Wellness Layers to Present at The Health Plan Strategies for Medication Adherence Conference in Philadelphia

May 2015 Newsletter: CMS Awarded Project Seeks to Improve Medication Adherence Among HIV/AIDS Patients

CMS Awarded Project Seeks to Improve Medication Adherence
Among HIV/AIDS Patients

By Greg Slabodkin, as featured in Health Data Management on March 23, 2015

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) has awarded an $8.7 million to VillageCare, a New York City community-based, not-for-profit organization serving people with post-acute and chronic care, as well as rehabilit
ation needs, to help HIV/AIDS patients by providing a multi-layered and tailored intervention aimed at improving their medication adherence via a mobile medication planner, text reminders, social networking, peer mentoring, virtual support groups, and virtual access to health coaches.

Under the three-year project, called VillageCare Wellness Innovations, an integrated mobile web and app portal has been developed that includes a personal medication adherence plan, goals and mood tracking, an HIV/AIDS social support network, as well as video sessions and text messaging. The project, which “goes live” in April 2015, is part of a second round of CMMI Health Care Innovation Awards. The award is intended as a testing model of care delivery and payment that shows promise of improving medication adherence. Ultimately, VillageCare will recruit 5,000 patients by working with providers and payers for referrals. The goal is to reduce total cost of care by improving treatment adherence. Targeted participants for the project include people who are living with HIV/AIDS in the New York City, Long Island and Westchester areas, are Medicaid or Medicare beneficiaries, and are prescribed HIV medications.

“VillageCare has a long history of working with this population and there’s a lot of internal expertise and knowledge about the barriers to adherence,” Jessamine Buck, Program Director for VillageCare Wellness Innovations, told Health Data Management. Based on feedback from its staff, Buck said Wellness Innovations’ patient engagement platform incorporates different tools to address those barriers to medication adherence such as text message reminders.

“Some participants have very complicated treatment plans,” she added. “We often hear that they are not sure when to take their medication or they forget. They’re also not clear on which medications to take. The medication tracker and reminder service addresses both of those challenges.”

At the heart of the project is an emphasis on “patient activation” for people living with HIV/AIDS by enabling them to leverage professional and peer support that has the potential for overall health behavior change and medication compliance.

In addition, Buck said peer-to-peer mentoring and support group sessions will provide one-on-one encouragement and advice, creating a community of supporters “who are walking in the same shoes.” The project’s private social network allows participants to connect with others and build a community of support while still maintaining their privacy. The platform allows for both clinician and patient access, and customized and timely healthcare information and messages will be sent to patients through the portal.

“What we identified, surprisingly, is that this population is very well versed in technology,” said Ricardo Santiago, Chief Information Officer at VillageCare. “While they have smartphones and are very in tune with social platforms, such Facebook and Twitter, it wasn’t until we started investigating it for the grant that we learned they are very heavily reliant on technology and their preferred method of communicating is text messaging.”
Central Platform

Wellness Layers, a patient engagement digital health company, was selected by VillageCare to serve as a subcontractor for the CMMI-funded project to take VillageCare’s existing HIV/AIDS program—currently conducted in in-person group settings—and to bring that level of services into the digital realm so that it is “available anywhere, anytime.” Wellness Layers’ patent engagement platform is serving as the technology hub for Wellness Innovations. This single web and mobile platform combines an array of technology-enabled health supports that are securely and privately accessible via a website, mobile phone, and app.

“With this kind of peer mentorship and social motivation enabled by our platform, patients are no longer living in a silo but are part of an integrated system,” said Amir Kishon, CEO of Wellness Layers, which provides social web and mobile digital health solutions for organizations across health and wellness. At the same time, Kishon argues that because Wellness Innovations leverages mobile phones, it creates a simplified environment for patient engagement that is easy for users to navigate. Mobile apps for iPhone and Android are built in native and the Wellness Innovations platform can also be accessed on a web or mobile browser.

“The goal is to centralize the patient experience within Wellness Layers,” added Santiago, who said the project’s mobile participants use their own phones and that the platform is “carrier as well as device agnostic.”

