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Startup No More: Evive Health Celebrates 10 Years
CHICAGO, July 26, 2017 — When you order a pizza, you can see the price right on the menu. When you’re shopping for a new car, you can read quality reports and consumer reviews before committing. And when you book a flight, you can easily choose one in your frequent flier network, departing from the airport that’s most convenient to you.
But if you’re in the market for healthcare, things can go a little differently. Quality ratings and outcome reports can be hard to track down. Finding a provider that’s convenient, trustworthy, and in-network can take months. Anticipating cost can be a guessing-game, and sometimes you might not even know what services are available to you.
These aspects of the healthcare system have contributed to its reputation as a complex realm of fine print, jargon, and difficult choices about when (and whether) to seek care.
And for employers who provide healthcare benefits, this perceived complexity presents a problem: They spend vast sums of money to provide benefits that employees are reluctant to use—or, in some cases, don’t even know they have.
With the founding of Evive Health, Prashant Srivastava and Peter Saravis set out to solve the problem. Since 2007, they’ve been using big data and personalized nudges to guide people toward the right care at the right time and increased use of the resources available to them.
Ten years in, the founders reflect on how they took Evive from a startup to a sustainable and growing enterprise, making healthcare and other benefits digestible and relevant to employees of more than 50 U.S. companies and counting.
Two friends, one idea
As colleagues in the healthcare industry, Saravis and Srivastava recognized that healthcare was moving toward a consumer model, but there was nothing consumer-friendly about it. People had little to no information about what care they should be getting, when or where they should get it, and what it would cost.
“If healthcare was going to be a consumer industry, someone had to take the data and turn it into information. We knew employers paid for most of an employee’s health costs, so we knew they stood to gain,” says Srivastava.
He and Saravis came up with an idea. They would create a proprietary technology platform that could analyze healthcare data—data unavailable to employers—to create personalized, right-on-time reminders for employees to seek preventive care and take steps to manage their chronic conditions. Then, they would analyze the data stream to see if the nudges worked.
“Other consumer industries used data extensively to provide a better experience,” Srivastava says. “For example, with Nordstrom, if you use their credit card, they’ll keep track of your purchases and your tastes. Supermarkets started doing the same with their loyalty-program cards. Healthcare already had a loyalty card: the insurance card!”
With Srivastava’s engineering background and MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School, Saravis’ master’s degree in worksite health promotion, and years of experience in the healthcare field, the two were well-equipped to turn the healthcare industry’s mountains of data into something useful—something that could even change lives.
“If healthcare was going to be a consumer industry,
someone had to take the data and turn it into information.”
—Prashant Srivastava, Co-Founder, Evive Health
Getting the first client
When Evive started pitching its product to prospective clients, most were interested, but hesitant to be the first to sign on. Les Schwab Tires became the first company to bet on the Evive platform.
In time, Evive noticed that Les Schwab employees were using their preventive care benefits more than they had before. With that data as proof that the platform could work, more clients signed on to see what Evive could do.
“We’re in the space where the employer’s interests, the employee’s interests, and Evive’s interests intersect in a win-win-win proposition,” says Srivastava.
As its list of clients has grown, Evive has welcomed thought leaders in benefits strategy at companies that provide comprehensive, innovative benefits packages to employees and their families. The result? A wealth of insights into how employee benefits can lead people to better health, well-being, and financial stability.
Ten years in
These days, Evive’s products and messaging reach far beyond the tried-and-true preventive and chronic condition health reminders. More and more, they’re empowering people to take advantage of all their benefits, educating them about their 401(k)s, employer-offered discounts, and other perks that clients want to see more of their employees using. Modes of message delivery have evolved, too, spanning from print to email to text message to an app and a digital portal.
The inspiration for this evolution? Evive clients.
“The better we got, and the more customers trusted us, the more they pushed us in new directions,” says Saravis. And while the cornerstone of big data remains, the company’s use of predictive analytics, rules engines, algorithms, and behavioral economics has become more sophisticated.
“We can use those to solve any problem, as long as there’s a data stream for identification, and another that tells if you’re successful,” says Srivastava. “We chose to apply it to health and transforming lives. Retailers and credit card companies are using this data to market stuff they want you to buy. In a sense, we’re ‘selling’ good health back to you using the same technology.”
“If you give people the right information,
if it’s relevant and easy, they’ll do good things with it.”
—Peter Saravis, Co-Founder, Evive Health
An interdisciplinary team, tailored to the client
Evive’s employees represent a diverse set of professional backgrounds, from data science to public health to creative design and more. It’s a combination that provides multiple perspectives for solving any given problem. “We need the skills of a massive, interdisciplinary team we’re putting together to deliver on our promises,” Srivastava says.
Over the past decade, Evive has also honed a carefully crafted culture known as the Evive Way. It’s a set of ideals that guide how Evive employees work together, disagree, celebrate, and grow.
“One of the most important aspects is continuous learning, the desire to constantly improve, both individually and as a company. And this is manifested in our products. Nurturing curiosity and an action orientation has made us nimble in bringing ideas to life,” Srivastava says.
Evive’s emphasis on close collaboration extends to its customers. Client teams present their clients’ wants and needs to Srivastava and the entire Product team quarterly. “We listen to the smallest, the largest, and every size in between,” says Srivastava. “We believe that a great idea can come from anywhere.”
Preparing for the next decade, and beyond
Evive is a natural fit in the growing sphere of human capital management, a philosophy that views people as assets that companies can invest in—both to raise their value and to retain them as employees. “Benefits may get someone to join your company, but using their benefits might get them to stay,” says Saravis.
Evive’s ability to deliver well-timed, personalized communications informed by data makes it a logical choice for those looking to increase enterprise benefits engagement. “If you give people the right information, if it’s relevant and easy, they’ll do good things with it,” says Saravis.
Just as technology evolves and the needs of clients change, so will Evive. In its second decade, the company plans to thread its healthcare-engagement expertise together with the entire benefits ecosystem, reimagining how employees use benefits and how employers maximize returns.
And as people engage more with their benefits, they’ll get a return of their own. “We expect that self-esteem, confidence, and happiness will improve,” says Srivastava. “In the next few years, we’ll have features to achieve this transformation of the human condition in the experience that today we call ‘work.’”
Evive will continue its mission with a dedicated Product and Innovation team, a client-centered delivery model, and exciting advances in machine learning, chatbots, automation, and more—all for the purpose of delighting clients, and, as always, improving lives.
About Evive Health
Evive Health removes the friction in employee benefits engagement. Integrating deep, richly layered data sets that represent the whole person, Evive activates principles of predictive analytics and behavioral economics to inspire awareness, motivate intelligent benefits decision-making, and obtain demonstrable outcomes. Evive’s platform-agnostic, SaaS-based services help users to optimize their health and Fortune 500 enterprises to optimize their benefits investments.