Tyler Suiters                      

This special edition of CES Tech Talk is brought to you by Rally⁠—a consumer-focused digital health company that develops easy to use web and mobile solutions that empower people to take control of their health and health care.

Tyler Suiters                      

Hey, everybody. With the Consumer Technology Association, I'm Tyler Suiters. We are the owners and producers of CES, the world's largest, the most influential tech event and we are here to help you get CES Ready. The show is January 7th through the 10th, 2020 as always in Las Vegas and today we are talking digital health.

Tyler Suiters                      

Now, at CES you will see remote monitoring products, wearables, diagnostic solutions, all these tech innovations that are shaping today's lifestyles and wellness. Now, CES is the only venue where the entire digital health ecosystem comes together in just one place. Today, a conversation about that with Rally. This is a tech innovation that guides you through every step of your health care journey. That can be helping you understand the benefits that are available to you, helping you find the right care and make good decisions and also meeting your individual goals. Rally really provides a tailored, almost bespoke approach here. A deep conversation today on this special episode of CES Tech Talk with Rally.

Tyler Suiters                      

With us in studio today is Chris Carey. He is the chief product officer at Rally Health. Chris, good to have you off the road. I know San Francisco is home base but you've been logging the air miles lately.

Chris Carey                         

I have. It's good to be here. Thanks.

Tyler Suiters                      

It seems like that's a reality of the digital health space right now and what's required⁠—the road trips just because it is so deep and broad right now. Give us a quick overview of where Rally Health is in the digital health space and the greater ecosystem.

Chris Carey                         

Yeah, absolutely. I mean Rally Health in general… we like to think of ourselves as playing across both the care and the health spaces of digital health. Our role is really to bring those two aspects together because as you know people they'll oscillate from being perfectly healthy to being a patient and back perhaps being a caregiver, and so we see our role in this space is really bringing things together and bringing the touch points together so that you have one door, one experience that you need to do to manage all the things that are really related to your overall health.

Tyler Suiters                      

I think that's an important point to address up front is that when we're talking about digital health, a lot of times the audience for the business aspect of it are going to be companies involved directly or tangentially with the health care sector. But here part of your audience at Rally is in some senses every one of us. You have more than 50 million quote unquote customers that may not even know it because they're involved and have access to Rally product through their health plans.

Chris Carey                         

That's absolutely right. Our vision is to put health in the hands of the individual, and we do that by supporting our payer partners who offer Rally services but also employers. Rally is a product that can be offered to employees from their employers and the purchases they have. Like you said, we're at 55 million people who we're able to engage with on a daily basis, and part of our goal is how do we know drive that even further. Because our vision started from our CEO is how do we do this and how do we reach as many people as possible because overall that's how we're going to help the health care system in general.

Tyler Suiters                      

Take me through that customer journey if you would. I'm one of the 55 million say through my health plan and I somehow figured out or you all tell me that "Hey, I've got access to this product." Rally's entirely online. So where's the door, how do I find the door and where does the path lead me?

Chris Carey                         

Absolutely. I mean sometimes the door is actually your health insurance website. So when you go and you sign in, you are actually experiencing Rally though you may not know it because the brand is actually your health plan. You may not know it. But right then and there we take you through an experience to learn a little bit about you, learn about your habits so that way we can completely personalize the experience to you because where you are right now is going to be very different than somebody else or maybe where you were last year, and so we're always looking to engage you in that way.

Chris Carey                         

Now for our employers, that access can be going from your employer internet side or even just coming direct to Rally where you set up your account and you're completely engaged. Whether that's on the web, or obviously we have the mobile apps, because most of our engagement actually does come from users engaging with the mobile devices specifically and then they're off and running.

Tyler Suiters                      

So my journey depends on what I'm doing, right? Am I searching for myself? Am I searching for my child? Am I searching maybe for a parent who needs help? How does the situation and the process differ for each one of those because one person can be all three of them?

Chris Carey                         

Absolutely. Overall the concept of being able to know who you're connected with and who your family is so that you can essentially search and provide care for the different people who you're needing, is key. As we go through what we might call our activation experience when you first joined Rally, we ask you some of these questions so we can better understand some of your role in the product. We always like to call it, we say there's a home CMO, the chief medical officer of the home, and so we want to find out if our user is that person so they can better understand, "Hey, are they using this tool more often for themselves or how often are they using the tool to help make decisions for people around them?"

Tyler Suiters                      

So I guess it recognizes that you can be your home CMO and also be patient zero.

Chris Carey                         

Exactly.

Tyler Suiters                      

At the same time.