Emma DeVito, Chief Executive Officer at VillageCare shared her support and excitement for the project stating that “this technology will be a monumental step towards improved health for the HIV/AIDS population in New York City. We are hopeful that this portal and app will dramatically improve medication adherence and overall life quality for HIV/AIDS patients in the city, making a much needed impact on the larger public health movement of controlling HIV/AIDS in the US.”

The project described is supported by Grant Number 1C1CMS331353-01-01 from the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or any of its agencies.


Wellness Layers Releases New Platform: Coaching-Made-Simple

By Ashley O’Connor, Sales & Marketing Associate

Wellness Layers is excited to announce the launch of Coaching-Made-Simple, our new scalable and mobile-ready coaching intervention platform, available now fordemo. This comprehensive coaching framework is built atop the Wellness Layers award-winning Platform and its set of foundational modules for personal health and wellness management (Me Layer), social support (We Layer) and our content framework (Info Layer). As digital health continues to evolve and expand into a more social realm, we have designed a platform that transcends the self-management model towards collaborative coaching. Wellness Layers has found that our coaching solution is engaging, holds the individual accountable for his or her own health, and produces superior outcomes over self-management sans coaching. Our coaching solution is compiled of various features which enhance user engagement and allow for a seamless connection between coaches and end-users.

Coaching-Made-Simple is centered on a personal prescribed plan, activations and trackers that are offered to the user per a personal coaching plan. The user’s plan is populated with a dynamic and relevant flow of suggested goals and activations (to-do list), trackers and content, which can be automatically assigned based upon a specific automatic plan (the system also supports condition management), or a live coach can push out specifically curated bits of content to each user or a group of users. The user portal is connected to a supportive community of peers in order for the coach and users to give and garner support within a group environment, further driving engagement. Coaching-Made-Simple supports either 1-on-1 or group coaching. The coach console consists of a dashboard to manage coaching and interventions, along with training, guidance, content and a coach-only social community. This interconnected system lays down a pathway for companies to more successfully promote healthy behavior change.

For a detailed look into the interaction between users and the coach on this system, the coach (HCP, dentist, etc.) is able to view a user’s tracked and recorded health behavior logs (calories, steps, sleep, mood, biometric data, etc.) and intervene as appropriate. As an example, the coach can push out a notification to a user or group of users to track weight, watch a video on cholesterol or read a fitness article. The coach is able to add comments directly on user logs, which show up as annotations on these logs along with messages for the user. The coach and user have the ability to live-message and schedule in-person sessions or video conferences as needed. This environment surpasses the self-reporting experience by enabling a meaningful dialog between the coach and the patient. Coaching-Made-Simple comes as a mobile app and responsive web for users, while the coach console can be accessed via desktop or tablet.

Amir Kishon, CEO of Wellness Layers shares his take on the new platform: “No one does health alone, and our Coaching-Made-Simple platform perfectly encompasses this mantra. Our solution connects the patient and the coach in an effortless, yet powerful way and this system will truly push behavior change. This is the way the digital health is moving and solutions such as coaching will continue to solve the problems that healthcare and preventative medicine is being is faced with today.” For additional material behind these thoughts, take a look at Kishon’s latest blog post: What’s Missing in Digital Health & Wellness Engagement Solutions?


Conference & Event Highlights:

If you have not yet attended SXSW, we encourage you to check it out next year. We most enjoyed the lively Pediatric Pitch event moderated by Mark Cuban Shark Tank style. He ended up purchasing $12,000 in product from Care-a-Line (contingent on the CEO adding Mavs logos), and dished a critical “seriously you guys?!” to the panel of executives from children’s hospitals when he learned from an entrepreneur that they were hesitant to host in the cloud.

For a demo of our digital engagement solutions, please contact Ashley O’Connor

August 2014 Newsletter: HealthHub Wins App of the Year!

HealthHub Wins App of the Year!

