improvement in quality of life compared with those who underwent surgery, Hamdy says.

Why WAIT is also a good model for diabetes prevention in patients with prediabetes, and for those who are obese without other medical problems, he says.

Last year, research on the program won the American Diabetes Association’s Michaela Modan Memorial Award.

“This program is giving hope to many people with diabetes that there is something that works for weight loss and can work for a long time,” he says. “People can maintain their weight loss, and their big benefits in cardiovascular risk factors and diabetes control.”

Other co-authors on the paper, all from Joslin, included Adham Mottalib, Amr Morsi, Nuha El-Sayed, Ann Goebel-Fabbri, Gillian Arathuzik, Jacqueline Shahar, Amanda Kirpitch and John Zrebiec. The Why WAIT program has received grants from Novartis Nutrition and LifeScan, but those companies were not involved in the study.

BusinessWire: Healthimation Launches, Announces First Digital Product For Weight Management

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Healthimation, a company addressing global health issues through evidence-based clinical programs and innovative technology, today announced it has officially launched the company and unveiled its first product offering currently in development.

“As I experienced clinically-proven programs literally changing my patients’ lives, I wanted to assemble a very different company, one able to extend these benefits to a much wider audience by raising the level of engagement through a combination of techniques used in the world of entertainment”

Healthimation was founded by Dr. Osama Hamdy, MD, Ph.D., who is currently Medical Director of the Obesity Clinical Program at the Joslin Diabetes Center.

Healthimation’s key differentiator comes from its executive team. Dr. Hamdy assembled a unique mix of seasoned digital health professionals with experts from non-conventional healthcare areas such as video games and animation.

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The team has united to create the world’s first animation studio for healthcare. Healthimation utilizes Hollywood animation and gaming industry expertise applying them to healthcare programs. The resulting mobile solution delivers personalized, evidence-based health programs, already proven effective in the clinical setting, to a large group of patients in a simple, highly-engaging and entertaining format, regardless of location.

“As I experienced clinically-proven programs literally changing my patients’ lives, I wanted to assemble a very different company, one able to extend these benefits to a much wider audience by raising the level of engagement through a combination of techniques used in the world of entertainment,” said Dr. Hamdy. “We assembled a core team from fields like gaming, animation, and human interaction to attack the same problem from totally different angles. Our goal is to deliver highly-effective programs while engaging patients each day with entertainment and information, ultimately leading to the same successful outcomes previously only achievable in a clinical setting.”

Prior to launch, Healthimation acquired key resources from the company NuPlanit including its CEO Alaina Adams, who will now serve as CEO of Healthimation. NuPlanit’s proprietary evidence-based principles of phenotyping, nutrition science, behavior science, and machine learning capabilities will help Healthimation expand its overall ability to help keep patients on track with their treatment outside of the clinical setting.

“Dr. Hamdy’s vision in creating Healthimation provides something drastically missing in healthcare—a way to provide the best possible clinical programs remotely with the essential component of human interaction to ensure effectiveness,” said Alaina Adams, CEO, Healthimation. “Our solution is innovative and disruptive because it allows us to leverage behavior science along with simple, fun daily tasks for nutrition and exercise that any user can understand and achieve. More than just a nutrition or an exercise plan, our approach blends education and entertainment for a truly unique and enjoyable experience.”

Adams is joined by Seavey Bowdoin, a former Senior Director at Warner Brothers Interactive, who has been appointed COO of Healthimation. Other additions to the team include former NuPlanit executive, Robert Jahreis, as Chief Business Intelligence Officer and former Creative Studio Director at Warner Brothers Interactive, Mark Thompson, as Chief Creative Officer.

Introducing Healthimation Why WAITTM

Powered by the Healthimation mobile platform, the Healthimation Why WAIT core curriculum is based on Joslin Diabetes Center’s successful Why WAITTM program, developed and offered for over twelve years at the Joslin Clinic in Boston. Joslin, affiliated with Harvard Medical School, is recognized as one of the nation’s foremost experts on diabetes and obesity treatment and care.

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Healthimation Why WAIT is a multidisciplinary approach created to reduce weight in overweight and obese patients with diabetes or prediabetes or those at risk of developing diabetes. Healthimation Why WAIT integrates gaming-style tasks and rewards combined with Hollywood-grade animation. Real human interaction with mobile communication tools extend the reach of Healthimation’s mobile program beyond the physical clinical setting while incorporating some of the traditional aspects of the original 12-week program that include structured nutrition, individualized exercise plans and behavioral modifications as well as one-on-one coaching.

