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When Vic Strecher heard reports of veterans returning from the Gulf War suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression—with some turning to suicide—he knew he had to help.
Strecher, a professor and director of innovation at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, thought that these veterans—and really everyone—could benefit from taking better control over their own health. And to do that, Strecher thought they needed access to all kinds of data to help them make better decisions.
“We wanted to build an engine that continually learned about the user, and continued to improve its advice—a kind of digital life coach. But we needed help in building the engine. Booz Allen knew how to build the engine.””
- Vic Strecher, University of Michigan’s School of Public Health
Strecher launched JOOL Health to help employers, health plans, and health systems improve their populations’ overall well-being through linking smarter and more targeted use of data and the emerging “science of purpose.” JOOL’s platform would use predictive analytics to measure everything from sleeping and eating habits to less tangible things like a person’s creativity and presence.
At the same time, external data points on things like the weather and temporal data would be utilized to drive suggestions on things users can do to feel better and align with their sense of purpose, acting as a “motivational touchstone.”
Strecher and the JOOL team had a lot of experience building compelling user interfaces. But an analytics platform that could enable connections between personal inputs and external factors, as well as a technological infrastructure that would support hundreds of thousands of users—that was another matter entirely.
Booz Allen became a strategic partner with JOOL Health to help it realize this vision and pioneer the category of Precision Well-being™.
“A vast majority of corporations would have shied away from taking on the challenges that come with this type of project,” Vic says. “From pulling in data from multiple sources to dealing with privacy concerns, Booz Allen’s experience was crucial to our partnership and together we were able to develop a groundbreaking product.”
Our data scientists and technologists worked alongside JOOL’s team to develop a mobile and web application that helps users:
Throughout development, our data scientists designed ways to adapt mathematical and predictive models to deliver intelligent and impactful insights and guidance to help individuals be their best self. The result is a product that builds a personal model of the individual user that gets smarter the more it’s used, unlike traditional population models. Booz Allen created with JOOL a next generation well-being platform—one that uses the same approach used in precision medicine.
“We wanted to build an engine that continually learned about the user, and continued to improve its advice—a kind of digital life coach. But we needed help in building the engine,” says Vic. “Booz Allen knew how to build the engine.”
The result of the partnership is a personal life coach in your pocket. Users learn actionable strategies to improve their well-being, from better diet and exercise to controlling migraines and stress, improving relationships, and having more energy and willpower. And for organizations whose members use the app, JOOL provides daily, dynamic aggregated information about their company’s trends in energy, willpower, health behaviors, and life goals alignment.
“We needed to make sure the messages people receive help them take action,” says Booz Allen’s Eric Druker. “The mathematically correct answer and the answer that is the most compelling are not the same. This was a difficult challenge.”
For individuals, JOOL
For organizations, JOOL
After 18 months of extensive research, development and validation, JOOL Health commercially launched its Precision Well-being™ solution in summer 2016. Since then, JOOL’s platform has demonstrated positive outcomes for a growing number of leading employers, health systems and health plans.
The vision is to continually develop more sophisticated algorithms while fueling the analytics engine with additional predictive data sets to further enhance individual and organizational performance and well-being.
Interested in trying it out for yourself? Get a free demo of JOOL.