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Ginger.io Announces Research Collaborations with Leading U.S. Healthcare Institutions

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

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Research partners include UC San Francisco, Partners HealthCare, Duke University, UC Davis and University of Nebraska Medical Center


San Francisco, Calif.
– Ginger.io, the leading digital behavioral health solution, announced a series of new research collaborations today and released early findings from several ongoing research engagements. The newly announced institutions include UC San Francisco, Partners HealthCare (Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and McLean Hospital), Duke University, UC Davis and University of Nebraska Medical Center. With these and other collaborations, Ginger.io is now working with more than half of the top 10 academic medical centers in the U.S.

01-Call to Activate“Like providers, academic medicine is looking for better ways to understand how patient behaviors affect health outcomes,” said Dr. Anmol Madan, co-founder and CEO of Ginger.io. “Ginger.io’s smartphone app and analytics engine is essentially a new class of microscope that helps quantify and understand real-world behavior at scale, in many different disease areas. For our academic partners, this offers new insight about clinical characterization, and it may lead to better diagnosis and new therapeutics and interventions for these conditions.”

The announced partnerships are using the Ginger.io platform in one of two ways, said Dr. Ilan Elson, Head of Research and Development at Ginger.io. “Our partners are either deploying Ginger.io’s existing core behavioral health (i.e., mental health) programs in new and exciting ways, or they are using the Ginger.io platform on new conditions like heart disease and chronic pain.”

UCSF is one such institution deploying Ginger.io’s behavioral health application in a research setting. Drs. Patricia Arean and Adam Gazzaley and their teams at UCSF have launched a study to measure digital interventions in patients with major depressive disorder. The multi-arm clinical study involves hundreds of patients recruited online and delivers interventions exclusively through remote digital channels, with no face-to-face interaction between doctors and patients.

“We’re very excited about the approach Ginger.io is taking to engage patients suffering from depression,” said Dr. Patricia Arean, Professor of Psychiatry at UCSF. “Patient feedback on the experience has been overwhelmingly positive thus far, and we’re excited to learn more about what digital interventions can do for mental health.”

Just outside of Boston at McLean Hospital, Chief of McLean’s Psychotic Disorders Division Dr. Dost Öngür is leveraging the Ginger.io platform to conduct research on how to reduce hospital readmissions for patients with psychiatric conditions, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. By detecting early warning signs that someone is struggling to manage their illness, Dr. Öngür hopes his work will lead to the ability to better identify patients in need, and deliver effective care before hospitalization is needed.

Beyond mental health uses, several institutions are using Ginger.io technology in diverse disease areas to more effectively connect the dots between patient behaviors and specific health outcomes.

Researchers at UCSF, for example, are collaborating with Ginger.io to help patients suffering from heart disease, multiple sclerosis and post-operative recovery. As part of the Health eHeart Study, for example, Ginger.io is helping world-class cardiologists detect early-warning signals for the development and exacerbation of heart disease.

“Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the United States and the developing world, and identifying heart disease risks and addressing them in advance is much needed,” said Dr. Jeffrey Olgin, chief of the UCSF Division of Cardiology and a principal investigator of the Health eHeart Study. “Our ultimate goal through this study and others is to provide a thermometer or ‘check engine’ light for people to be empowered in managing their own health and risk.”

Researchers at Duke University also see the potential of Ginger.io to help patients in postoperative recovery settings. Patients undergoing joint replacement surgery use the Ginger.io app to track their recovery, pain and return to functionality. By identifying which patients need the most help, providers can streamline the recovery process and deliver the right level of care to patients who are in the most need — with the added benefit of reducing unnecessary visits for healthy patients.

“We’ve been impressed by the results of the Ginger.io platform in other disease states, and we look forward to exploring its potential to streamline and improve perioperative care of our total joint arthroplasty patients,” said Dr. Chad Mather, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Duke University Medical Center. “The ability to passively monitor our patients could represent an opportunity, if confirmed in clinical study, to transform the way we care for our patients postoperatively.”