“The Joslin Clinic-based Why WAIT program, which won the 2015 Michaela Modan Memorial Award of the American Diabetes Association, has been a success at Joslin Diabetes Center. I believe with Healthimation’s unique mobile application approach, it can not only expand out of the clinical setting but also be applied to address important issues such as overall healthy living,” added Dr. Hamdy.

As presented at the 75th annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association, Boston, MA 20151, participants in the Joslin Clinic-based Why WAIT program average over 24 pounds of weight loss during the twelve-week program and maintain 6.4% of weight loss even after five years. More than half of participants maintain over 9% weight loss. For participants with diabetes, 82% achieved their target glucose control and reduced related medications by up to 60% and reduced diabetes-related costs by 44% per year.

“Twenty-nine million people have been given a diabetes diagnosis and 86 million people are estimated to have prediabetes in the US. The majority of them are overweight, which is an epidemic we need to address,” said Adams. “Healthimation has licensed the right to modify for a mobile application this most effective and proven program from the Joslin Diabetes Center. We hope our app will drastically improve lives while reducing the total cost of diabetes, which has increased to more than $245 billion dollars.”

Healthimation has already begun aligning itself with strategic global partners to fully realize Dr. Hamdy’s vision of putting the best possible health programs in the hands of people who need them.

About Healthimation
Healthimation is helping solve global health issues by combining evidence-based clinical programs with cutting-edge technology and personal human interaction. The company is transforming the way healthcare treatment is being delivered outside a hospital or clinic setting with its mobile platform that applies gaming architecture around evidence-based health programs and curriculum. Healthimation’s behavior-based approach helps individuals improve physical and emotional health while helping organizations reduce overall costs. To learn more about Healthimation, please visit healthimation.com.

1. Hamdy O, Mottalib A, Morsi A, Goebel-Fabbri A, Elsayed N, Arathuzik G, Shahar J, Kirpitch A, Zrebiec JF, Beaton J, Rizzotto JA, Shehabeldin M, Richard J, Carver C, Abrahamson MJ. The Long-Term Effects of Intensive Lifestyle Intervention on Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Patients with Diabetes in a Real-World Clinical Practice: A 5-Year Longitudinal Study.

Contacts

For Press Only:
Healthimation
Alaina Adams, 617-880-9854
info@healthimation.com

MedCityNews: How animation can help improve patient experience

Dr. Osama Hamdy, the medical director for Joslin Diabetes Center’s Obesity Clinical Program, developed a weight management program targeting people at risk of developing diabetes or who need help to manage Type 2 diabetes. Now he has co-founded a healthcare startup to digitize that program. Boston-based Healthimation is designed to make clinically validated healthcare programs more engaging with the help of animation.

The company bills itself as “the first animation studio for healthcare,” according to a news release. Healthimation wants to ratchet up the gaming factor for its programs. To that end,  the company boasts animation chops from Warner Brothers. Healthimation’s Chief Creative Director Mark Thompson has a career steeped in 3D animation at companies such as Turbine, a gaming company owned by Warner Brothers Home Entertainment.

The avatar as coach isn’t a new trend —startups have embraced them for chronic care managementtelerehabilitation, and even for making health insurance decisions. Generally, the idea is that they are less judgy and more fun than dealing with humans.

Healthimation gives users a customized nutrition plan, an exercise program and content intended to educate them with tips on weight management and diabetes with the goal of achieving healthier behaviors, according to the company’s website. The program is also designed to help users maintain muscle mass even as they lose weight to enhance metabolism.

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Prior to its launch, Healthimation took on some of the talent and resources from virtual nutritional counseling service NuPlanit, including its founder and CEO Alaina Adams. NuPlanit is no longer active, a Healthimation spokesman confirmed. Adams is Healthimation’s CEO and co-founder.

In a phone interview with MedCity News, Adams said Healthimation is working with insurance companies and self-insured employers interested in adopting its programs, including for employer wellness programs. Although diabetes is the first program, the business plans to add others with a focus on chronic conditions.

“The way we really look at this is our health is a journey, our needs are constantly changing and that [these] changes are based on health needs,” she said. “We’re creating a visual journey to unlock rewards that are important to you.”

Healthimation licensed the Weight Achievement and Intensive Treatment, referred to as the Why WAIT program, from Joslin. In the release, Hamdy explained that with Healthimation, he wanted to expand the reach of the program to a wider audience and ramp up the engagement factor.

“We assembled a core team from fields like gaming, animation, and human interaction to attack the same problem from totally different angles. Our goal is to deliver highly effective programs while engaging patients each day with entertainment and information, ultimately leading to the same successful outcomes previously only achievable in a clinical setting.”

Correction: A previous headline was misleading. As the article notes, Dr. Osama Hamdy is the medical director for Joslin Diabetes Center’s Obesity Clinical Program.