Chris Carey                         

Exactly. As flu season is upon us, that's absolutely right.

Tyler Suiters                      

Interesting distinction, Chris that Rally makes. On one hand their employee wellness programs, to use a term of [inaudible 00:06:04], but Rally talks about being a digital health company. Do ever the twain meet? What's the intersection?

Chris Carey                         

I would say if you think about that term of [inaudible 00:06:16] or maybe that legacy term of employee wellness, we are looking at those slightly differently now. You can think about the historical, like some of the ways that gets you engaged in your day to day health, we use those to make sure people are using our platform to get engaged and therefore come to us on a daily basis and know about Rally.

Chris Carey                         

If for example, it's 2:00 AM and your toddler is sick, if we haven't already engaged you and you don't already know about Rally, chances are you're not going to download [inaudible 00:06:44] at 2:00 AM when your toddler is sick.

Chris Carey                         

And so we look at some of these, I'll say low acuity wellness program type things, to of course keep you healthy in your daily activity, but more it's just the drive that continual engagement, build that trust with the user so that when they do have a higher acuity event, like if they're sick or perhaps they're looking for a weight loss program, they know, "Hey, I've got this great relationship with Rally, I'm going to go there and they're going to be able to get me to the right place."

Tyler Suiters                      

So how are you driving that? I'll break it down into let's say proactive and reactive. Proactive being Rally's engaging me. I want to share some information about me or my child and get some tips or some directions or health guidance. Reactive being, yeah, like you just said, it's 2:00 AM and my two-year-old has a 102 degree fever. I want you to know something about me before going into th ...

Chris Carey                         

I mean it's the buzzword nowadays, right? I think big data. I think if you use that in an ad, you get a couple of thousand more eyeballs or something. It's seems to be what people do.

Chris Carey                         

It does play a big point. We look at the data a couple of different ways. There's the clinical data, the claims data that we get about you, but there's also the user generated content. Like how were you engaging in our missions? Can we learn about that? Have you told us that you're only getting four hours of sleep or maybe you're eating out more often?

Chris Carey                         

And then the last part is how are you actually using the product. The good example is that 2:00 AM. We've actually found that if somebody is logging on at 2:00 AM, chances are they don't need to check into their sleep mission. They probably have a care need. So that's a perfect time to get them integrated with virtual care. And so we built an easy way so that they can connect with a doctor right in our platform and not have to download a third party app. Because a big part of our story is if we're going to engage people and then once they get them and make it easy for them, we have to sort of bridge these connections.

Chris Carey                         

So a big part of Rally's strategy is how do we, I'll say not disrupt the health care system but we want to make it easier to bring those things together. We don't want to disrupt the patient and provider experience—we want to make it easier. And how can we enable that through technology that maybe didn't exist 10, 15 years ago now that we have API services for the tech folks listening to the Kafka streaming? How can we do these things that just weren't available to us 15, 20 years ago?

Tyler Suiters                      

Yeah. Well, to the extent that quote unquote disruption is in large part about efficiencies, improving efficiencies and seamless opportunities when it's there.

Tyler Suiters                      

Would you dive, Chris, a little more deeply into the digital navigation? You made a reference to it earlier through the development of the app, right? That, as you said, everyone's using it, or a lot of people are using it through their smart phones now. To what extent is digital navigation a driver here? The ease of it, the familiarity with it, the access of using it?

Chris Carey                         

Sure. I mean overall digital is ubiquitous, right? We are all used to it. Our goal and one of the things we focus on is like how do we leverage, especially the digital front door to help you engage maybe an analog services. And so part of that is as you would come to the experience in that sort of your dashboard, if you will, how do we, based on what we know about you and know about your family and things like that, how do we personalize that dashboard that gets you to your next step in your health journey as efficiently as possible.

Chris Carey                         

We say it a lot—our personalization engine to drive that experience needs to be completely flexible down to what you did yesterday on the platform to then drive a completely new dashboard experience based on what we've learned about you.

Tyler Suiters                      

And within 24 hours.

Chris Carey                         

Absolutely. I mean, it's in real time. It can be as serious as if somebody is... It's in the news a lot today around the need for mental health care. And if we see somebody doing something on our platform, they're searching or they let us know that they're thinking about harming themselves, we need to be able to personalize that experience immediately for those types of things to get them the care they need. So it is in real time that we need to make these decisions to make sure we help everybody that's on our platform.

Tyler Suiters                      

Well that really broaches the aspect of consumer trust, user trust, right? How do you develop that with your customers, with your clients and how do you strengthen it throughout the journey?

