Way to Health

Our work on COVID-19 response - insights and solutions

Evidence Based Patient Engagement

Leverage tools and techniques developed by researchers and clinicians across 200+ programs, 1,250,000+ patients and 75+ peer reviewed publications

Investigate and deploy personalized engagement strategies to improve health outcomes

Trusted by leading research and clinical organizations across the country

Human behavior is the final common pathway for nearly every advance in medicine

We bring behavioral science and patient engagement together to achieve measurable change.

Patient engagement has been called the blockbuster drug of the 21st century. Current patient engagement tools focus on clinical protocols and ignore the human element. We grew from a need to research and apply behavioral science techniques specifically in healthcare.

For Health Systems

Drs. Sindhu Srinivas and Adi Hirshberg, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Penn Medicine

Reduce Readmissions

With the move to value based care (VBC) and increased risk bearing contracts, proven solutions to reduce readmissions are needed. Leverage evidence based programs such as Heart Safe Motherhood that have reduced readmissions by 80%.

Enable the move to home based care

With the downward pressure on costs and the increasing importance of telemedicine and remote monitoring, proven solutions focused on specific domains will allow organizations to roll out programs systematically.

Improve patient satisfaction and quality

With the increased prevalence of consumer driven healthcare, ratings and reviews are increasingly important in health care decisions. Programs available are continuously monitored and consistently measure in the 80s and 90s for patient satisfaction while maintaining or improving quality of care.

For Researchers & Innovators

From L to R- Drs David Asch, Kevin Volpp, Scott Halpern, Mitesh Patel, Kit Delgado, Shreya Kangovi, Perelman School of Medicine

Innovation and research require flexibility. Integration with the EHR opens up additional opportunities. Trials can be run locally or virtually. Way to Health has run virtual studies across 50 states.

Automate multiple aspects of running an RCT

Innovation should be backed by evidence. Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) are the gold standard to generate evidence in healthcare. Our background and genesis can help guide the the setup of innovation projects to gather data to support (or reject) hypotheses. Automation built into the system can help doing this quickly and minimize personnel costs.

Iterate quickly and cheaply

Research and innovation are usually constrained by cost and/or time. Our library of proven projects can serve as a base to help achieve quick successes. Open inboxes can help engage patients directly to gather data to understand patient needs. These can then be automated as needed.

Project Spotlights

Some of the successes we are proud of

COVID Vaccine Community Clinics

In a concerted effort to address racial inequities. Penn Medicine partnered with Mercy Health, local pastors and the community in West and Southwest Philadelphia, to set up a community vaccination clinic. The goal was to vaccinate 500 individuals who met the 1A or 1B criteria set forth by the city. Way to Health provided the texting and IVR backends to enable registration and appointment scheduling prior. 557 patients were vaccinated. The next clinic on Feb 27th intends to vaccinate 750. The one after that will hopefully vaccinate 1500.


7500 citizens vaccinated over 6 clinics

Zero wait times

Patients scheduled and pre-registered (no lines)

NPS score of 90+ (1330+ responses)

Features Utilized
Bulk messaging IVR and text based communication Bi-directional conversations Automated slot availability
Read more

Given that testing availability will likely continue to be constrained, symptom tracking based testing could lead to earlier case identification. At the same time, sentinel surveillance will be a critical tool for identifying pre-symptomatic, asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic spread that may evade symptom-based surveillance. Together, this approach provides ability to rapidly identify new cases and conduct contact tracing. This is an RCT that aims to (1) Evaluate the feasibility of a saliva-based screening COVID viral testing program (2) Compare behavioral strategies to improve study enrollment (3)Understand the relationship between daily symptom tracking and identifying infection,


4600+ recruited

65,000+ tests

Features Utilized
Two-way Texting LIMS integration Arms & Randomization Nudges
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Remote Monitoring

COVID Pulse was designed partly in response to reports that some patients with Covid-19 have little dyspnea, despite concerning hypoxemia (low blood oxygen). This program enrolls patients from emergency departments with depressed oxygen saturations, providing them with pulse oximeters, and escalates to care based on declines in measured oxygen saturation.


Enhanced monitoring of patients

Objective escalations based on PulseOx readings

$2.5M PCORI award

Features Utilized
Two-way Texting EHR Integration
BCFG Flu Mega Study

This is a mega trial with planned enrollment of 150,000 patients across Penn Medicine and Geisinger Health system. The intent was to simultaneously test out 19 different nudges to figure out how to increase flu vaccination rates. The secondary intent was to use learnings from this to inform COVID vaccination efforts. The best performing nudge increases uptake by 11% over previous year baselines. The study was replicated with Walmart with 800,000+ participants.


Increased uptake by 11% over baseline

Text messaging effectiveness

Features Utilized
Arms and randomization EHR integration (appts) Text messaging and scheduling
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Physical Activity

Use social incentives and gamification to increase physical activity among overweight and obese adults.


Gamification interventions had significant increase in activity

Competitive intervention had more sustained activity (post study)

Features Utilized
Device Integration Randomization Gamification
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Vitality Smoking
Smoking Cessation

Financial incentives, pharmacologic therapies, and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) to promote smoking cessation


Large scale pragmatic trial using opt-out for enrollment

Redeemable deposits and rewards were superior to free cessation aids

Features Utilized
Financial Incentives Text Messaging
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Latest Content

Way to Health mentions, publications and content

Blog Responding to COVID-19. Part 6 - COVID SAFE

This is part 6 of the series on Way to Health's involvement in helping address the pandemic. This post focuses on the design and launch of the COVID SAFE project. As the Penn health system and the University were looking at re-opening, the one concern was ongoing testing (this was before there was a vaccine in the picture). It was also felt that surveillance testing is critical in getting visibility into and managing the spread of the disease. This post outlines the COVID SAFE project which did this at scale using Saliva based testing methods and Way to Health.

Blog Responding to COVID-19. Part 5 - COVID Pulse

This is part 5 of a series on Way to Health's involvement in helping address the COVID-19 pandemic. This post focuses on the design and launch of the COVID Pulse project. This project addressed the Emergency Department (ED) need to be able to discharge patients with suspected COVID but not requiring immediate admission. The goal was to give these patients a pulse oximeter and remind them to send in their SpO2 readings on a regular basis. Way to Health would process these and based on the clinical algorithm escalate the patient as needed.

Press Anatomy of a health conundrum: The racial gap in vaccinations

A retrospective on vaccination related disparities and the vaccination clinics W2H empowered from the perspective of a clinician. While we made things low / no-tech, it took a lot of tech in the background to make it seem as such. Perhaps that is the key learning, tech should be invisible and be there to support the process, not change it.

Publications Effect of Behaviorally Designed Gamification With Social Incentives on Lifestyle Modification Among Adults With Uncontrolled Diabetes

Mitesh S. Patel, MD, MBA; Dylan S. Small, PhD; Joseph D. Harrison, MBDS; Victoria Hilbert, MPH, RD; Michael P. Fortunato, BA; Ai Leen Oon, BA; Charles A. L. Rareshide, MS; Kevin G. Volpp, MD, PhD

JAMA Netw Open

In this randomized clinical trial of 361 adults with overweight or obesity and uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, gamification interventions designed to enhance support or competition each significantly increased physical activity relative to controls during the 1-year intervention, but gamification with collaboration did not significantly change physical activity relative to controls. All study arms had significant reductions in weight and hemoglobin A1c levels from baseline, but none of the gamification interventions resulted in significant differences in these outcomes relative to controls.