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Maternity & Family Benefits

Driving and Sustaining Engagement: A Q&A with Gina Nebesar, Chief of Product at Ovia Health

November 2, 2018

With so many apps and products vying for an individual’s time, creating a benefits solution that engages people daily is a tall order. Not many solutions see daily engagement – but Ovia Health does. As a result, Ovia Health is able to drive behavior change that results in improved health outcomes and reduced healthcare costs. 

What’s the secret behind this engagement? And how does Ovia Health keep women coming back day after day? Gina Nebesar, Ovia Health’s chief product officer, opens up about Ovia Health’s ability to generate sustained engagement and results.

Why do you think Ovia Health connects with women?
Pregnancy and motherhood can be one of the most joyful times in a person’s life, but it can also be a challenging and isolating transition. It’s also when we, as women, start demanding and expecting more from the systems that support us -- starting with our healthcare and our benefits. Ovia Health is able to connect with women in a way that traditional maternity programs can’t -- through instantaneous, guided support that is empathetic and personalized for each person’s health experience. 

Being a mobile solution, we’re able to form a strong connection with women before, during, and after pregnancy. Women want access to tools, resources and support before they get pregnant or tell their manager that they are pregnant; our Motherhood in America report found that 64% of women decide to leave their job before they have their baby. We’re able to reach a much larger employee population, those who are thinking about starting a family, dealing with infertility, or navigating parenthood, and form a strong connection with them from the start of their journey.

Why is daily engagement so important?
Traditional maternity programs rely on reactive telephone outreach to connect with participants. These programs can miss the opportunity to reach women who are at risk of health complications, such as developing preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, or delivering preterm, because the calls are done on the health plan’s schedule (not the woman’s schedule) and millennials don’t like talking on the phone (75% of millennials prefer text over phone calls). 
With Ovia Health, our engagement is completely different. We’re reaching millennials where they already are and where they prefer to be. The user experience is personalized and warm, and we often hear from users that they consider us to be their best friend. Because of this relationship, women trust us and come to Ovia every day to monitor their health, logging over 30 million data points every month. We’re constantly analyzing this data and applying machine learning, clinical programming, and personalized RN health coaching to help women have a better health outcome -- whether that’s getting pregnant naturally, navigating postpartum, or simply understanding their bodies better. 

How do you establish trust with participants/users?

We’re able to communicate with women about their most intimate and important health moments because our users know they’re receiving information that is personalized and in-line with current clinical guidelines. Our evidence-based programs and content is sourced from American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines, and reviewed and created by physicians and experts. This is why OB-GYNs and midwives often refer women to Ovia Health -- they know the information will be trustworthy and aligned with the advice women are receiving at their provider’s office.

How do you use engagement to change behavior?
Women spend over 6,000 hours pregnant, but only 14 hours on average with our doctors and providers. Ovia Health connects with women the other 5,986 hours by giving them on-demand support, tools and resources to confidently navigate their reproductive health and the great journey of motherhood. 
Our top priority is creating products that improve behaviors that lead to earlier risk identification and mitigation, and ultimately better health outcomes for a woman and her family. Three behavior change theories form the foundation of our engagement and outcomes-driven strategy -- you can read more about our integrated behavior change framework here.

What is your favorite feature?

I love how personalized Ovia Health is. I’ve used Ovia Fertility, Pregnancy, and Parenting to have two children, and I love how the predictions and information get more personalized the more I use it. As the head of product, I know the number of personalization algorithms we developed in order to achieve this, but as an Ovia mom, it just feels natural and seamless – like each moment with Ovia was built just for you.   

To learn more about how Ovia Health can help you boost engagement that results in improved outcomes and reduced costs, download our Behavior Change Whitepaper here. 

  • To learn more about Ovia Health for Health Plans, click here.
  • To learn more about Ovia Health for Employers, click here.

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