Empowering Health at Home: How At-Home Biometric Screenings Are Shaping the Future of Workplace Wellness

In this episode of "Healthcare on the Rocks: Employee Benefits with a Twist," hosts Jennifer Jones and David Pittman talk with Naomi Levinthal, the Chief Growth Officer at Reperio Health, about the innovative world of biometric screenings. 

Naomi, a self-professed tech nerd with a rich background in health IT, shares her journey to Reperio and discusses the transformative impact of the company's at-home screening kits. These kits are designed to provide instant results and a seamless user experience, setting a new standard in the health and wellness industry. 

Throughout the episode, Naomi explains how Reperio's approach to biometric screenings significantly differs from traditional methods by offering convenience, immediacy, and comprehensive health data directly to users’ homes.

The conversation highlights the crucial role of biometric screenings in modern wellness programs and how Reperio's kits contribute to strategic health management within organizations. Naomi elaborates on the benefits of this innovative approach, particularly its ability to provide quick, actionable health insights that empower both employers and employees. By moving screenings from clinical settings to the comfort of one's home, Reperio not only enhances participant engagement but also provides employers with valuable data to tailor their health initiatives effectively. The episode wraps up with insights into the future of Reperio, including the integration of new health tests and virtual care options that promise to further revolutionize preventative healthcare.

Key Takeaways:
  • Innovation in Health Screenings: Reperio Health's at-home kits offer a complete biometric screening process that is fast, efficient, and user-friendly, allowing participants to perform the screenings at their convenience.
  • Strategic Health Insights: The data collected from these screenings provide employers with critical insights, helping them make informed decisions about health and wellness programs tailored to their workforce's needs.
  • Future Developments: Naomi shared exciting future enhancements, including the addition of A1C testing and virtual care sessions, which will further integrate comprehensive care into the screening process.
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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Jen: Welcome to Healthcare on the Rocks, Employee Benefits with a Twist, where we jump into the evolving landscape of healthcare and wellness. I'm Jennifer Jones, here to explore innovative solutions that are making a difference in employee health.

[00:00:14] David: And I'm David Pittman. Today we're excited to be joined by Naomi Levinthal, who is the chief growth officer at Reperio Health, which is a company revolutionizing the way biometric screenings are conducted. 

This is really cool. I had a chance to see the kit that they send out to people in your homes, and it's really awesome. So maybe we'll get to see that for you people who are watching on YouTube. 

But anyway, Reperio Health's one-of-a-kind, at-home screening solution is a game changer for employers and their wellness initiatives. And Naomi is going to tell us about what makes it all so unique. So Naomi, welcome to the show.

[00:00:55] Naomi: Thanks so much, David and Jennifer. Great to be with you.

[00:00:59] David: How about you set the stage for our listeners by telling us a little bit about you, your experience, how you found your way to Reperio Health, and what Reperio does?

[00:01:08] Naomi: Yeah, well, as you mentioned, I'm the chief growth officer for Reperio. I oversee sales, marketing, client success, and customer experience here. So, anything that a prospect through to an end user would experience with our services. I've been in health IT my whole career and am a tech nerd.

And when I got to meet our CEO and co-founder, Travis Rush, you know, he told me in the first conversation about this kit that you send to people's homes, and you go through this whole screening, and it gives you instant results, and I was pretty intrigued. Then a box showed up at my door, and I paired it with the app that he told me to pair it with. I walked through this experience and was like, wow, this is truly unique.

I've never experienced anything like this, and it was put together so thoughtfully. I immediately was like, how can I get involved? That was, more than a year ago now. And, we've just been on an amazing trajectory now that we have this out in the market, and thousands and thousands of screenings are happening.

So, it's really exciting.

[00:02:30] Jen: That is very exciting, and we all know, well, at least those of us kind of in this health tech and wellness industry, we know that biometric screenings have played a crucial role in wellness programs for quite some time, and honestly, I think they've outlasted a lot of the other industry trends that we've seen come and go from the wellness perspective.

So why do you think that these screenings are so important? Why have they continued to play an ongoing role, and why are they important for employers and their consultants?

[00:03:01] Naomi: They've outlasted for a few reasons. One is that there is a speed at which you can go through a screening different from a typical preventative care visit. You can go to an on-site event and have someone take your blood pressure, step on a scale, do a couple of blood tests, and be on your way with some really powerful information at your fingertips.

Rather than, you know, sitting in a doctor's office, waiting to be seen, waiting months, sometimes even to get in to be seen. Screenings allow that quick kind of snapshot in time to give you important information about health risks that you could be walking around without even knowing.