Chris Carey                         

That's exactly right. A big part of it, and that's why we've talked about some of those low acuity type things like the missions, the challenges, those self-directed programs, that's what we use to build trust. Another thing that may be very tactical, but part of the onboarding experience is you create an avatar, right? Something that you use that's not you, so nobody could know who you are, but you can then experience the journey as... I think my avatar is Hail Ant Overlords from the Simpsons. I think I'm going to pay them a royalty now.

Chris Carey                         

We leverage that so they can be a little bit anonymous on our platform and get comfortable with us, so that way if they are and they experienced those low acuity settings when a high acuity situation arrives, they already know us. They already trust us, that we will engage them in the right way.

Tyler Suiters                      

You were saying, I can get Ralphie as my personal avatar?

Chris Carey                         

Yeah, you can upload your own picture, you'll be good.

Tyler Suiters                      

There's a rabbit hole there.

Chris Carey                         

Exactly [crosstalk 00:11:56] the big one.

Tyler Suiters                      

We'll sidestep that.

Tyler Suiters                      

What is the incentivization for someone to engage? I was getting a look at the walkthrough earlier. It's a lot of questions that I would want answered, but it's me answering the questions and wanting guidance. Is that really the driver of it in those proactive situations when nothing is quote unquote wrong?

Chris Carey                         

I would say a little bit. I think the other way... We always say if you give something to us, you should get something. And so part of Rally's [inaudible 00:12:29] and how we started is like we have this entire... we call it Rally coins. It's just like a nominal currency. And so as you're going through and telling us a little bit about yourself, how do we reward you for doing that. I think the behavioral economics will tell you, if you want to get somebody to do something give them a reward and reward them often. Gamification is a big part of our design process. So what we look to do is how do we incentivize those right activities so that we can one, learn a little bit about you to be able to personalize, but then two, make sure you make the right decision when you're in that point of high acuity care.

Chris Carey                         

An example might be we are doing things around when people are looking for an MRI, I always use this example with my people who join my team, four blocks in San Francisco can literally save you $1,000.

Tyler Suiters                      

All right, dive into that. Explain it.

Chris Carey                         

If you were to go to a hospital for an MRI versus a, what's in the term of [inaudible 00:13:31] freestanding facility, the cost difference is $1,000 within four blocks in San Francisco. No one knows about that. And so if we really want to get people to top of mind to switch and not go to the hospital, like, "Hey, you can save $1,000," how can we actually reward you and share some of those savings back with the user. So that's something we're working on right now. How can we just reward people for engaging in making those right decisions?

Tyler Suiters                      

One of the things we started this conversation with, Chris, is the varying customer base you have; your stakeholders, which are not just policy holders but policy makers.

Chris Carey                         

Yes. The plan sponsors. Absolutely.

Tyler Suiters                      

So how does the Rally platform itself differ from user to user or employer to employer? What would I see versus someone at a different company with a different health care system?

Chris Carey                         

A big part of the health care experience is actually the, for lack of a better term, the product that you get, whether you purchase it by yourself on the health care exchange or you get it from your employer. Being able to ingest that information and know what product you have can help us make better recommendations for you. And then of course that's on the, I'll say that the health plan side, the insurance side. But then for employers, we have the ability to configure different programs and resources that that employer might offer their employees and make it very specific to that employer.

Chris Carey                         

So if the employer, and many of them do have their own I'll say wellbeing strategy for their population, our platform will allow them to configure the Rally experience that directly aligns with their overall corporate wellbeing strategy so they get the right programs, resources, and most importantly, they actually get their employees to engage. Because a lot of these employers actually have these programs, but it's really hard to engage people because they're often hard to find. That's our job. If you want your employees to engage in virtual care, how do we make sure your employees know about it and in those 2:00 AM situations, they use it?

Tyler Suiters                      

So that highly tailored experience sounds familiar across a number of other online journeys, we'll say.

Chris Carey                         

Yeah.

Tyler Suiters                      

Where did you at Rally draw the inspiration for this highly tailored almost bespoke approach to personalized health care and information?

Chris Carey                         

I'll say the seed of innovation, we would take it back to our CEO Grant, and his journey started with... He was a college athlete. He had an injury. He went into a surgery with one idea of success. He came out of that surgery and his idea of success and his physicians were completely misaligned. And just from there it was how can after meeting with him [inaudible 00:16:20] so many pre-opt appointments, how can our definition of a success be so different at the end of it? And then obviously he had additional complications. But it started there to how do we really, in each person's life when they're going through these situations, provide them the tools and content so that they're more empowered to make decisions or maybe not make decisions, but just ask questions so that people would get aligned? So that's where it started.