By Ashley O’Connor, Sales & Marketing Associate

The PinnacleHealth HealthHub app built atop the Wellness Layers platform was named the 2014 Healthcare Mobile App of the Year by HTRAC. HealthHub offers residents of Central Pennsylvania local healthy options close to their GPS location. It allows its users to search for restaurants that follow their dietary needs, such as gluten free, vegetarian, and low calorie options.  Additionally, this app includes notifications on discounts and specials. Thank you to HTRAC and congrats to the PinnacleHealth System! Additional congratulations to PinnacleHealth’s CIO, Steve Roth, who received the award at the HTRAC Executive Tech Awards Gala, June 25, 2014.



Wellness Layers Featured in Boehringer Ingelheim Paper

Wellness Layers was recently featured in the June 2014 Boehringer Ingelheim publication titled: Understanding the Psychological Blocks in Medicine-Taking: How Pharma Can Help, by Hannah Gagen. This paper highlights obstacles to pharma involvement in digital engagement and features the voice of our own Amir Kishon.


 Excerpts from the paper:
The regulatory environment can also be seen to inhibit direct contact with patients for those pharma companies not willing to invest in navigating it appropriately, something Amir Kishon, chairman and CEO of US-based healthcare company, Wellness Layers, believes is largely based on fear. He uses the analogy of skiing to highlight the fallacy of this approach.”When you are on a slope you have to lean forward,” he says. “But one’s instinct can be to bend backwards and then you lose control. To regain control you have to lean forward.”
As an industry, we cannot be afraid to have these conversations, but there remains a certain level of fear within some pharma companies to engage digitally with patients because it may highlight adverse reactions to their drugs. This is akin to the skier who loses control by bending backwards.
“Pharma may fear the risks but these are smaller than the benefits of engagement and adherence,” he continues. “If pharma wants to control its destiny it has to engage.”
Wellness Layers has pioneered the “Me/We/Info” layer strategy, which creates a digital experience that completely engages the client. The “Me” layer is a personalized health and wellness plan. The “We” layer provides social functionality among a community of health. The “Info” layer consists of a personalized flow of content. Together, these layers create an exciting formula that is necessary for engagement in health and wellness.

Wellness Layers & Diet-to-Go Launch Nutrition App with Fitbit Integration and Coach Support 

Diet-to-Go has launched its new and improved social diet app! The new app features an upgraded version of their mobile site with personalized dieting applications and connections for social communities.
Users can now easily track progress towards weight loss goals and benefit from social and professional support. Our custom mobile development for Diet-to-Go sets this app apart as a fun, interactive, and exciting application to help live a healthy lifestyle based on the Diet-to-Go meal delivery service.

Meet us @ Stream Health and Health 2.0!

WPP Stream Health Conference at Lake Nona Medical City in Orlando, FL 

September 7-10

Health 2.0 Fall Conference in Santa Clara, CA

September 21-24


February 2014 Newsletter: Wellness Layers & RediClinic Launch Weigh Forward Portal

Wellness Layers & RediClinic Launch Weigh Forward Portal

RediClinic Upgrades Weigh Forward, its Medically-Supervised Weight Management Program, with the Wellness Layers Connected Care Platform


New York, NY and Houston, TX.-Wellness Layers, a leading provider of health and wellness engagement portals, and RediClinic, the nation’s largest independent operator of retail-based convenient care clinics, today announced the launch of RediClinic’s redesigned Weigh Forward portal.

Weigh Forward, which is offered at RediClinic’s 30 locations inside H-E-B grocery stores in Texas and is licensed to other providers, is a 10 week, 1-on-1, medically supervised program developed in cooperation with Dr. David L. Katz, Director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center. The program offers an innovative behavior change program for healthy weight loss with weekly clinic visits supplemented by an extensive online platform that supports both the clinicians who are delivering the program and the patients who are enrolled in it.

The new Weigh Forward portal built on top of the Wellness Layers Connected Care Platform supports both the patient and the clinician with a personalized, online and mobile patient planner and a clinician console. The personalized planner is a suite of interconnected applications including an action-triggered checklist, a weekly personal plan for addressing behavior barriers, meal planning and tracking, fitness and weight tracking, instructional videos from Dr. Katz, recipes and articles to support each week’s plan, bi-directional communication with the clinician, and progress graphs. The clinician console includes coaching applications for patient management and encouragement, training resources, digital visit forms, scheduling, messaging, ecommerce, medical history, calculation of risk, lab results and orders. The experience is further enhanced with a social support network that includes profile pages, groups and discussion forums for Weigh Forward patients to interact with each other and clinicians.