So, I think that screenings have stayed a part of our industry for that reason, because they can be fast, they can be cost-effective, and they offer really important insights, of course, for the individual going through it. 

But for the employer and the reason why employers continue to sometimes mandate them or offer really great incentives for them is because of the data that helps them to inform what's really going on with their workforce.

And if you think about, you know, a large employer who has a vested interest in the health of their employees, not just from a cost-containment perspective, but also for employee engagement and absenteeism, and the cost that employees have to bear for their own healthcare, the insights in aggregate of what they glean from screenings are so valuable for a couple of reasons.

One is that it helps them figure out where they should invest in employee health and wellness because otherwise, you just don't know. There's, there's so many different things that you could invest in. I mean, my industry of digital health has been chock full of those, and it's a sea of options.

And without the data to inform the general goings on of your workforce, you're kind of left in the dark. You could be making pretty significant investments in weight management and diabetes prevention, but you do not really know if that's something that's prevalent in your workforce. 

So, that's a huge reason, you know, that employers really love having screenings available in their toolkit, but secondly, when you look at the data, if you have a wellness program that involves screenings, on average, you can save about $1,000 per employee at a minimum, and that savings really adds up just alone, outside of looking at specific hypertension.

The diabetes risks obviously could be within your employee workforce, and you don't even know about it, therefore, you're sitting on a claim that could be very expensive for the employer.

[00:06:00] Jen: Well, you're preaching to the choir as far as the usefulness of the data for sure, and I think, to your point, it's so valuable from both the employee perspective and the employer perspective, and oftentimes, sometimes more from the employee perspective, because we hear all the time about people that, you know, didn't know they had high blood pressure, didn't know they had high cholesterol, and screenings have really allowed them to uncover some of those additional health risks that they may have.

But also connect them to the right type of provider that they need. So certainly agree with you on all those points. And when we think about more of the traditional biometric screenings, you had mentioned onsite type of screenings has been the norm historically, but tell us a little bit about how Reperio's approach differs from those traditional onsite screenings and how this is even more efficient as far as from both the employee/employer perspective.

[00:06:58] Naomi: Yeah, you know, screenings have been one area of healthcare that have not seen much innovation over the years. And that was really the opportunity that our co-founders saw when they themselves had to go through one of these screenings at a prior employer. And when you look at the different options that are out there, there's on site screenings, as you mentioned, Jennifer, but that requires somebody to be present.

 It also usually requires that the employer have a minimum number of participants there and you pay for that minimum regardless of who shows up, so the ROI can be hard to attain. Um, then, you know, you can also send your employees to their physician to have them, um, fill out a form and say, yes, we got this information from them, but again, super hard to get into those care teams these days with our physician shortage.

 Then you've got retail clinics that also offer screenings, but you've got the same type of challenge there, which is it requires that employee to make time to go do it, especially out of their work day. And it's hard sometimes to make time for that. And a lot of those settings are not really exciting to sit in.

I mean, I've never heard anyone say, "Oh, I can't wait to go do my biometrics screening, you know, at XYZ lab place." So, um, we've made it like not so enticing for people to do screenings at all in preventative care in general, right? So there has been some movement to try to bring some of these tests to the home.

And there's one technology, if you will, that people use a lot that's called a blood card, and it's like an index card size test that you send in the mail. And it allows you to get some information about someone's blood chemistry, but that's it. Um, and they're pretty gross to do. Blood goes all over this thing and the problem for employers is that It just doesn't give you that much information.

And we hear somewhere between 10 to 40 percent of those cards are just not used or they're thrown away because they weren't collected correctly. So you can truly not see any of that, you know, investment coming back to you. 

So where Reperio fits into this, this mix is that one, our co-founders were inspired to say, hey, there's a way to do this at home, and there's a way to do it in an unassisted manner. There's something that can arrive at your door and we can really package up the whole experience and put it in that kit and give the consumer or the employee, the information that they need to go through it themselves. 

And so what we've really solved for is one, we're replicating the typical type of screening that you would do at an on-site event, just at home. So we collect BMI, we collect relative fat mass, we do blood pressure, we do resting heart rate. We also do glucose and a full cholesterol panel, all at home and all instantly, so there's no sending out the blood and waiting for the information to come back. It's all delivered to you right there and there is no one in the world that is doing that except for Reperio. 

So we have that replicated experience at home and it's at home. So it's convenient. You do it on your own time. You can do it on the weekend. You really decide and put that power in the consumer or the employee's hands to determine when they're going to get this done.

