02 Dec Episode #301: Anthony Diaz, Health Hero, CEO
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Pete Moore: This is Pete Moore on halo talks NYC coming in from San Francisco, making people happy, a billion people at a time. Anthony is going to tell us how the health insurance and the landscape is going to change because we’re going to change behavior. So Anthony, good to have you on the show.
Anthony Diaz: Absolutely. Now. Great, great to be here, Peter. I really appreciate the time.
Pete Moore: Awesome. So give us a little background on how you came to go help the hero and you know, how you turn just a passion into a profession.
Anthony Diaz: Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, I’m your nontraditional kind of like startup trope by didn’t go to Stanford, Harvard work at Facebook, Google, or vice versa. Any of that? I don’t know any of that. I’m new Rican, I’m Puerto Rican descent grew up watching benevolently. My father care for generation that typically is forgotten. Nursing home in Brooklyn is where he worked at. It was a really good nursing home. He was a dietician and had nutritionists there. I got to see him help elderly people through food and nutrition. And so that that’s in my DNA. And he inspired me heavily to, to focus in that area or just, I saw the passion in him and I just naturally gravitate towards helping people. Right. my dad was very spiritual as well. My dad passed away from heart disease and that put a big fire in my belly, but yeah.
Pete Moore: Awesome. So, you know, as you look at behavior changes, you know, I’d say some of the behavior changes are very positive. I think people from you know, the pandemic have definitely understood that if you’re obese, you know, you’re probably at much higher risk of ended up in the hospital or, or leaving the planet. But on the same side, you’ve still got supersized meals. You’ve got casual restaurants that are expanding the size of their booths to accommodate larger people. So do you think we finally hit this breaking point? You know, people taking better care of themselves and money flowing in to the preventative side?
Anthony Diaz: I think so. I think so. So yeah, our belief that health Euro is a behaviors. Everything, but life gets in the way media gets in the way self-control gets in the way. And so our core belief is, you know, will is everything willpower and, you know, but what is the source of willpower? Why does one need to have a strong will about guarding their own behaviors and standards to, you know, great movement, great fitness eating, lots of plants, eating lots of plants and veggies and, and, and fitness and mindfulness and spirituality is very important, but what do you align your will to? And so we believe that in a deeper sense that we’re entering a modern area, that it’s a, it’s, it’s, it’s a spiritual thing more than anything these days and people get broken spirits and sometimes that results in them losing jobs and other things. So, so that I think we are at a nexus point behavior wise, but there’s, you know, we’re all wired with fun and games. And so that’s the, that’s the high road. We take it healthier. We take a gamification and health engagement very seriously. And you provide those elements. You, you can change behaviors and we, we we’ve seen that. We’ve done that. We continue to do that. Yeah.
Pete Moore: So give us a little background on a typical client and you know, give us the, you know, everyone talks about gamification, but you know, it sounds like you’ve kind of figured out the special sauce.
Anthony Diaz: Yeah, no, absolutely. I mean, I think it goes back to my background. So manage mental health you’re out of school. So when my dad inspired me to go into this area, you know, I built some coded claim systems and managed mental health care for the largest managements, a health care company. So we got to see a lot of how health has changed from a mental perspective. And when someone declines it’s, it’s usually a life circumstances, social determinants of health that affect that. And but I also grew up in Brooklyn playing a lot of video games and everything. And so I had no choice, but to weave that into my day and we’re having a lot of fun and that’s transpired, it’s supporting an average client. That’s like we’re supporting 4,200 plus clients around the world. And I also have a background in marketing technology at Nielsen.
Anthony Diaz: And when I was at Nielsen, what we understood is about reach, reach resonance and reaction. And so design your products to reach people everyone’s working and typing in Microsoft teams, slack or Salesforce daily to communicate 97% of the planner to using those apps. So put a fun health engagement app right there in center. And you’re going to get high participation. That experiment has turned out amazing throughout COVID in this remote dispersion economy rent. And so basically companies, small, medium, and larger come into his daily, they type in employee wellness, they download the app and Microsoft teams, slack, or Salesforce, it’s free up to 10 users and they don’t have to upgrade, but if they do, they want more users, they pull up their corporate credit card. We rinse and repeat from there.
Pete Moore: Yeah. So, you know, you’ve been doing this since 2015. There’s probably a lot of competitors that sprouted up in, you know, March, 2020, you know? So how do you kind of sell the fact that, you know, look, we’ve got experience with this we’ve kind of nailed it. This isn’t something you just kind of, you know, do with your employees as a test, you know, w with a startup.
Anthony Diaz: Yeah. There’s a L we’re playing in a blue ocean space. And one that, that, it’s not an easy decision for a lot of the employee wellness platform companies, digital health companies, patient engagement, health companies to go at. But one belief of what we do, that’s different is social determinants of health. And it’s a fancy term out there in the market, but we believe in something deeper than that called spiritual determinants of health that base physiological needs. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that bottom foundational layer of the need for employment, education, food, shelter, mental great mental health, nothing else is going to work on unless that foundation is there that usually gets disrupted by disabilities, mental health, you know, alcoholism, drug abuse, and life events, people losing a child, losing a parent, and people don’t realize that. But to get at that data, it’s a very awkward question to ask people, but if you do it in the context of fun and games and through employee wellness programs and patient engagement programs that work through epic, Cerner EHR is Microsoft Salesforce. You can get at that data. So we’re going the high road using fun and games for our bot. That’s coded once deployed many to ask those questions while people are getting points, connecting their apple health or Fitbit, and we solve for those problems as well down to zip code level. So if you’re hungry, we’re giving you an offer. And 99% of the other cats in the market don’t do that. And that’s how we’re different.
Pete Moore: So we had a guy on our show, who’s good friends with Dave gallon, a guy named Matt Richter. And he doesn’t let go into a health club cause he feels like every time he goes to sign up, there’s a challenge or they going to tell him how much weight he’s going to lose and he never loses it. So he kind of, you know, made it very simple to us and said, look, just make it fun. You know, I played tennis because it’s fun, you know, I’d go out. And I you know, I go to a walk around the park or I play a pickup game of soccer cause it’s fun, you know, and you know, the gaming industry, I was just in Arizona with my adopted nephew. We’ll call him Ashton. You know, he’s got 10, 12 friends on, you know, his gaming and uses that as a break from playing sports. You know, so, you know, gaming, I think, you know, started off as a sedentary activity. And I think it’s now turning into more of a social activity and also infusing fitness and exercise. So what, what are your thoughts on the future of that?
Anthony Diaz: I think it’s, I think it’s an amazing future right now. You know, if you think of the concept of how we’re wired as humans than what drives us to evolve and to grow and to be social, it’s the subtle gamification, you know, reward benefit elements. And the more that you can make things social and competitive and fair and set rules and conditions and get something in return, it triggers this natural thing in our DNA to be able to collect, to compete, to challenge each other and to get rewarded for the efforts that we’re doing, either from a calorie perspective, a step perspective, and that’s natural in there. The sinful thing kind of, if you look at video games, they hijack that, that ability in our DNA and our urine to do that. So our goal at healthier is to rehydrate that and to reinvest that in the right way, because there’s so much energy in that. And if you do that and you align that properly, you can change behaviors. And so all that energy is being escaped right now into these virtual Mehta verses where you don’t really get much in return. If anything, you’re getting you know, bagless seem to connect by sitting in your chair all day and gaming. And so it’s there, it’s just where we hijacked the refund at rechanneling that. So you’re getting rewarded on all different dimensions, intrinsically and extrinsically.