“In order to create an effective, turn-key weight management program that can be delivered by healthcare professionals who generally have very little background in this area, and to supplement the 15-minute visits that are typical in many practice settings, it was crucial for Weigh Forward to have a robust but easy-to-use system that supports both clinicians and patients. Wellness Layers was able to customize their platform to meet these needs, and has helped us create a best-in-class solution that is achieving great results,” said Web Golinkin, CEO of RediClinic.

“We are proud to be the technology partner as RediClinic revolutionizes the way people reach their weight loss and health improvement goals. The Weigh Forward portal is radically different than those of the typical weight loss programs in that that it supports the full spectrum of the patient-clinician relationship rather than just offering patients plans, apps and tools,” remarked Amir Kishon, CEO of Wellness Layers.

The complete Weigh Forward program and portal are available for white-label license by certified care providers and can be configured as a standalone system or integrated with other systems.

More information can be found in the Weigh Forward blog below.


RediClinic’s Connected Health Weight Loss Program Designed for Continuous Consumer Engagement

by Sherri Dorfman, CEO, Stepping Stone Partners


You cannot turn on the television or look at a newspaper today without being reminded of the obesity epidemic facing our nation. According to a CDC study, over 37% of U.S. adults are obese, while about 70% are overweight.

Obesity has been associated with certain chronic conditions such as diabetes (type 2), cardiovascular disease and stroke. Last summer, American Medical Association classified Obesity as a disease, and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recently published guidelines recommending that primary care physicians provide obesity counseling to all patients with Body Mass Index over 25 (which classifies them as overweight).

Many Americans try to lose weight but do not have the tools or professional guidance to be successful. Most physicians don’t have the training or tools to provide a comprehensive weight management program in their practice, and sometimes refer patients to commercial programs that are not clinically supervised.

RediClinic has stepped in to help. “We have developed a medically supervised program which is not just about weight loss but about health management”, explains Danielle Barrera, Chief Operating Officer at RediClinic. “When we developed this program in 2009, we noticed that many programs on the market were missing critical elements of a successful weight management program, and did not incorporate healthcare professionals, who are well positioned to have a significant impact on their patients’ lifestyle and health decisions.”

According to IDC’s Connected Health 2014 Predictions, “Retail Clinics Will Disrupt the U.S. Healthcare System”. Most people think about Retail Clinics as a place for getting flu vaccinations or addressing acute problems such as strep throat or ear infections. Retail Clinics are bringing more services to the community and some are now offering preventive services (i.e. physical exams) and chronic disease monitoring.

Over the past two years, RediClinic has been offering a weight management program called Weigh Forward. Shoppers walk into one of their 30 locations inside grocery stores to sign up for the 10- week program. During the initial visit, the clinician does lab work to establish a base line to monitor progress in key health measures. Throughout the program, the clinician provides guidance and teaches life skills not only to lose weight, but keep it off.

“Our program is a ‘Connected Health’ model. Participants use the MyWeighForward platform to access educational information, track food and physical activity, and receive online coaching and social support between visits to the clinic. During weekly visits to RediClinic, the clinician reviews the participant’s program information (i.e. goals, lab work, tracking information and eCoaching activity) to deliver personalized guidance.”

RediClinic’s Weigh Forward program incorporates four key components which are reinforced both in-person and online through the program’s technology platform – myWeighForward.com:
slide12 1. Medical. Initial medical assessment with a comprehensive set of lab work, regular biometric monitoring and measurement, and weekly counseling by healthcare professionals.

2. Behavior Modification. Proprietary assessment tool developed at Yale’s Prevention Research Center by Dr. David Katz (WeighForward’s Medical Director) to identify and address individual barriers to success and readiness to change, to create a personalized weight loss plan.

3. Diet & Nutrition. Online educational information on food choices, weekly meal plans with 500+ recipes, and access to a diet/nutrition e-coach.

