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CamelBak® chooses Health Connections to power its extensive health & wellness program

NEW YORK, March 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Health Connections, a white-label mobile platform for care management and health & wellness program delivery, announced today a new relationship with CamelBak, the world's leader in hydration products, headquartered in Petaluma, California. CamelBak will use Health Connections to power its employee health & wellness program, "Bak to Health," for all mobile devices, making it more interactive and engaging on a real-time basis.

Richard Braddock, Health Connections' Chairman, says: "CamelBak and Health Connections share the goal of using simple technology to bring content and data together in ways that are intuitive to the user and repeatedly actionable. Health Connections is a customer-centric, disease-focused platform—interoperable and consistent with the evolution of healthcare. We are proud to support CamelBak as they bring the best in healthcare solutions to their employees. Together we will ensure smarter actions and healthier outcomes."

Given its innovative and outdoors-friendly culture, Camelbak has long been recognized as an exceptional place to work. When it comes to employee wellbeing, the founders of the "Hydration Revolution" have thought of nearly everything, from a fully stocked fitness facility with on-site trainers and healthy snack stations to a fleet of bikes that can be taken to a nearby park. Yet CamelBak recognizes that perks are just one piece of ensuring positive health and morale and are looking to do a lot more for their employees this year with the help of Health Connections' platform.

"Our Bak to Health program is about building a community within our company," explains Trevor Cherr, HR Analyst at CamelBak. "Health Connections makes custom deployment of challenges, communication, individual goal setting and other engaging programming really easy. It's our brand and our schedule, pushed out to our very own app on every employee's smartphone. Health Connections provides the flexible and customizable technology we need to easily deliver our resources how we want."  

Health Connections' Founder & CEO, Marty Jaramillo, is honored that CamelBak has selected their platform to connect and enhance its existing resources. "CamelBak has already invested heavily in programs that challenge its employees to take specific everyday action toward being healthier," he explains. "Health Connections is simply connecting the dots to ensure engagement for those programs, which will ultimately result in better outcomes for all."

The platform allows health & wellness and benefits professionals like Cherr to organize programming and capture data so that they can focus on the greater task of turning insights into more strategic programming over time. From their corporate dashboard, CamelBak's HR team will launch challenges and events, and track participation and health metrics along the way. Health Connections' "Health Circles" interface cleanly categorizes large volumes of complex information into personalized circles on each employee's dashboard. Cherr expects the most engagement within these Health Circles as employees check back to see how they and their teams are doing relative to others.

Cherr adds: "We also chose Health Connections over other vendors also because of its sleek, simple interface, and the ability for users to customize the app as well, based upon their interest and goals. The holy grail is if we can help employees internalize healthier behaviors," says Cherr. "Health Connections' technology takes our program to that next level. We expect to see strong engagement with the app throughout the year and beyond."  

About Health Connections 
Health Connections is a platform that empowers care managers and patients alike to use personalized data to motivate smart actions that result in better health.  Health Connections is a white label solution for payers, providers and employers. The platform equips care managers with the context and tools that they need to drive individuals within their population to take smarter actions.

Health Connections' platform was identified as unrivaled by Startup Health, the growth academy and accelerator, which included the company in its prestigious Healthcare Transformer Academy.  Health Connections' investors include Connecticut Innovations (the state's Private Equity division) and Richard Braddock, former CEO of Priceline.com, who also serves as the Chair of Health Connections' Board, along with other individual investors. Finalist at SXSW and Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit.

About CamelBak® 
Founded in 1989, CamelBak invented the hands-free hydration category and is the global leader in personal hydration gear. CamelBak is achieving its mission to continually reinvent and forever change the way people hydrate and perform by offering a mix of products that include everything from technical hydration packs to reusable bottles and individual UV purification systems. With headquarters in Petaluma, Calif., a wholly-owned and operated reservoir manufacturing facility in Mexico and a distribution facility in San Diego, Calif., CamelBak designs, tests and engineers its products to perform and last a lifetime. CamelBak is owned by Compass Diversified Holdings ("CODI"), and offers products in more than 50 countries. For more information, please visit www.camelbak.com or call 800.767.8725.