Many Ginger.io research partners are publishing their results based on findings and insights driven by Ginger.io’s data collection and machine learning analytics engine.

Drs. Laura Tully, Cam Carter and Tara Niendam of UC Davis, for example, recently shared their findings from a partnership with Ginger.io in an early psychosis study. Results announced at this year’s Society for Biological Psychiatry showed the identification of specific “smartphone signatures” and patterns of behavior for symptoms of psychosis in adolescent populations.

At the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Dr. Kaleb Michaud found success with Ginger.io in an older patient population along with patients participating in the National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases. A poster presented at the European League Against Rheumatism conference this past summer showed a number of correlations between arthritis pain levels and patterns of travel and communication as measured by the Ginger.io app on a patient’s smartphone.

“This isn’t science fiction,” said Dr. Elson of Ginger.io. “We’re touching a huge number of patients in a wide array of clinical settings. Working alongside our partners, we’re having a real impact on population health management and improving patients’ lives—in some cases almost immediately.”

“The diversity of these deployments is what’s really exciting,” Dr. Elson continued. “We’re going into complex settings with different care delivery models and unique patient needs, and we’re still making a difference in relatively short order. It’s a testament to the strength and flexibility of our platform and our clinical approach. This could be a turning point in the history of healthcare delivery, and that’s very exciting for us at Ginger.io.”

About Ginger.io Ginger.io uses patient smartphones to improve behavioral health in primary and specialty care. Through passive data and deep analytics, this mobile application identifies patterns in patients’ behavior and mental state that may impact their health and well-being. Providers can use the Ginger.io platform to reach out when patients need support and deliver the right care at the right time—building a stronger connection between patients and providers. Ginger.io is currently working with leading U.S. healthcare institutions including Kaiser Permanente, UCSF, Novant Health and Centerstone/CRI. A spinoff from the MIT Media Lab, Ginger.io was recently named one of The World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Healthcare by Fast Company. Learn more about Ginger.io at www.ginger.io

Centerstone Research Institute, Ginger.io and Verizon Partner to Solve Healthcare’s Superutilizer Challenge

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

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Ginger.io recently teamed up with the Centerstone Research Institute (CRI) and Verizon Wireless to launch a new behavioral health program powered by data science and mobile technology. The program, known as coactionHealth, helped patients with complicated mental and physical health conditions to better manage their health and reduce healthcare costs along the way.

The targeted intervention program used a technology-driven healthcare delivery model to help patients with complex health disorders. The result? One hundred percent of patients felt comfortable managing their conditions just 30 days into the program, when zero percent felt confident doing so at the start of the intervention. That’s an amazing transformation in patient engagement, confidence and empowerment.

One patient lost nearly 20 pounds, dropping her HbA1C levels below the threshold for diabetes. Another patient discovered the root cause of her frequent hospitalizations, and hasn’t had an ER visit or hospitalization since enrolling in the program.

“Providers now have access to more data from more sources than ever before, and connecting that data to physical and mental wellness represents an enormous opportunity to improve outcomes,” said Anmol Madan, co-founder and CEO of Ginger.io. “We’re helping providers shift from an episodic view of their patients’ health to a continuous and more comprehensive understanding of personal health trends. The CRI program shows how targeted outreach and an improved patient-provider connection can empower patients to take control of their own health.”

“The coactionHealth pilot demonstrated that technology can be a vital tool in advancing behavioral healthcare and making the healthcare system more efficient and effective for people with chronic and complex conditions,” said Dr.  Tom Doub, CEO of CRI. “By integrating mobile solutions and data analytics into a coordinated care program, CRI, Ginger.io and Verizon were able to not only reduce hospitalization costs, but create a positive mental and physical change for participants.”

The coactionHealth program was so successful that CRI and its partners is now offering the intervention service to more patients in several new locations.

Read the full description of the intervention program over at Centerstone Research Institute.