4. Physical Activity. Customized activity plan based on preferences and abilities, access to fitness videos and the capability to collaborate with a fitness e-coach.

Consumer Experience with the Weigh Forward Program

Deborah Hastings signed up for RediClinic’s 10 week Weigh Forward program to start shedding 60 pounds. Deborah’s daughter is getting married in six months and Deborah wants to get around without pain in her knees and to fit into a new dress for this special event.

During her first appointment, she meets with a clinician for a comprehensive evaluation to discuss her health and weight loss goals and determine her overall health status and readiness for change. She learns that her cholesterol and blood pressure are both high and that she is at risk for Metabolic Syndrome.

She uses the MyWeighForward.com portal to follow a meal plan suggested by the clinician and dietician eCoach, view exercise videos, and to track both her food and physical activity.

 Deborah is preparing for week #5 visit which is teaching her that it “takes a village” to help her achieve her goals, and she needs support from family, friends and office co-workers. She inputs her Visit objective, completes her checklist of specific tasks and selects a “Barriers to Bust”, how to deal with family when they are sabotaging her diet. This barrier is posted on her Visit Plan which she will review with the clinician during her RediClinic visit. While Deborah finishes her homework, her clinician reaches out to the eCoach that Deborah has been working with to discuss nutrition concerns. Within the private clinical portal on the Weigh Forward platform, they discuss strategies for Deborah. During the upcoming visit, Deborah will work with the clinician on the barrier she has selected and will consider suggestions from her eCoach.

Deborah has taken advantage of the social community capabilities on the Weigh Forward platform. She created a profile with demographic information and indicated how much program information to share with other participants. Deborah has decided to share the “Busting the Barrier” badges that she has earned each week. Deborah searched to find others like her and has connected with over a dozen new friends. She has also found an online group with her same barriers and is looking to gain some new real life strategies to address them.

During her week #9 visit, her clinician will take a blood sample to compare key biometric markers to those measured at the beginning of the program. She will be able to view these measures and see her progress in reducing her cholesterol and Metabolic risk in her MyWeighForward program account.

With several months before her daughter’s big event, Deborah is motivated to extend the program. She is planning on paying for the “Boost Maintenance Program with ongoing access to MyWeighForward with e-coaching as needed, monthly clinician visits and weekly in-clinic visits for “body composition analysis/biometrics”.

Connected Health Program Engagement & Results

Although the Weigh Forward Program was launched in 2011, it wasn’t until RediClinic moved to the new MyWeighForward Platform powered by Wellness Layers in October 2013 that they were able to offer enhanced functionality and support for patients and clinicians including:


  • Personalized Consumer Experience & Outcome: Participants create their own mini-electronic health record which collects program information, preferences, visit planning, tracking data, social engagement and progress through health measures. Program participants have the convenience of seeing different clinicians within the same clinic based on appointment availability or in a different location since all RediClinic clinicians have access to the participant’s program information to deliver a consistently high quality and personalized experience.
  • Social Engagement: WeighForward participants use the platform 24×7 for ongoing emotional and educational support through their weight loss journey.
  • Clinician Support and Collaboration: Clinicians have their own portal, giving them access to information to support and consistently deliver the program and to privately and securely collaborate on care.
  • Care Continuum: Participants can access a Program Summary with their program health measures to send to their own doctors. “If the patient has secure messaging with their physician, they can share this information to include in their EMR”, adds Barrera.

“Our results have been very positive. On average, our patients are losing 1-2 lbs per week which is considered to be a healthy rate of weight loss, and are significantly improving their cardio-metabolic risk factors. In many cases our patients have moved from pre-hypertensive and hypertensive to normal and pre-diabetic to normal”, exclaims Barrera.

Comments from Program Participants

“What I liked about the online part of the program was that it gave me homework to do to keep me accountable and focused.”

“I had been the ‘queen of couch potatoes.’ The best things about the program were the accountability each week, recipes and shopping list, and incredible support from the staff.”

“Dr. David Katz’s lesson on Trial by Aisle taught me to check ingredients lists for hidden sugars and salts, and to pick the shorter lists. The best thing about the program was it provided me with information to change my unhealthy lifestyle into a healthy lifestyle.”

