Tea Leaves’ data includes more than 200 data points, including demographics, models, social media tracking, self-reported conditions and medications, and 264 million encounter records for about 25 million patients.

Welltok Inc. expects its recent acquisition of Tea Leaves Health last month to provide access to millions of new patient data records that will help raise its personalized, consumer-first approach to healthcare.

Based in Denver, Welltok develops software-as-a-service consumer health applications that drives patient engagement through a combination of social, gaming, and personalization technologies.

An analytics company that works with healthcare systems and hospitals, Tea Leaves’ data includes more than 200 data points, including demographics, models, social media tracking, self-reported conditions and medications, and 264 million encounter records for about 25 million patients. Welltok plans to integrate that information with its proprietary consumer database of 275 million consumers and 800 variables. Tea Leaves works with 30% of the top 20 hospital systems and more than 400 hospitals, the company says.

“Consumer health platforms must be driven by new types of derived data that can include, but also go beyond, basic claims and clinical data,” says Welltok chief marketing officer Michelle Snyder. “Welltok and Tea Leaves Health have many synergies, including a platform which leverages vast amounts of consumer and medical data, to create personalized experiences powered by big data and advanced analytics that drive action and results.”

Welltok expects those assets to mesh with its CaféWell platform which uses analytics to identify insights into an individual’s behavior as a patient.

Tea Leaves, which was founded in 2011, develops programs for hospital systems to establish relationships with patients and physicians. The company’s core products are Patientology and Physicianology. Patientology is a customer relationship management platform that analyzes electronic medical record data, social media activity and other data sources to create personalized patient profiles, prioritize targets and conduct outreach to potentially profitable patients.

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Physicianology integrates physician market and utilization data, contact management and communication tools into a single physician relationship management platform to help physicians establish new patient relationships, increase referrals and maximize profitability.

Welltok expects those assets to mesh with its CaféWell platform which uses analytics to identify insights into an individual’s behavior as a patient, and as a consumer, to reach him with the right message through his preferred communications channel, such as email, SMS text, live phone calls and standard mail. In addition, CaféWell guides health systems and health plan providers in developing personalized content and incentives to develop and sustain ongoing patient relationships to increase engagement and improve outcomes.

To develop the kind of personalized content that engages patients, CaféWell integrates data provided by Welltok customers, such as claims and eligibility data, with consumer data that includes purchasing behavior and voting records.

For example, a health plan that identifies a 42-year-old male member who has not had a physical examination for three years, can see from the patient’s clinical and claims information that he has high blood pressure. By examining available consumer data on the patient, such as marriage status, income, work environment and purchasing behavior, the plan manager can gain a bettering understanding of the patient’s lifestyle and healthcare challenges to create a personalized plan that addresses the members health issues and identifies what incentives will resonate best with him to achieve improved health, Synder says.

Insights from consumer purchasing and behavioral data are key to determining the reward or incentive that will be most effective at influencing a patient’s behavior. For example, enticing a patient to get a flu shot might require offering a $25 gift card as reward, whereas getting a smoker to join a smoking cessation program may require a $1,000 premium reduction.

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“In order for rewards to be effective, they need to be aligned with the actions and the individual,” Snyder says. “By personalizing incentives, population health managers can achieve significantly better engagement results.”

Earlier this year, Welltok expanded its partnership with IBM Corp. to leverage the IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence platform. The agreement will enable health managers to create holistic, consumer experiences that encompass all aspects of health from episodic clinical care to maintaining optimal health, and support value-based care across the payer, employer and provider markets.

The expansion of the partnership with IBM builds upon prior solutions from the two companies, including the co-development of CaféWell Concierge, the first IBM Watson-enabled consumer health application, the introduction of a virtual benefits agent that leverages cognitive computing technology to answer benefit questions and guides consumers to cost-effective resources, and offering CaféWell to IBM employees.

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