 

 

SOURCE Health Connections

Health Connections Puts Apple HealthKit Through Its Paces

WEATOGUE, Conn., Dec. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Mobile health and wellness technology start-up, Health Connections, announces that its integration with Apple HealthKit in iOS 8 is aimed at taking HealthKit to a new level of effectiveness. 

Health Connections is a platform that empowers care managers/coaches and patients alike to use personalized data to motivate smart actions that result in better health.  Health Connections is a white label app for payers, providers and employers, that equips care managers/coaches with the context and tools they need to drive individuals within their population to take smarter actions.

Health Connections' Founder, Marty Jaramillo, commented: "Apple HealthKit gives all the popular apps and digital devices and monitors on the market their boldest reach to date, by far.  Our platform maximizes the impact of HealthKit, by taking the data it collects, supplementing it with other siloed data and, most importantly, contextualizing it to make it understandable to an individual.  Our tools then help them take action."

Health Connections' platform and tools capture the common health metrics of an individual's health profile from multiple wearables, including nutrition/calories consumed and activity/calories burned, height, weight and age.

Health Connections takes the platform to the next level, establishing a fuller, personalized health profile that focuses on an individual's comorbidities, conditions or disease management, including hypertension, diabetes and obesity.  To that end, Health Connections has partnered with device companies to bring together personal health data such as: blood glucose levels from Shugatrak meters (http://www.shugatrak.com); blood pressure from Withings cuffs (http://www.withings.com); as well as sleep, step counts oxygen saturation levels and pulse rates from various devices.  Additional partnerships will be added over the next year.  Starting in Q2 2015, Health Connections will help asthma sufferers by adding in air-intake readings from a spirometer created by CoHero Health (http://www.coherohealth.com).

Health Connections' robust integration of HealthKit provides key context, helping convert knowledge to action. Jaramillo added, "HealthKit and Health Connections together bring us closer to the reality of achieving a true quantified self.  We are pushing the limits here to reach the ultimate goal: helping people make smarter health decisions so they can be healthier."

Richard Braddock, Chairman of Health Connections' Board, said: "The key to any technology is always making it disappear, while enhancing the benefit it brings.  Health Connections does this beautifully by being the tool that brings together an array of crucial data points and making them actionable." Mr. Braddock added:  "Health Connections advances the changes needed in healthcare today by effectuating using technology to create better outcomes for everyone, across the spectrum of healthcare."

About Health Connections
Health Connections is a platform that empowers care managers and patients alike to use personalized data to motivate smart actions that result in better health.  Health Connections is branded app for payers, providers and employers, that equips care managers with the context and tools that they need to drive individuals within their population to take smarter actions.

Health Connections' platform was identified as unrivaled by Startup Health, the growth academy and accelerator, which included the company in its prestigious Healthcare Transformer Academy. Health Connections' investors include Connecticut Innovations (the state's Private Equity division) and Richard Braddock, former CEO of Priceline.com, who also serves as the Chair of Health Connections Board, along with other individual investors. Finalist at SXSW and Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit.

Partnership for medical transparency

RxREVU and Health Connections have partnered to bring transparency of medication cost and quality to consumers. The two health care technology companies made the announcement at a major health data conference, Health Datapalooza, today in Washington, D.C.

Health Connections provides services for employers and pharmaceutical companies to help employees manage illness, including pre- and post-operative care and condition management. Health Connections will allow employers and health systems access to medication cost an quality information, called prescription optimization, via the RxREVU Application Programming Interface (API).

"As drug prices and value are coming under increasing scrutiny, we are proud to provide the RxREVU prescription optimization dataset to our customers and our users." said Health Connections CTO, Andrew Quinn.

RxREVU is a Denver-based company that delivers evidence-based medication cost and transparency data, based on the latest peer-reviewed research, to applications across the healthcare value chain.

"One of the greatest difficulties in healthcare can be getting a very accurate determination of value. With RxREVU, we'll be able to show real, tangible financial ROI to our customers and users in a very short amount of time." said Marty Jaramillo, CEO for Health Connections. "We believe very strongly in making things simple, valuable and intuitive for our users, and RxREVU fits."