Future plans: New Business Model, New Technology Platform Capabilities

Today, most program participants walk into to RediClinic. However, RediClinic is now licensing the Weigh Forward program to other healthcare providers. “We’ve had significant interest and many pilot commitments from large healthcare systems and physician groups, as well as companies that operate retail, urgent care and worksite clinics. Everyone is looking for a turn-key weight and lifestyle management solution for their patients because obesity is so pervasive and expensive. Weigh Forward is one of the few comprehensive programs that is designed to be delivered by clinicians with no previous background in weight management,” Barrera adds.

Regardless of where the consumer is seen, in the clinic or in their PCP’s office, RediClinic is extending the capabilities of the WeighForward technology platform. “We are continuing to enhance the social networking capabilities of the platform, will introduce a mobile version later this year, and are beginning to develop modified versions of Weigh Forward that address chronic diseases, since the platform we’ve built is flexible and extensible”, concludes Barrera.


Meet Us @ HIMSS14

We will be demoing the Weigh Forward Portal at this year’s HIMSS14!


Orlando, FL – February 23 – 27, 2014

Stop by our booth #3178

Set a meeting with us at the conference.

Newsletter: January 2014

Premera Blue Cross Launches Serve it Up!

Nutrition-Focused Social Platform Provides Healthy Food Guidance and Cost Savings

SIU---Landing-page-3_Small2-(1)Portland, Maine/New York/Mountlake Terrace, Wash. (January 22, 2014)- In partnership with Guiding Stars and Wellness Layers, Premera Blue Cross has launched Serve it Up!™, a free, nutrition-focused social platform that helps people make healthier food choices at home and in the grocery store by “serving up” the most nutritious options first. The platform offers tools to build and share healthy shopping lists and recipes, coupons to lower food shopping costs and social engagement within the Serve it Up! community. Also available as a free mobile application, Serve it Up! is designed to help users make healthier food choices on the go. The Serve it Up! platform is available for license by other population wellness companies and is designed to complement and integrate with wellness incentive programs.

“Premera is committed to creating innovative products that support health and wellness,” said Neal Sofian, director of member engagement at Premera Blue Cross. “Serve it Up! is a testament to this commitment as the nutrition-focused, digital platform engages people in their health in ways they wouldn’t commonly expect from a health insurance company.”

Serve it Up! is equipped with a “smart” shopping list builder that educates users about what foods are healthiest according to Guiding Stars’ patented nutrition rating system. The “smart” shopping list database includes nutrition information for more than 100,000 fresh, prepared and pre-packaged food items commonly found in most grocery stores. Each food is rated against proprietary criteria based on the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans and other national evidence-based nutrition policies. Coupons are also displayed for foods identified as healthy choices.

“For too long, the importance of nutrition has largely been ignored in the national healthcare discussion, despite the fact that what you eat plays such a large role in your overall health,” said John Eldredge, strategy consultant for Guiding Stars. “Premera is a progressive industry leader that is moving nutrition to the forefront of the wellness discussion. Premera’s vision paired with the synergy of the Guiding Stars program and Wellness Layers’ innovative technology provides consumers with a smart, simple and convenient tool to make more nutritious food choices.”

The new platform encourages users to build profiles and connect with the Serve it Up! community. Once connected, users can find, share and rate recipes and shopping lists to make it easier to enjoy healthy foods. Users can also tailor their Serve it Up! member profiles based on dietary preferences, allowing them to receive customized recommendations, participate in community discussions, share advice and garner support based on specific dietary conditions or concerns.

“We are pleased to build systems such as Serve it Up! that focus on something as universal and imperative as good nutrition. We leveraged our years of expertise to make the experience fun and collaborative and well-suited to serve as a funnel into other wellness management and incentive programs, further promoting improved health and prevention,” remarked Amir Kishon, PhD, CEO of Wellness Layers.

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014

by Amir Kishon, Ph.D., CEO

AmirDear Friends and Family:

As we welcome 2014, I’d like to reflect on the past year to celebrate Wellness Layers’ accomplishments and thank those who have contributed to our progress.