Not Tomorrow, but Today — An NIMH Keynote Presentation

Friday, May 2, 2014

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Karan and NIMHOur mission at Ginger.io is to drive better outcomes through passive mobile data and behavioral analytics. With the recent launch of our new programs in behavioral health, we were thrilled to give a keynote presentation at the 22nd National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Conference on Mental Health Services Research. Karan’s (Ginger.io Co-Founder) presentation on the future of technology in mental health set an inspiring tone that together, we can tackle these challenges now. You can read more in the outline of his talk below.

For us, the conference’s most exciting aspect was this focus on how the health technology ecosystem is actually making tomorrow happen today. After countless great conversations, Karan and Ilan (Head of Research at Ginger.io) came home with two key takeaways:

1) We’re not casting a wide enough net. Mental health interventions aren’t working for 80% of people.There is a big opportunity to better understand how we can help — and how new technologies can expand the tools we use to support those in need.

2) Identifying patients in need is a huge challenge. We have many ideas about new and innovative interventions, but we need to better understand who those interventions will help most. Making sure the right care reaches the right patients at the right time is key to advancing behavioral health care.

It was an honor to speak at NIMH MHSR 2014. We can’t wait to see the next wave of collaborations between technology and industry!

Karan Singh’s Keynote Presentation at NIMH MHSR 2014: It’s Not Tomorrow But Today

 

We see the following transitions that need to be made for change to take hold — and the companies that are modeling those transitions today.

Today vs. tmrw

EPISODIC VS. CONTINUOUS: health happens between office visits, but we’re largely blind to this reality. Fortunately, some companies are already facilitating continuous care:

Proteus Digital Health’s ingestible sensor brings continuous insight to medication adherence by tracking medication use, and alerting caregivers when someone may need support
Propeller Health’s GPS-enabled rescue inhalers provide continuous support to asthma and COPD patients through their mobile app, coaching, and clinician connection

SUBJECTIVE VS. OBJECTIVE: we don’t have objective tools for diagnosis and ongoing monitoring of behavioral health conditions. However, we are developing objective tools for other conditions:

Alivecor’s iphone EKG brings objective understanding to your fingertips by providing an easy way for patients to seamlessly generate heart health data for clinical analysis
CellScope’s digital otoscope brings diagnostic-quality data to remote care by empowering clinicians and other caregivers

REACTIVE VS. PROACTIVE: we’re waiting for people to show up in care settings after small issues have become larger problems. Thankfully, some companies are taking a more proactive approach today:

RecoveryRecord is empowering individuals with eating disorders. Through their mobile app, individuals can get support from the community or connect with therapists
Omada Health is digitizing the Diabetes Prevention Program with a human-centered design approach that brings online support and tracking tools
– ThinkFeelDo is enabling out-of-office web-based coaching

DOCTOR-ORIENTED VS. PATIENT-CENTERED: the patient experience is largely an afterthought for many health systems, but some people are starting to put the user back in the driver’s seat:

– Dartmouth’s Dr. Dror Ben-Zeev is empowering patients with different coping skills for mental illness
Akili has developed an immersive video game experience to treat ADHD and expand our definition of therapy
Bit Gym has developed an innovative user-centric experience encouraging people to participate in more physical activity

SMALL DATA VS. BIG DATA: we’re using DSM-V and subjective disease clusters to create broad segments of patients. Fortunately, we’re starting to utilize and understand the value of better data to inform care:

– The Health eHeart study is on a mission to gather data from over 1 million people to fight heart disease. This “digital Framingham” brings together citizen scientists, researchers and tech companies to change our understanding of heart disease
Flatiron Health is breaking down data silos for the 96% of patients who don’t participate in a cancer clinical trial with its cloud-based analytics platform

It’s invigorating to watch these companies and others create objective tools that generate continuous insights and fuel proactive, patient-centric care. However, the friction in the system is still holding us back from further innovation.

friction

As he closed, Karan challenged the audience to think about how we could address and eliminate these frictions and drive change. The stimulating panel discussion following Karan’s keynote brought to light how people are thinking about these frictions today.