And we've just made it, you know, foolproof. So it arrives at your house. You open it up, we'll tell you even how to unbox it. I mean, it's so, so thoughtful. Um, and then you go through all of the steps. At the end, we say, how do you want to return it to us? You want UPS to come pick it up, or do you want to drop it off to one of their stores?

And it's all just part of the process. Things have been so thoroughly designed with Reperio, that we've even included the shipping tape that you need to box back up your kit. It's all in one, it is comprehensive, and it's instant. And I will tell you that employees have never done anything like this before, and they love it.

They see it as so different, so innovative, and the, the feedback we hear from end users is just out of this world. So we're super proud of what we've created and we know that it's really different and it's, you know, here to shake up a pretty old industry of biometric screening.

[00:11:52] Jen: That's awesome.

[00:11:54] David: Naomi, I have absolutely no idea what you mean by people don't want to go into a clinic. I know Jen and I were talking about we love going into places where you've got people sitting next to you and sneezing on your shoulder.

[00:12:10] Jen: Yeah, I mean, like, I wish I could get my blood drawn every day.

[00:12:12] David: Yeah,

[00:12:13] Jen: Like,

[00:12:14] David: it's a great experience, but all right, so, so you want people to do it in their comfort over their home. All right. I get it. Maybe some people want that, but, I know seriously, I did see this really cool video that you guys have, that shows how the screening process works. If you'll allow me to, I'll put that in our show notes so people can see it for themselves.

But since most people are listening to us right now and not watching this probably on YouTube, although they can tell us, you know, what, what is the process like for someone? What do, what would they experience in doing the screening? Am I going to have to jab myself 15 times? Yeah, just what's it like?

[00:12:58] Naomi: Lord, I hope not! 15 times! That would, that would indicate a broader problem. Um, but no, it is as painless as possible and it really all starts with getting an email from us at Reperio saying, "Hey, XYZ Employer has partnered with Reperio to offer biometric screenings to you, an employee of XYZ Employer," and they click on that link, they create an account, and then we validate an email super fast, and then we find out where you want this kit shipped, and it is literally that fast.

Then we kind of domino's pizza tracker the experience by telling you, Hey, your kit has left our warehouse. Hey, your kit's about to be delivered. Your kit is delivered. You have seven days to complete your screening and we start counting it down over email and text. So there is a lot of nudges along the way to make sure, that you complete the process.

Then, when it's your decision to do the screening at whatever time you'd like or day, then you make sure that you have our app downloaded and then the app senses the kit is there once we turn it on, and then it walks you through every single step of the way. And for those that are watching on video, I'll give you a little quick preview of what the kit looks like when it arrives at your house, and it is this octagon-shaped box, and we meant for it to be a cool shape, and I think we achieved that, um, and this is what it looks like, and so the app will have you first turn on the kit, which is this little innocuous-looking circle in the middle of the kit, which we call the hub.

That's the technology that we created that allows you to go through the whole screening without ever having to open your Bluetooth settings. So if you think about a lot of other devices that you might use, you have to go in and pair it yourself through Bluetooth, but we've done that for any end user to really level the playing field in terms of tech literacy.

So once you connect the kit to your phone, then you use our blood pressure device. We actually have you go through that two times. We take the best of both numbers when you're going through this at home. Then there's also a scale that sits over all of this. Take that out, you step on it. And then you also use a waist measurement tool that's this funky looking thing.

Um, that allows us to calculate your BMI and relative fat mass, and then the part of the test that really, you know, kind of takes the longest because we like to make sure people are really ready for it, is that blood test. No jabbing yourself 15 times, David. But it's using this device called the PTS Cardio Check and that does two tests at the same time.

So you prick your finger once and we need about four drops of blood. Three of those drops are used for the cholesterol test and the one is used for the glucose test. That device calculates all of that information, pulls it into our app, and then displays it all for the end user. 

It does it color-coded. It shows you where you might have an issue where there's potentially elevated risk or everything's normal. You can actually click on all the different tiles in order to see some more information from the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association. You also can take all of that and export it out to your care team if you wanted to share the information directly.

So, at the end of that, we then say, UPS pick up or drop off, what's your pleasure? And you just drop off the kit or we come and pick it up and that's the end. And then once the kit arrives back at our warehouse, you even get a notice about that. So it's very quick for an individual to go through the screening.

Usually takes about 30 minutes from start to finish from unboxing to reboxing. And at the conclusion of the screening window for any employer that we work with, they get a nice color-coded, aggregated view of what's going on for their workforce. And of course, if they're a Springbuk member, they have all of that information directly as well within your system too.