Throughout 2013 we continued to grow our healthcare and wellness solutions practice by focusing on development to meet the needs of providers and health plans, as well as solidifying our leadership within the wellness and diet markets by continuously upgrading our platform and fine-tuning for mobile.

We are proud to have been recognized with awards and to have added additional healthcare providers and payors to our client roster. For the second year in a row, we were awarded three eHealthcare Leadership Awards for our work with PinnacleHealth on the Social Hospital Portal. We are honored to win these national awards among good company, with organizations such as Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic. Also of note, we partnered with RediClinic to develop a new condition management portal managed by a clinician console (official announcement and details will follow in our next newsletter), and launched Serve it Up!, a social nutrition platform with Premera Blue Cross (see press release above).

Within the diet market early in the year we launched NBC’s The Biggest Loser Club’s portal. This was followed by a partnership with a new strong player in the diet arena, (to be announced in the next couple of months), where we will be providing a web and mobile, social weight loss portal that supports fresh meal delivery services.

I’d like to thank our champions and every person at Wellness Layers for establishing this company as the leading provider of strategic consumer and patient web and mobile solutions for the healthcare and wellness industries. Without our incredible team’s creativity, expertise and efforts, we would not have had yet another successful year.

With the utmost excitement, I look forward to what 2014 will bring as we continue to push the envelope to refine our solutions in order to propel our clients’ offerings onward and upward. I hope the wind of ACA will blow at our backs, and I wish you all a wonderful year!

Be Well!

Amir Kishon, Ph.D., CEO

Wellness Layers Hospital Platform Wins Three More Awards

by Esther Lui, Sales & Marketing Manager

esther-photoWellness Layers and PinnacleHealth Hospital System are proud to announce that they have again been honored with three national eHealthcare Leadership Awards, presented by eHealthcare Strategic Healthcare Communications at the HCIC conference in New Orleans this past November.


Winners were selected from more than 1,100 entries across 14 award categories, and were judged by nearly 120 healthcare and digital communications experts on a proprietary multi-point standard of Internet excellence.

PinnacleHealth received 2013 Silver eHealthcare Leadership Awards for Best Interactive Site and Best Doctor Directory, as well as Honorable Mention/Distinction for Best Overall Internet Site.

This is the second year in a row that PinnacleHealth was awarded Best Doctor Directory. The application has eased searching and referrals, positively impacting PinnacleHealth’s business.

To learn more about the PinnacleHealth web and mobile site, we invite you to visit www.PinnacleHealth.org.

For additional information about the Wellness Layers or to set up a demo with Wellness Layers, contact us by email or via our website.

Meet Us @ HIMSS14

We will be demoing the Weigh Forward Portal at this year’s HIMSS14!


Orlando, FL – February 23 – 27, 2014

Stop by our booth #3178

Set a meeting with us at the conference.

Newsletter: September 2013

PIN TO WIN Seahawks & Premera Blue Cross “Serve it Up!” Pinterest Contest

Seahawks & Premera “Serve it Up!” Pinterest Contest

As football season is underway, our client Premera Blue Cross teamed up with the Seattle Seahawks to encourage fans to tailgate with healthy recipes from Serve it Up!

The Serve it Up! site now features Pinterest sharing where fans can pin healthy tailgate recipes from the Seahawks own chef, Mac McNabb. By re-pinning at least three Seahawks Serve it Up! recipes, fans will be entered into weekly drawings to win free giveaways, including tickets to Seahawks home games. Fans can visit Serve it Up! now through December 29th, 2013 for a chance to PIN TO WIN!


Serve it Up! is a free, social website and mobile app created in partnership by Premera Blue Cross, Wellness Layers and Guiding Stars to help people shop smart and eat healthy with nutrition guidance, coupons, healthy recipes and a collaborative, healthy-eating social network.

We’re proud to share this integration as an example of how we support our clients to promote local, healthy-community initiatives.

For more information or to set up a demo, contact us.