What do you think? How can we make the path towards innovation easier? What other companies are helping make transitions to tomorrow, today?

A Look at the Gaps in Mental Health Care – An Interview with David Shern, Ph.D.

Monday, March 24, 2014

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shern-bio-pic_0We recently sat down with one of the nation’s leading mental health experts, David Shern, PhD. Here’s what he told Karan Singh (Ginger.io) about the past, present, and future of mental health:

KARAN: We’d love your opinion on how things have changed in mental health over the past 30 years and where the biggest gaps currently sit.

DAVID: We’ve made big strides in regards to the de-stigmatization of mental illnesses. These illnesses are now regarded as legitimate health conditions and we have an armamentarium of treatments available. I think that the Mental Health Parity Act and the Affordable Care Act reflect these changes. Although we’ve come a long way and made enormous progress, there are still some big gaps in terms of unmet needs. We continue to run up against problems that relate to the structure of delivery systems as well as the accessibility of technologies that we offer. There’s a huge gap in terms of what we know to be the need for services and the rate at which people receive those services.

KARAN: And what do you think are the causes of the unmet needs?

DAVID: We’ve historically discriminated against mental illnesses and addiction conditions in insurance coverage. Mental health treatments were not mandatory benefits, had higher co-pays, and experienced more stringent utilization management — all of which continued to discourage use. We’ve made some progress with the parity legislation, which states that if there is a mental health benefit offered, it has to be offered at parity to the general health benefit. We’ve also historically under-detected these conditions in primary care. Continuing public ignorance and the shame associated with these conditions are lingering influences on decreased utilization.

KARAN: Can you talk about how primary care is stepping up to help identify those in need of services?

DAVID: The most common mental illnesses are depression, anxiety disorder, and substance use conditions. Most people with these conditions don’t get into specialty care — they’re seen in primary care. Traditionally, these conditions have not been detected in primary care settings. Years of research and physician education has started to change this and the frequency of standardized screenings for mental health conditions in primary care is increasing. We’re not where we need to be — there is still substantial under-recognition of these conditions in primary care — but we’re making progress.

KARAN: What do you think is driving the integration of mental health into primary care?

DAVID: I think a few things. First, the availability of safe and generally effective medications has given primary care physicians a new strategy for addressing depression and anxiety. Second, the pharmaceutical industry has done a good deal of direct to consumer marketing which has further ‘normalized’ discussion of treatment. The pharma industry’s work aligned with advocacy organizations’ agendas, like Mental Health America, to continue work on de-stigmatization and public education. A third influence is the increasing realization that depression, anxiety and addictions are common and are great complicators in the management of health generally and other chronic illnesses specifically. Fourth, is the research and testing of brief, reliable, screening instruments, such as a PHQ-9, which makes the ability to screen so much easier.

KARAN: Within care settings, what types of intervention are you seeing work best once an individual is diagnosed?

DAVID: We have some good, strong science based models around depression treatment in primary care. The best models have been developed in organized care settings, like the Group Health Cooperative in Puget Sound. In over 30 randomized trials, we’ve seen that collaborative care programs in which a behavioral health caregiver is present right in the primary care setting is very valuable. By responding to an individual immediately, as opposed to a delayed referral to the specialist — which is rarely followed through for a several reasons — we can start to engage the person right away and help them understand what’s going on in treatment and what their options are. These programs have been shown to significantly reduce levels of depression for as long as 5 years.

KARAN: So as we get better at diagnosing in the primary care setting, how can we fill the gap between those treated and not?