"Health Connections has shown themselves to be one of the most innovative consumer engagement platforms in health care, making it as simple as possible for consumers to take control of their own care.  Similarly, we believe strongly in making things simple and that shows in our architecture and ability to rapidly deploy. We're preparing to begin offering the RxREVU prescription optimization integration within the next several weeks and have it available to Health Connections users by the end of June." Said Carm Huntress, RxREVU CEO.

"This will greatly expand our customer base with a fellow StartUp Health company focused, as we are, on better engagement as an avenue to better outcomes and to keep people healthy. To make this kind of a deal with a fellow StartUp Health company shows the power of the StartUp Health program, where we can work together to accelerate growth as part of a passionate community." said Huntress.

Read full story here. 

Healthcare integration: There’s an app for that

Employer wellness initiatives have become increasingly popular, but Marty Jaramillo says he sees a flaw with many of the programs: They're delivered in a way that's too fragmented. Companies offer their employees perks, like a free gym membership or onsite physicians to encourage healthy behavior, but there's typically no blueprint for workers to navigate and leverage all the available resources. 

Jaramillo, a former physical therapist, said he's developed an app to help fix the problem.  He's the CEO and founder of tech startup Health Connections, which has developed a mobile app and web platform that connects the various healthcare resources that companies and insurers offer employees and customers. 

The platform acts like an intranet and aims to integrate the health and wellness resources, care teams and programming provided by employers and delivered directly to employee's computers or smartphones. 

The company, based in the Weatogue section of Simsbury, has raised $ 1 million in startup funds, including an investment from former Priceline.com CEO Richard Braddock, who chairs Health Connections' board. 

Braddock was actually one of Jaramillo's patients. Ironically, it was Jaramillo's two decades of physical therapy experience, in which he worked with clients' physicians, nurses, chiropractors, and nutritionists as part of an integrated care team, that gave him the idea for Health Connections. 

"It's about balance and harmony, or Yin and Yang," said Jaramillo. 

Braddock said he believes the company's web platform is "another area where the Internet could transform an industry, in this case wellness." 

"The market potential is here and ready to be made," Braddock said. 

Although miniscule when compared to the size of the entire healthcare market, the opportunity for mobile health apps is growing. A report from Research and Markets estimates the industry could reap $26 billion in revenues by 2017. 

Despite the countless programs, providers and vendors available, Jaramillo said delivery of wellness programs to employees isn't effective because they are disconnected and siloed. 

"Our platform connects the wellness teams and resources a company already has in place, and delivers it in a very personalized way to the employee," Jaramillo said. 

Health Connections' platform is a white-label product, which allows companies to customize, re-brand and offer it as their own. 

Here's an example of how it works: When an overweight and hypertensive employee who travels a lot for their job visits their company's onsite nurse, the nurse will deliver to the employee's smartphone what's dubbed the "Hypertension Health Circle." 

It provides access and information to all the resources available at the company to manage hypertension, such as exercise, stress reduction, and diet modification plans as well as healthy eating options available on the road. 

"We offer the technology solutions that connect the dots within the wellness ecosystem at the enterprise," Jaramillo said. Health Connections also connects the various individual providers and vendors, to create a healthcare team for the employee. An employee looking to quit smoking, for example, could log onto the "Smoking Cessation Circle" to find out what programs and onsite vendors or providers can offer help. 

Health Connections' revenue model is volume-based. The company charges a subscription fee per month based on employee usage. 

"Today, a company spends more than $50 per month per employee on health," Jaramillo said. "Our platform costs less than a dollar per employee per month." 

Jaramillo said Health Connections currently has 10 clients, mostly businesses including pharmaceutical, medical device and insurance firms. Health Connections also wants to enter the wearable sensor devices market with products that can capture health data such as blood pressure, Jaramillo said. 

In 2013, Health Connections was selected by StartUp Health to participate in a prestigious three-year business accelerator program that helps health and wellness companies. Generally StartUp Health, which is chaired by former Time Warner CEO Gerald Levin, holds up to a 10 percent equity stake in each firm. 

"We are excited to be a strategic thought partner to Health Connections as they scale and grow their business," said Unity Stoakes, StartUp Health's co-founder and president. "Building a successful business in health care comes with many challenges including long sales cycles, regulation, and privacy issues, to name a few. It can be difficult to sell big, new ideas into the system. But Health Connections has an advantage because they not only have many years of healthcare expertise, they look at everything with a fresh innovative lens." 
© 2014 HartfordBusiness.com

Read full story here.  

