How a Digital Health Assistant Delights Patients, Improves Outcomes and Reduces Member Churn

By Dr. Renee Dua, MD.  

Founder, Heal.  Founder, Renee – your personal health assistant. 

For aging Americans, healthcare is just plain hard.  Siloed providers, fragmented care, disconnected data and buried benefits are just a few of the complexities a typical polychronic patient struggles to navigate everyday.  For health plans and systems, massive investments in digital health and patient portals haven’t panned out – adoption remains low and improved outcomes are at best elusive.  Given that, it is not surprising that the percentage of Americans over sixty-five who want a digital assistant to manage all their healthcare – 68% – is exactly the same as the percent of senior executives at health plans and systems who are actively seeking digital care journey tools.  

Renee is a uniquely patient-centric digital healthcare assistant I created to address both these needs.    As seen in Figure 1 above, Renee completes the routine healthcare tasks that patients value most.  Scheduling doctor’s appointments, arranging rides, delivering medications, driving adherence and tracking vitals are just some of the aspects of healthcare Renee handles everyday.  In short, we unify previously disconnected aspects of healthcare into one delightfully easy and intuitive interface as seen in the video below. 

In doing so, Renee organically ensures that patients get whole person coordinated healthcare that is proven to close care gaps and improve outcomes.  More importantly, Renee is proven to accomplish the top three goals of most forward-thinking health plans and systems: to increase adoption of digital health in older Americans, to activate member-specific benefits and to improve member satisfaction and reduce churn.  In a 90-day pilot study conducted on Americans with 3+ chronic disease between 65 and 94 years of age, Renee delivered the following results:

  • Reduced systolic blood pressure 25.2 mmHg in hypertensive patients
  • Reduced instances of hyperglycemia by 17% in poorly controlled diabetic patients
  • Successfully engaged patients across digital, text, and RPM devices on average 12.6X/week
  • Activated 1.8 in-network digital health benefits/patient 
  • Improved health literacy by 78%
  • Increased patient satisfaction with their PCP/Plan by 74%

Drawing on my 20+ years as a practicing physician, 7+ years as a health-tech innovator (I founded and led Heal as Chief Medical Officer) and most importantly, the last 2 years I have spent as the primary caregiver for my aging loved ones; I created Renee with the unique understanding that only by helping patients with routine healthcare tasks can Renee help payers accomplish their key goals as well.   

Let’s take this example:  Say patient Jane Gomez sometimes doesn’t take her medications because she can’t make it to the pharmacy to pick up refills, but that her MA plan covers Rx delivery from ABC online pharmacy.  While her plan offers this benefit, she has no idea – because traditional “benefits education” is overwhelming or ignored.  In fact, McKinsey reports that while 66% of new MA members get a benefits book in the mail, most get nothing beyond that from their plan.  Only 5% of members are asked about their social determinants, only 10% receive any help in enrolling in any digital health benefits.  So, plans make huge investments in digital health benefits, only to see them languish in a lack of awareness.  

Renee starts with a 45 minute video call with each member to learn their unique needs, social determinants and health status.  In the case of Jane Gomez, upon learning that she can’t get to the pharmacy, Renee would not only automatically activate her plan’s in-network Rx delivery benefit from ABC Online Pharmacy but also send Jane daily reminders to take her medications – knowing they have been delivered to her doorstep.  Rather than hoping that Jane forages through a Cheesecake Factory-sized menu of options to stumble upon ABC Online Pharmacy, Renee uses SSO/API integration to automatically activate Rx delivery for Jane.  This process is seen in Figure 2 below. 

Beyond ensuring that we actually activate and drive usage to each plan’s digital health benefits, our open partner approach leverages the entire digital health ecosystem, so Renee evolves at the speed of industry-wide innovation.  Today’s digital health tools are primarily virtual care, Rx delivery and disease management.  Tomorrow’s innovations will include smartphone-based touchless diagnostics, voice based anxiety detection and more.  As these innovations come to market, Renee will integrate and bring these valuable new tools to the patients who need them most.  

Caring for my aging loved ones made me realize everyone needs a helping hand, so I spent a year creating Renee.  The result is an unique solution that helps plans drive older members to digital health, activates member-specific benefits and improves patient satisfaction.  The result is a long-awaited whole-person healthcare solution that ensures everyday Americans spend less time getting well and more time being well.  That is a win we can all embrace.  

If you’re a patient, health plan or system and want to learn more, please visit

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