DAVID: I think it comes down to more active care management, which has been hard to do because of the structure of our healthcare system — specifically with solo practitioners and small practices that don’t have the resources to offer immediate behavioral health support. We need to link people to things that help… things that are available anytime, anywhere, at an affordable cost. For these reasons, I’m particularly intrigued by technological solutions, such as Ginger.io and others, to try and fill that gap. Once perceptions of technology in terms of availability and accessibility are improved, I think we’re going to see a very important difference in access to help. I also think that linking people to natural support mechanisms in their community — getting people involved in their own health and the health of others — offers great promise for addressing some of the gap. We’re excited about the emerging role for advocacy groups, such as Mental Health America, to empower people to do more in terms of recovery for themselves with appropriate, professional support.

KARAN: What do you think is standing in our way from filling the gap?

DAVID: We’re getting better at using the PHQ-9 but it still isn’t like a thermometer or a blood pressure cuff . We have the evidence that care management strategies work but we need to have financing models to support them and the capacity to deliver evidence based care in terms of technology and personnel. When it comes to finances and capacity you have to be thinking about running a practice — how will you have enough volume to make these approaches affordable? I personally think for this reason and many others, we’re going to see a shift away from solo and small group physician care into organized systems of care like the staffed HMO model.

KARAN: I’d love your thoughts on why you’re excited about the Ginger.io Mood Matters program.

DAVID: I just think, and others in the field agree, that we need some new breakthrough technologies. For a long time, we focused on psychotherapy and pharmaceuticals and we’ve made important progress on both fronts but things like Ginger.io hold tremendous potential for closing some of the gaps that we just discussed. Part of the reason we’re excited about working with Ginger.io is that we see it as another element of the spectrum of approaches available that can make the community as a whole healthier. As we can collect data passively, we open up a whole new dimension for health that could make a big difference for people. I just think Ginger.io the right idea at the right time — and I know you do too.

We Need your Help to Win the National Council eHealth Challenge

Friday, March 7, 2014

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We’re excited to share that Ginger.io is a finalist for the National Council eHealth Challenge! We are nominated alongside five other great companies and need your help to win the grand prize.

The winner of the contest will receive a National Council magazine article and press recognition to spread the word about their behavioral health initiatives. First prize will be awarded to the company with the most Facebook video “Likes”.

You can help us win the contest by clicking LIKE on the Ginger.io Facebook video.

At Ginger.io, we want to make sure that everyone gets the right support, at the right time. We’re driving towards better care for people with behavioral health conditions and appreciate your support to make it happen!

Vote now >>

Voting closes April 1st, 2014. You can also help us spread the word by sharing this link with your friends and family: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151939421080754 **Please note that only “Likes” on this specific video (not shared posts) count towards the total.

Introducing Mood Matters™, a Ginger.io Program

Friday, February 28, 2014

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moodmatters_pixeltree_horizontalAt Ginger.io, we’re passionate about pushing the boundaries of mental health research. This is why we’re excited to launch Mood Matters™ for depression.

Depression affects 1 in 10 people, and goes undiagnosed for many. With the right support at the right time, depression is treatable. At Ginger.io, we’re working to help you identify the “right time” through a deeper understanding of your daily patterns.

The Mood Matters™ program uses our platform to understand the triggers that lead to episodes of poor mood. Participation is completely free and is currently open to individuals who:

– Live in the United States
– Are between the ages of 18 and 65
– Own and use an Android or iPhone smartphone
– Are currently experiencing symptoms of depression

To see if you’re eligible and sign up for Mood Matters™, visit moodmatters.org/learn-more.

Ginger.io Named One of World’s Top Ten Most Innovative Healthcare Companies

Friday, February 14, 2014

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At Ginger.io, innovation has been a guiding principle of our work since our early days at the MIT Media Lab. For CEO Anmol Madan, “Disruption is solving a problem from first principles — what should exist, but doesn’t. Then being fearless enough to make it so.” Our team is focused on bringing disruption to healthcare by making behavioral analytics — understanding how daily patterns impact health state — a core part of care.

We’re excited to share that others are recognizing our disruptive potential. Fast Company has named us one of the Ten Most Innovative Companies in Healthcare. For our team, this is further validation that care must transform from episodic data collection to continuous insight — and that we’re the right company to drive it forward.

