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    Delivering prevention programs at scale

    In February, Amplar Health partnered with Amwell, a leader in healthcare technology, as part of our commitment to support the millions of Australians who are diagnosed with chronic disease. The aim is to deliver digital prevention programs to Australians at scale which will lead to real improvements across the health system.

    Last week, we sat down with John Jesser, General Manager at Amwell, and Rob Read, Group Lead, Amplar Health, to talk about the partnership as well as Amwell’s success internationally.

    John, tell us more about Amwell….

    JOHN: Amwell was founded in 2006 by brothers Ido and Roy Schoenberg, both physicians, who believed technology could change healthcare.

    Now, nearly 20 years later, Amwell’s hybrid care platform enables more than 2,000 hospitals and many of the world’s largest health systems to provide in-person, digital and automated healthcare.

    Amwell is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, and has approximately 1,000 employees worldwide. Ido and Roy remain co-leaders of the company.

    What excites you about the partnership?

    JOHN: Healthcare has traditionally been reactive and focused on treating people who are already sick. The Amplar Health and Amwell partnership is the first-of-its-kind in Australia because it leverages digital capabilities to keep people healthy.

    Through our work together, we’ll deliver digital health prevention programs at scale to ensure more Australians have the tools they need to set personal health goals and make lifestyle changes that can help them live longer and healthier lives.

    ROB: Utilising world leading technology, such as Amwell’s platforms, is crucial in order to deliver prevention programs at scale.

    Underpinned by Amplar clinical expertise, Amwell’s easy to-use digital health solutions provide people with health information and advice in a digestible and timely way – it’s going to enable us to reach more Australians and support them with health goals.

    Importantly, accelerating the adoption of digital health solutions will lead to real improvements across the Australian health system.

    Based on your experience globally, why do you believe digital prevention programs are so important?

    JOHN: Preventing or modifying risk factors such as tobacco smoking, unhealthy diets or physical inactivity can reduce the likelihood of developing a chronic condition. We're working to prevent chronic diseases from forming, rather than simply treating them when they do.

    Traditionally, prevention programs are delivered 1:1 between a patient and a clinician – which means we are limited in reach. What we see globally is that digital prevention programs can help us reach significantly more people and therefore have greater impact. This is game-changing.

    Outside of Australia, where else do you have partnerships and what has the patient feedback been?

    JOHN: Amwell also works with healthcare providers in the US, South Africa, the UK and Ireland.

    We have a longstanding partnership with the National Health Service. The UK provider relies on our technology to deliver its mental health prevention programs. In fact, more than 700,000 people in the UK have used our platform and it has a 93 percent patient satisfaction rating.

    The Health Service Executive in Ireland also relies on our platform to provide patients with digital behavioral health support. With a 94 percent satisfaction rate, more than 12,000 people in Ireland have used the platform for their mental health needs.

    When will Australians start to benefit from this partnership?

    ROB: Medibank customers will be the first to benefit from prevention programs utilising the Amwell technology. We anticipate launching a pilot lifestyle management program to Medibank customers that’s designed to promote wellness and prevent chronic disease.

    Following a health check with an Amplar Health Registered Nurse, eligible Medibank customers will be referred to the program.

    Customers will be supported by a digital assistant, and where needed, a health coach, to ensure they achieve the best outcomes. Amplar Health medical professionals are configuring the programs with the Amwell clinical team, ensuring the initiatives are safe and effective for Australian patients.

    Medibank customers with these risk factors for chronic disease will be eligible to access the program:

    • Currently smoking and/or vaping
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol
    • Physical inactivity
    • Poor diet
    • Weight and/or waist measurement outside the healthy range

    Amplar is also in discussions with other funders to extend the Amwell offering to other customers.

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