Way to Health

Way to Health

We were the first to apply behavioral economics to healthcare

Our mission

To enable everyone to enjoy healthy lives through research, personalized engagement and learning from the experience of every patient.

We exist to enable clinicians and researchers to serve patients by making their ideas come to life.

Our vision

Innovate. Enable. Scale.

Improving healthcare outcomes needs purpose built research tools

Technology assisted motivation & human behavior change is the key to advancing health outcomes. The healthcare system needs a purpose built tool that allows for scale and to engage with people in their existing journeys. Way to Health has demonstrated its value as a research platform in this domain.  The platform, its developers, and its uses have credibility among the research community.

Successes derived from research should be easily translated into practice

Even as more research and successes are published, its application in the real world still lags as systems and plans don’t quite know how to apply it in their context. THe goal is to reduce the time it takes for interventional research to be applied in specific patient contexts as short as possible. We want to take a leadership position in tactical research and deployment of evidence based research.

EHRs should be an integral part of any patient or provider engagement strategy

Good technology must join not just patient and physician journeys, but also their existing technology, such as legacy EHR systems i.e. be available in the context of their life and their “workflow”. Tighter integration with EHRs is necessary. Health systems have spent millions deploying and customizing EHRs. They are looking for ways to maximize the ROI. This will be a platform available to all irrespective of the EHR of choice.

Support programs from conception to scale and standard of care

Program requirements change as they grow and evolve. We will provide software and services to help organizations (internal as well as external) build, test, iterate and integrate to service their patient and provider needs. We will do so as efficiently and effectively as possible, while remaining a non-profit organization.


Drs. David Asch and Kevin Volpp conceptualized Way to Health back in 2010. It was born from their frustration around the lack of a platform to quickly develop, test and scale out their ideas to improve health care for patients.

Since then, more than 50 faculty and researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and other renowned institutions have conducted and continue to research direct patient engagement and behavioral economics based interventions aimed at reducing the disease burden from major U.S. public health problems.


We work very closely with multiple renowned groups at Penn


Our evolution

May 2021

200+ programs and 1,250,000+ patients

We hit our 5 year goal of touching 1 million patients / participants in 2 years.

February 2021

190+ programs and 850,000+ patients

We expect to hit our 5 year goal of touching 1 million patients / participants this year. We are proud to be part of some ground breaking studies (BCFG Flu vaccination) and also enabling COVID vaccination related efforts including local community clinics and larger outreach to vulnerable patient populations.

December 2020

190+ programs and 530,000+ patients

Mega programs are increasingly deployed on Way to Health targeting entire populations of patients with specific conditions, states and much more. Key programs continue to have 75+ NPS ratings.

July 2020

180+ programs and 110,000+ patients

Way to Health is increasingly used in clinical programs and is central to Penn's COVID-19 response efforts. Programs such as COVID Watch, COVID Pulse, Results Reporting and many more get rolled out in record time.

December 2019

150+ programs and 60,000+ patients

Improvements in the platform now allow accelerated deployments at an average rate of 2-3 programs per week.

July 2019

125 programs and accelerating

Our user base continues to diversity with multiple external organizations across the country starting up projects independently from Penn.

June 2018

100 study milestone

Way To Health continues to go from strength to strength. It currently has managed a total of a 101 programs with many more in the pipeline.

December 2017

85 research programs and clinical pilots. 28+ peer reviewed publications.

Successes continue to add up as the platform is used now not only for research but also for clinical pilots and larger scale clinical deployments.

July 2016

55 programs and 15+ peer reviewed publications.

Successes continue to pile up and the platform continues to evolve as more and more capabilities are needed - gamification, device integrations, text messaging and many more.

July 2015

25+ study milestone

Way To Health continues to gain wider adoption with zero marketing. This is major milestone as it represents programs across multiple domains - CHF, Diabetes, Wellness, Adolescents and Children and many more

Jan 2014

Default platform for BE programs at UPenn and in other institutions

Behavioral economics based research continues to show promise and this purpose built tool increasingly becomes the go-to choice for researchers. Kevin and David institute grants to give young researchers a way to quickly try out innovative ideas.

July 2013

We grow the team

In the "invest when necessary" mould, Way to Health begins to grow its internal engineering, product and implementation teams.

Jan 2012

Way to Health supports 25 programs

Way To Health continues to evolve as more and more researchers within Penn use the platform to set up and deploy small and large scale programs.

Jan 2011

First Way to Health study is launched

Seminal study was focused on smoking cessation and using financial incentives to quit smoking. National study conducted among CVS employees using financial incentives to quit smoking. Largest study conducted to date of financial incentives and smoking cessation in an employer setting, led to benefit design changes across CVS.

July 2010

Way to Health is born

David Asch and Kevin Volpp come up with the idea of building a software platform to simplify and automate all the steps needed to set up and manage interventional clinical trials with a specific focus on behavioral economics. NIH provides seed funding to make this idea a reality.