Venture+ Forum at HIMSS14 Showcases Health Connections

At this year's Venture+ Forum, on February 26, 2014, Health Connections was one of twenty start-ups showcased as the hottest mobile health and health IT technologies for improving healthcare delivery and patient outcomes. The event, presented by HIMSS Media since 2007, is a one-day event that spotlights new and emerging mobile health and the health IT companies.  The Venture+ Forum invites high profile speakers to present their innovations to an audience of investors, venture capitalists, technology experts, healthcare industry leaders and strategic partners.

Health Connections Presents as a Finalist at SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event

Health and wellness technology start-up, Health Connections, will be competing as a finalist at the Sixth Annual SXSW Accelerator pitch event on March 8th and 9th. Health Connections was chosen out of hundreds of applicants to be one of eight companies that will present in the Health Technologies category.

Health Connections' Founder, Marty Jaramillo, will present the company’s innovative health and wellness integration platform before a live audience and judges. Marty Jaramillo commented: “We couldn’t be more excited to be asked to present at SXSW Accelerator. We are thankful for the opportunity to appear on the same stage graced in the past by such innovative companies as Siri, Klout and Bump Technologies or this year in the Health Technologies category by Adhere Tech or Kinsa.”

Richard Braddock, Chairman of Health Connections' Board,“ said: "This selection from SXSW once again validates that Health Connections platform is truly unique and intuitive.” Mr. Braddock added: “I am confident that Health Connections is the right tool for this time in healthcare and has the power to bring long-term, sustainable health and better outcomes to a wide audience.”

“Over the past five years of companies competing in SXSW Accelerator, 56% have gone on to receive funding in excess of $587M and 9% of the companies have been acquired, so the judges are looking for truly innovative companies to raise the stakes,” said SXSW Accelerator Event Producer, Chris Valentine. “All of the finalists have demonstrated the capability to change our perception of technology and we now have to recognize the utmost potential within a very distinguished group of entrepreneurs.”

Health Connections selected to present at the Target/GE Employee Health Innovation Roundtable

Health Connections was selected to be one of only 10 companies presenting at the the Employee Health Innovation Roundtable, co-hosted by GE and Target on February 26th in Menlo Park, CA. The roundtable is aimed at is to accelerate innovation in employer health and wellness by creating a forum for discussion and collaboration between large employers and entrepreneurs. Among the employers who are attending are General Mills, P&G, Cognizant and Microsoft. 

Richard Braddock, former CEO of Priceline.com, appointed by Health Connections as Chairman of the Board of Directors

Weatogue, CT – January 13, 2014 – Health and wellness technology start-up, Health Connections, today announced the appointment of Richard Braddock to the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors, effective January 1, 2014.

Mr. Braddock has served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Priceline.com at the height of its growth and as President and Chief Operating Officer of Citicorp and its principal subsidiary, Citibank, N.A.. Mr. Braddock has also served on several Boards of Directors, including of the Eastman Kodak Company (lead director), Marriot International, Cadbury Schweppes, Lotus and FreshDirect. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Mr. Braddock said of his appointment, “Health Connections intrigues me because it has an innovative approach to using technology to transform the way a patient or employee engages with healthcare and wellness systems, which mirrors the game-changing technology and vision of companies I have worked with in the past. Health and wellness are also areas I am personally passionate about and think are areas greatly in need of improvement. It is with great pleasure that I join a team of unique innovators, entrepreneurs and board members who have a have a collective goal to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare cost through digital health technologies.”

“We are so excited to have Richard Braddock on our Board,“ commented Health Connections' Founder, Marty Jaramillo. “We are honored and know we will benefit tremendously from his immense C-level experience and personal involvement.”  Health Connections is a simplemobile and web platform to connect the healthcare and wellness resources provided by employers or providers to individuals. It is a white-labeled and customized healthcare intranet. Health Connections platform was identified by Startup Health as unrivaled and has included the company in its prestigious Healthcare Transformer Academy. Health Connections has also been selected by Connecticut Innovations (the state's Private Equity division) for investment.