[00:17:22] David: Excellent! So, if I caught that one stick four drops of blood, I think I can handle that, even my little blood-fearing person, I think I can do it. And, domino's-like tracking, so can I get cheesy bread with it?

[00:17:46] Naomi: Unfortunately, that's not available in this version of the kit, but we'll work toward that in the future.

[00:17:51] David: I, send me the link where I can put in a project, or

[00:17:55] Jen: Product

[00:17:55] David: roadmap request, yeah. I think that would be a game changer for you. But, anyway, considering most of our listeners are probably already a part of this Springbuk ecosystem, Jen talked about the ways that we use data. You talked about how people can use data a little bit.

I'd like to hear directly from you, Naomi, on how you think Reperio Health fits in and contributes to the overall wellness of, employers and other members.

[00:18:25] Naomi: I think there's two components to that answer for me, David, that really ring true. One is if you're a broker, if you're an HR leader, you are inundated with information about different digital health tools that can help you. And if you don't have a trusted source of information for different solutions that can truly help you and bring ROI to the table, you potentially could be making some wrong choices. And so I think for, for Springbuk individually, the service that you're providing to your members is so helpful these days when there's just a litany of different options out there.

But I think where you go even further and where I think other groups haven't yet is you're taking the information that your members have and running it through the ROI calculator that we have provided you so that they can see very individually what is this solution purporting to do for my population.

And so, I think from just a data perspective, from a ability to see the signal through all of the noise that's out there, that's one way that we are participating in the marketplace in a way that I think really sets what Springbuk does for its members apart from other groups that are out there.

The second way is, if you're an HR leader, if you are a broker and you're really trying to help guide the wellness and medical benefit selections for an employer or for your own group, you've got to know where you are going to spend your precious time because you can't attack everything all at once.

And what we really view Reperio doing in that equation is it's that tip of the spear for you. It is allowing you to one, engage your employees who may not have engaged with any preventative care and quite some time. And there's really crazy statistics on that of like. You know, two-thirds of your employees may not be doing any preventative care whatsoever.

 So you've got to solve for that. And then two, just the data allows me to figure out where to point your energy in ways that you just do not have at your fingertips with other options. So that's how I would answer that, David. Great question.

[00:21:03] Jen: And I think your point about, there's oftentimes a lot of people within an employer's population that aren't engaging at all with their healthcare benefits. That's, I think, part of the benefit of the Activate Marketplace as a whole. Not only do we obviously use the Reperio algorithm of who could potentially engage on a client's data, so they can clearly see where the opportunity is.

But we have other connections to Insight cards. One in particular is how many people are essentially unengaged or non-utilizers of healthcare, and they, you know, are a perfect target to think about something like this, where again, oftentimes, we see it's because they don't think they need to go to the doctor annually, um, and they're like, Oh, well, I'm not sick, so I don't need to go.

And it's this focus more on sick care as opposed to the preventive care that is very helpful, I think, from a product like yours to be able to start engage people and, and get them an understanding of knowing their numbers and where are the opportunities to help engage them too. So, all very exciting.

Well, one last question we have for you today. We always like to hear what's on the roadmap and what's coming down the pike as far as for repair your health.

[00:22:17] Naomi: Yeah. Oh, let's see. Well, we are on track to deliver 50,000 screenings this year, and I am so excited to see what the data shows us in terms of end users' experience and where we will have opportunities to innovate. It may not be with cheesy bread, David, but you know, there's, there's cool things that we can do in the future with these kits.

Um, and one thing that we are planning for this year is the inclusion of an immediate A1C test. So let's say you do your glucose, it's high, the kit will automatically ask you to do one more blood prick, um, not 15, uh, David, but one more blood prick and then we will be able to calculate that A1C. It takes about five minutes with the device that we use, um, but shouldn't add too, too much time to the screening, but will offer really important insights into someone's diabetic risk.

 So definitely more tests that we're planning to include. And then, more components of our service, are also on our roadmap. We know that there's a lot of interest from different groups that we work with to have the screening be more actionable with a care team, interpreting what those results are as soon as they're available.

So we'll be rolling out virtual visits as part of the screening process. Later this year, maybe at the first of next year, more broadly, where you'll start your screening. About halfway through your screening, we'll get a nurse practitioner or a similar clinician on the line who then will pop up on the screen and just like FaceTime and the way that we're talking to each other, we want to say, Hey, Jennifer, everything looks great, but, you know, take a look at this one particular area. These are some tips and tricks, or even just a new care plan to address what the screening has found. 

So super excited to continue to really make this true preventative care. You know, Jennifer, you were saying there's so many things out there on the market that are really geared towards after there's an acute episode, after there's a catastrophic claim for an employee, and this really represents an opportunity to intervene much sooner, even before we know that there are potential issues going on.

