What We’ve Learned From Helping People Manage Their Conditions

By Staff | January 7, 2020 | Rally Health


Learning you have a chronic condition can be overwhelming, and some people may feel like they have to change everything at once. New diet! New meds! New lifestyle! But making incremental steps may be a better way to take control, whether it’s managing a condition or preventing one.

That’s the idea behind our new condition Missions. Last year, we wrote about the importance of addressing clinical conditions, and announced that we had added 14 condition Missions to our wellness product, with more on the way. Missions focus on the small steps people can take to improve their health, whether it’s avoiding asthma triggers, or carefully tracking your weight. As we noted, there’s no underestimating the importance of addressing these serious health issues, and managing conditions has become a top priority for employers.

“Lifestyle habits — in particular, following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, keeping a healthy body weight, and not smoking — may account for as much as 80% of the risk of developing the most common and deadly chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease,” says Rally Chief Medical Officer Adam Bernstein, MD. “These lifestyle-related chronic diseases are not just a national concern, but a global challenge. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that nearly two-thirds of all deaths worldwide are due to chronic disease.”

We now have 34 condition Missions, covering asthmacoronary heart diseaseheart failurehigh blood pressurehigh cholesteroldiabetes, and chronic pulmonary obstructive disorder. (You’ll have to sign in to Rally to access this content.) Note how there is a selection of Missions for each condition, which makes it easy for a user to see all of their options at a glance.

Some Missions are relevant to the audience at large, like Eat Whole Grains or Get Moving Every Week, which encourages people to take up moderate fitness activities, and assures them that even a 10-minute walk can offer solid benefits. And some are very condition-specific, like Eat Potassium-Rich Foods (blood pressure) or Check Your Skin (diabetes).

We’re proud to note that Rally Missions were recently certified by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), along with the Rally Health Survey and Find & Price Care tool. NCQA is a nonprofit organization that aims to improve the quality of health care. Certification means our users can have the utmost confidence in the clinical validity and quality of Rally’s digital health solutions.

“It’s a real honor to have our work certified by NCQA,” says Scott Heath, Rally’s product manager for Missions and Communities. “It shows all the hard work and clinical oversight that has gone into creating these missions.”

Our goal in creating these condition Missions was to offer helpful, practical steps. These are supplemental, habit-building activities designed to help people stay on top of their condition. We followed the highest quality clinical standards, and used behavioral techniques to encourage people and show them how small steps could have a big impact.

The complete set has been live for almost a year. Here’s what we’ve learned so far, broken down by our key metrics.

Most Joins per User

This metric measures the audience’s initial interest. Fitness was the biggest attraction, at least to start. Get Moving Every Week and Add Exercise to Your Day were joined most frequently. They were followed by two other Missions designed to leverage social networks and help with motivation —Talk to Friends and Family and Meet With a Support Group.

Most Four-Week Consecutive Users

But what happens after a few weeks? Which Missions do people stay with? We track a four-week consecutive use rate, because someone who has stayed with a Mission for four weeks in a row is well on the way to creating a new habit. Meet With a Support Group edged to the lead here, but it was closely followed by Take the Stairs, a good example of the kind of everyday steps that can lead to big results. Users also stuck with Talk to Family and Friends, which is a good sign. Support from friends and family can make all the difference if you're living with a chronic health condition, and the same holds true for joining a support group. The benefits of talking to people who are going through a similar experience are well documented.

Highest Completion Rate

These were some of our most gratifying results. While the number of people with specific conditions isn’t as large as the overall group, the completion rate on condition-specific Missions is promising. Track Your Sugar and Check Your Skin, both aimed at diabetics, were at the top of the completion rate list. Ditto for Track Your Weight and Track Your Fluids, two important habits for people with heart failure. The condition mission with the highest completion rate was also the one with the widest relevance. Cut Back on Salt, as part of a heart healthy diet, is relevant to people with heart failure, diabetes, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

“I’m very proud of this product,” says Heath. “I’m glad we’re delivering tools that help users manage important and difficult conditions, and I’m optimistic that we can continue to help people achieve their health care goals.”


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