A Science-Backed Approach to Health and Well-being

Our healthcare system is backwards. Instead of placing emphasis on attaining and maintaining wellness, it focuses on treating (and monetizing) illness. Basically, it’s “sick care,” not “well care.” By the time an individual seeks treatment for an illness, it’s likely that illness has already become a chronic condition. The unfortunate part is that treating chronic conditions is much harder and costly than preventing them—especially now that we have science-backed tools to do so.

At Newtopia, we’re trying to turn the tide by using those tools as an intervention at the point where a person is deemed to be “at risk” of a chronic condition or disease. Our goal is to prevent, reverse or slow the progression of chronic disease. By doing so, we are also decreasing healthcare costs with a proven return on investment for employers, payers, and providers alike.

Following are four science-backed components of the Newtopia experience.

Habit Change

B.J. Fogg, author of “Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything,” wrote, “A behavior happens when three things come together at the same moment.” Those three things are motivation, ability, and prompt. “And when those three things come together at the same moment, you do the behavior.” This applies to both good—and not so good—habits and it’s one of the foundational, science-based components of the Newtopia program. The fact is, motivation and ability are unique to each person. So, too, should be their personal health and wellness journey.

Newtopia realizes that each person’s reasons for wanting to get healthier are unique to them. It may be about having more energy, reducing the need for medication, looking better in their clothes, or wanting to live longer. In most cases, it’s a combination of several factors. The Newtopia experience addresses all the individual’s motivations. Doing so helps us determine the types of goals and personal incentives to focus on.

CBT

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is another science-backed component of the Newtopia program, one that has been tested through hundreds of clinical studies. CBT was first introduced by Dr. Aaron T. Beck in the 1960s who had performed numerous studies, primarily on depression. Since those early days CBT has found efficacy in a much broader range of applications, one of which is weight loss. Research shows that the traditional focus on changing eating and exercise habits falls short because it doesn’t address motivation and mindset and isn’t personalized to the individual’s needs. This is one reason why participation in traditional health and well-being programs tend to peak in the first few months, then fall off. Those programs rely primarily on education and willpower, which only go so far.

Newtopia takes a one-size-fits-one approach that focuses on an individual’s mindset and unique motivations. We have identified five stages that make up a person’s readiness to change: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. Understanding the stage an individual is in helps us better personalize the experience. For example, a participant may know they need to be healthier, but they struggle with believing they can change. In this case, the Newtopia experience can be designed to focus on early wins to build confidence and boost motivation.

Dedicated Coaches

Multiple studies have suggested there is a strong correlation between successful weight loss and health coaches. A study by The Permanente Medical Group found that members who received wellness coaching experienced much greater weight loss compared to those that did not receive coaching. The study concluded that coaching improves outcomes for people with chronic disease as well. Coaches serve an important role by teaching individuals about the principles of behavioral modification. They can help identify psychological and other barriers that inhibit progress and then provide ongoing guidance and support to help overcome them.

At Newtopia, our coaches—we call them Inspirators—serve as the foundational pillar that supports all other aspects of our program. Each participant takes a Personality Profile survey when they begin the program. The survey identifies an individual’s motivations, social determinants of health, personal preferences, goals, and more. Using our proprietary technology, we apply an 18-point algorithm to the information to identify the individual’s personality subtype, which becomes the basis for both matching the participant to their Inspirator and for customizing their Newtopia experience. We’ve found that coaching relationships based on complimentary personalities produce the best results. In fact, fewer than 1% of participants request a new match.

PROMIS

To help Newtopia Inspirators, we incorporate another science-backed tool into our program, which is ® (Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System). PROMIS is a set of measures that are used to evaluate and monitor mental health. While not a diagnostic tool, PROMIS assesses symptoms and functions across all populations and conditions. Newtopia has incorporated five PROMIS measurements: resilience, mood, anxiety, sleep, and energy. Participants and their Inspirators can use these measurements right alongside the other program tools to measure and monitor factors that can inhibit progress and identify areas of focus.

Some programs use team challenges, group discussions, and educational webinars to encourage personal accountability. While these can certainly help, they cannot match the effectiveness of a dedicated coach who’s been matched to the individual based on personality and preferences.

Proven Success

Accenture is a global business consulting firm with more than 537,000 employees worldwide. The company has always put an emphasis on curating a culture of health and well-being. Accenture wanted to provide employees with tools that would fit into their everyday lives and make it easy for them to make healthy choices. They wanted a program that would meet people where they are as individuals and that would honor them as human beings.

To participate, employees and spouses/dependents must be enrolled in the Accenture medical plan and have a BMI of 28 or greater, or have two or more of the following risk factors:

  • Blood glucose levels ≥ 100mg/dl
  • Blood Pressure ≥ 130/85 mm HG
  • Triglycerides ≥ 150 mg/dl
  • HDL levels ≤ 50 mg/dl for women and ≤ 40 mg/dl for men

The Newtopia experience was offered during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the results were still quite impressive.  While the general population struggled with weight gain, Accenture employees participating in the Newtopia experience did not. “We are absolutely blown away by what was able to be accomplished during a pandemic,” said Julie Wilkes, Senior Manager, North American Well-Being & Resistance Lead at Accenture. “In our partnership with Newtopia our participants actually found a different story.”

  • 73% of participants lost weight
  • 3% is the average weight loss for participants who lost weight
  • 69% of employees remained engaged even beyond the initial 12-months

Wilkes emphasizes the role employers have in helping their employees change their lives for the better. “It’s really extraordinary when somebody can take their life back and realize that they’re going to live a longer healthier happier life. We’re really grateful for our partnership with Newtopia and for the impact it’s had for our employees.”

A Science-Based Path Forward

The Newtopia experience combines science-backed tools, person-centric technology, and human interaction to help individuals prevent, reverse and slow the onset of chronic disease and live a healthier life. Our sustainable habit change platform is proven to deliver value on investment in the form of reduced metabolic risk factors, medical claims savings (2X ROI), increased quality of life, productivity, and morale for at-risk employees. The biggest advantage for both the employer and the employee is sustainability. With our habit change platform, individuals can experience life-changing health improvements while employers can achieve long-term value through reduced clinical risk factors and lower costs.

Learn more about Newtopia’s solutions here. 

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