Super excited for both the number of screenings we'll do this year, and what we'll learn from those as we continue to add to our end-user base. The A1C test is going to be really great, for our end users, and then virtual visits is, you know, really, I think, an awesome cherry on top to our service.

[00:24:57] Jen: All very exciting. And David alone has a big hairy goal for our Employee Health Trends download, but your goal puts it to shame. That's, that's amazing though – 50,000 kits. That's awesome!

[00:25:12] David: That is awesome. 

[00:25:13] Naomi: Thanks. Yeah. 

[00:25:14] Jen: I'm really curious. This is kind of like side note. Have you all thought, like, in thinking about the A1C, have you all thought about having additional options? Because clearly you have built out the process of getting the kit, just that whole piece I think is one huge goal and hurdle to overcome. About, additional add-on services as far as like, hey, I also want to test, a thyroid panel, or more of, there's the, the grail testing and color, like, those types of tests as far as for, identifying rare cancers, are there add on potentials that you all are thinking about from a service model?

[00:25:51] Naomi: Oh, yes. Um, and I would say probably rising to the top of the list is how could a kit help a Medicare Advantage patient understand more directly what's going on with them from a number of different areas, including all those that we test for, but adding on kidney health care. It's really hard to get, a clinician to follow all of the steps from a quality measure standpoint to get the timing right for a kidney test and a urine test that is included in that.

 So I would say from an overall kidney health, that's another big area that we're looking at. We've also talked to groups who are, are asking us along the oncology perspective there, Jennifer, you know, are there ways that we could have your kit be used with patients who have just undergone chemotherapy and we don't want them to go out into a doctor's office because of the infection risk. Where they could do a white blood cell count at home.

So, Yes, yes, yes! We have been doing a lot of ideating on different iterations in the future of our kit. And I would say the sky's the limit, especially now with different advances in at-home care, because there's such a need, right, to figure out how can we reduce the lack of access to care? How can we make it more equitable?

And so we have a design principle that we think immediate is best and waiting is not the greatest. So that's going to be our guiding light.


[00:27:27] Jen: That's awesome. Very, very exciting for sure. That's, yeah, I think a great model you all have.

Naomi, thank you so much for the great insights and a very enlightening conversation today. And it's really clear that Reperio Health is certainly poised to make a significant impact on employee wellness now and then in the future as well.

What would be one thing you would like our listeners to really take away from our discussion today?

[00:27:53] Naomi: Oh, I think maybe seeing is believing. We always invite people to try out our kit so that you can actually experience the whole service from start to finish. If any of the employers you work with or any of your employees, um, would be able to experience themselves. When you see this kit in person, it really gets people's gears turning around how, you know, easy it is to use, how innovative it is, and the power of the data that you can glean from it.

[00:28:26] Jen: Yep. And I know you offered all of that to our commercial team, and you had many, many people that volunteered to try those kits, and they were all very impressed, so thank you for that.

[00:28:36] Naomi: Yeah, of course.

[00:28:38] David: All right. Naomi, we really appreciate you coming on and sharing how Reperio Health is working to change the future and the present of healthcare and wellness. For our listeners, if you want to learn more about how Reperio fits into the Springbuk ecosystem, go please go over and visit springbuk.com/activate.

And finally, as we prepare to sign off for this episode, I want to just take a moment to give a huge thank you to my partner here. My colleague, my dear friend, Jen, this is her last podcast with us. She's going to be taking on a different challenge at a different place. And I've enjoyed working with you for these past three years and I wish you all the best.

[00:29:28] Jen: Oh, DP, you're gonna make me cry. I was not expecting that. Darn it. Goodness, well, thank you very much, co-host. It's been, I know, short-lived that we've been on this side of the mic together, but very appreciative of all your efforts from behind the scenes and putting this together and writing the script for all of our guests.

And just really appreciate your collaboration and being a fantastic colleague and friend. So thank you very much. And thanks to all the listeners for allowing me to be a co-host for this show. It's been fantastic and we've had some wonderful guests and I think shared a lot of insight and a lot of education to everyone.

So appreciate it.

[00:30:05] David: We sure have. Okay, with that, remember, please subscribe to Healthcare on the Rocks: Employee Benefits with a Twist, and you know, give Jen a nice parting gift. Leave us a comment, a review, a nice five star rating. That'd really help her get off until it gets started, I think. 

[00:30:22] Jen: And for more educational discussions on healthcare innovation, please visit us at springbuk.com/podcast. And until next time, stay informed and stay healthy.