Interested in bringing innovation to your health system? Reach out to us at hello@ginger.io to find out how we can work together.

2013 Year in Review

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

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Gingerio_Year_In_Review_2013

Welcoming Julia Winn (BetterFit) to the Ginger.io team

Monday, December 9, 2013

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winn demo cropped
Read more about Julia’s journey in an exclusive interview with Health 2.0

We’re delighted to welcome Julia Winn, founder and former CEO of BetterFit Technologies, Harvard spin-off and an alum of the Techstars Boston program (2012), to the Ginger.io family.

Julia built the first prototype of BetterFit during her senior year at Harvard College. A year later, BetterFit graduated from the Techstars Boston program, raised seed funding, and deployed with its first paying customer.

BetterFit focused on individual patient care built around natural language processing. BetterFit’s initial product was a tool to predict how a person would react to a new drug based on her reactions to previous drugs. Over time, Julia and her team realized the complexities in doctor-patient communication, and pivoted their platform to enable automated, personalized text message conversations with patients between doctor visits.

Enhancing the provider-patient relationship using machine learning is core to the Ginger.io mission, just as it was for BetterFit. In a changing healthcare landscape, we believe in finding talented leaders like Julia who can help us find creative answers to both technical and business challenges. In addition, we have other team members that bring outstanding experience to Ginger.io, including our product manager Sasank Munduri (Google), Jimmy Do (Pipette), an expert in mobile computing, and senior engineer Jeremy Johnson (Healthonomy). As a company, we pride ourselves in our entrepreneurial spirit and can-do attitude, which is essential for driving change in a complex industry.

Julia is already hard at work helping us think through some of the biggest strategic questions facing Ginger.io, a valuable asset as we focus on deploying our platform with innovative healthcare partners. If you’re interested in learning more about our strategy and/or working with us, please reach out to us at hello@ginger.io or on twitter at @ginger_io.

Time for the second annual Ginger.io Teamsgiving!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

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Anmol bbq
Last year, we kicked off the holiday season with Teamsgiving, a chance for all of us to reflect on what we are thankful for as part of the Ginger.io team. This year, we’re putting a slight twist on it and making it a tweetable #teamsgiving! You may have seen some of our thoughts over the past week on twitter — here are a selection of the rest!

A couple of themes have emerged – we’re thankful for the chance to work on something with impact, to work with committed clinicians and patients, and to work with each other. And don’t forget the ping pong table!

Let us know what you think — if you’ve worked with the Ginger.io team, what are you thankful for?

Ilan Elson Schwab (@elsonschwab): I am thankful for good health and the great partners we have that are excited to promote more good health.

Peter Smith (@petersmithus): I’m thankful for working with clinicians and colleagues who embrace the mission of proactive care and improved patient outcomes.

Naomi Kincler (@namikinc): Ginger.io users who are trailblazers, working tirelessly to improve their own health & help better the health of others by simply sharing their experience

Karim Wahba (@karimwahba): Thankful to be working with a wicked awesome team @ginger_io on a truly worthy cause

Jeremy Johnson (@jeremyajohnson): I am thankful to be impacting the way healthcare is delivered in a scalable fashion with a talented team that truly cares.

Julia Bernstein (@jfbernstein): I’m thankful to work on an inspiring mission and work w/ people who can help make it a reality, both in and outside @ginger_io

Kate Farrahi (@kfarrahi): Thankful to have met so many interesting and talented people at Ginger and to be part of the exciting data science team.

Mahesh Sharma (@maheshsharma): Thankful for all the amazing people I get to work with, just like a family away from home :)

Julia Winn (@julia_winn): I am thankful to work with so many incredibly talented people who are all trying to make a difference in healthcare.

Michelle Patruno: I’m thankful for our wonderfully supportive team. Our teams love of food and terrible movies. And all of the new additions!

Sai Moturu: I’m thankful for a thoughtful team, a growing data science group and the new ping pong table :)