Chris Carey                         

I think, a lot of our company comes from the gaming industry. One of the things the game industry is really focused on is how do they create micro loops to keep people being engaged? And so we've taken a lot of the learnings from the gaming industry and things like that to like how do we engage people on a day to day basis so we can again be there when they need us most.

Tyler Suiters                      

The issue you outlined, Chris, of patient versus provider communication, let's say this conversation it did or didn't happen or that were misaligned, that's one challenge. What though is the biggest either individual challenge or umbrella topic challenge that you think Rally is addressing and on its way to solving?

Chris Carey                         

I would say the biggest challenge in the health care space is just overall engagement in the suite of programs that are out there. As I probably told you that $1,000 within four blocks, I'm guessing that was something you weren't aware of.

Tyler Suiters                      

I wish I had known that going through that.

Chris Carey                         

Part of our job is how do we take our engagement levels and bring them up for our health plan partners for our employer partners. And so I think that's one of the biggest challenges. But the good news is it's also what consumers are asking for. I think there's a McKinsey study out there that says, "70 percent of people or upwards want to engage digitally." So the consumer need is there. Our responsibility in this is to engage people and then sort of stitch together the different entities that can provide this overarching health care experience so that it's easy for them so they don't have to link out and register someplace else. Our job is to bring those things together once we have them engaged.

Tyler Suiters                      

Let's do that macros zoom out now to the industry as a whole. What does the future of digital health in your mind, in Rally's eyes, where are we going?

Chris Carey                         

That is a great and loaded question, I think.

Tyler Suiters                      

I thought it was a terrible and overly broad question, but thanks Chris.

Chris Carey                         

One of the things that we see and what we're focusing on, we're using the term local care and one of our big objectives of, as I mentioned earlier, our goal is not to disrupt that patient provider experience but actually enable it on a more ease of use in a more... I'll call it a value based care type of content.

Tyler Suiters                      

I think that's a great tie, yeah. Where you're focusing on the right incentivization, right? The incentivization being the patient's health rather than the revenue generation or something like that.

Chris Carey                         

And care's local, right? When you need care; your doctor's local. So part of our strategy is how can we... we've done a lot with programs and [inaudible 00:19:30] people the right programs and that's still a key part. But another key part is how do we create those connections with your local provider and make those easier and make it easier for those providers to actually provide care. Because if everybody can provide the right care to the right user at the right time, that's going to be a better outcome for the patient. That's going to be more successful physicians, who don't have to spend all their time in silly appointments and it's just better for the system in general. So we are really looking to optimize the local care experience will be a big part of one of our strategies.

Tyler Suiters                      

Your very first trip to CES ever is on the horizon. First of all, you're in for a blast but I won't spoil any surprises just yet.

Chris Carey                         

I'm looking forward to it.

Tyler Suiters                      

Let's talk about what Rally is up to. What is your game plan and strategy heading into CES 2020?

Chris Carey                         

From what I've heard, our goal is based on the people [inaudible 00:20:20]. If you're in technology, and I don't think anybody can not be in technology in 2019, is really one to learn from the people that are going to be there and having just good conversations with people. One, help them learn about what Rally's doing but also learn from what people are looking for especially in this space. Because what was the strategy 10 years ago, won't be again this year. And so we want to learn about what are people looking for in this space and how can we better help their needs and deliver on what their strategies might be?

Tyler Suiters                      

Yeah. I hope you come away feeling like mission accomplished by the end of January.

Tyler Suiters                      

Chris Carey is the Chief Product Officer at Rally Health. Chris, just a blast today. Thanks so much for the time.

Chris Carey                         

I appreciate it. Thank you.

Tyler Suiters                      

All right. That does it for this edition of CES Tech Talk. As always, we want to help you be CES Ready, so do yourself and us a favor and subscribe to this podcast. CES Tech Talk is available on all the major podcasting platforms, and if you do so by subscribing, you won't miss a single episode and you will be especially well prepared for CES 2020. The show dates are January 7th through the 10th, 2020 in Las Vegas. To help yourself plan and prepare, you can also go to the website, ces.tech. That is C-E-S dot T-E-C-H.

Tyler Suiters                      

Now, none of this podcast would be remotely possible without the true stars here. Our Executive Producer, Tina Anthony, and our Senior Studio Engineer, John Lindsey. You two are the best in the business.

Tyler Suiters                      

I'm Tyler Suiters. Let's talk tech again soon.

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