Making the Move to Mobile

by Lucy Reynales, Director of Sales & Marketing 
Over the last few years, the world has gone undeniably mobile. If you’re considering how to make a simple, yet high-value mobile experience, there are a few things to note:

  • Everything web can be mobile
  • The same engagement triggers apply (we recommend including our three layers to engagement: Me-We-Info
  • There are more opportunities on a mobile device that are well-suited to health and wellness including touch screen tracking and logging, scrolling through feeds, photo uploads, barcode scanning, location-based services and text reminders

Below is a short demo on an iPhone 5 of a site by Wellness Layers that has been optimized for mobile web. We hope it will give you some ideas about what you can achieve with your own site and we’ll be glad to discuss the possibilities with you.

Features highlighted in the video include:

  • Community and friend newsfeeds
  • Update, share status, post or edit profile
  • Upload photo
  • Meal planning, tracking and nutrition breakdown
  • Fitness planning and tracking with video integration
  • Personal progress report with graphs and charts
  • Daily and team challenges

For more information on our mobile capabilities or to set up a demo with Wellness Layers, contact us by email.

Meet Us @ Health 2.0!

We can hardly wait for this year’s Health 2.0 Fall Conference!


Santa Clara, CA – September 29 – October 2, 2013

Stop by our booth #309!

Set a meeting with us at the conference.

Newsletter: July 2013

Wellness Layers’ Social Hospital Platform Wins a 4th Award!

Wellness Layers and PinnacleHealth Hospital System were awarded a 2013 Web Health Award for PinnacleHealth’s Pregnancy & Childbirth Microsite. Now in its 15th year, the goal of the Web Health Awards is to recognize high-quality digital health resources for consumers and health professionals.

This is the fourth award of recognition for www.PinnacleHealth.org.
245The Microsite architecture is an innovative approach within Wellness Layers’ Social Hospital platform which carves out specific areas of interest within the larger hospital site. This offers patients a convenient and private area. Each Microsite features a patient-centric architecture with the ability to find information, learn, share experiences and ask questions specifically within a care area. Triggers for engagement are intrinsic within the design, including relevant feeds with calls-to-action, multimedia content and social sharing. Within the Pregnancy & Childbirth Microsite, expectant and new mothers are able to read the latest news within the department, connect and share their personal stories via PinnacleHealth’s discussion forums or social media outlets, and see posts and videos from OBGYNs and other labor and delivery staff. Other microsites on www.PinnacleHealth.org include Primary Care, Weight Loss & Nutrition, Cancer Care, and Heart, Vascular & Lung Care. The site aggregates relevant content from PinnacleHealth, Krames StayWell, Facebook and Twitter.


In addition to this award, the PinnacleHealth site was recognized by Strategic Healthcare Communications, receiving three eHEALTHCARE LEADERSHIP 2012 awards including Best Overall Internet Site, Best Site Design and Best Doctor Directory.

For more information on the Social Hospital Platform or to set up a demo with Wellness Layers, contact us by email.

Join Our Social Engagement Strategies Workshop!

Lucy Reynales, Director of Sales and Marketing at Wellness Layers, Shelley Marshall, Web Marketing Manager of PinnacleHealth, and Sherri Dorfman, CEO of Stepping Stone Partners will be leading a pre-conference workshop: Social Engagement Strategies for Consumer eHealth at mHealth World Congress + Telehealth World 2013 in Boston, MA on Wednesday, July 24, 2013.

The two hour workshop will explore social engagement strategies that activate consumers to participate in their health; allow members to share and tap into peer lifestyle experiences and gain expert guidance. See what healthcare leaders are investing in today, explore social eHealth opportunities for consumer engagement in the future and discuss how to launch a social strategy within your organization.


  • Learn about key social engagement trends including social segmentation, social connect (programs & experts) and social data
  • See examples of social engagement approaches used by health care innovators, payers and providers
  • Hear case studies of provider solutions that “meaningfully” engage consumers with a private social community integrated with personalized content and communications
  • Participate in a social engagement planning discussion: considerations, approaches and mobile & Telehealth tie-in opportunities
  • Participate in a group innovation exercise: Collectively define a specific social engagement initiative to positively impact consumer health. (Workshop participants shape exercise)

Workshop facilitators:

243 241 242

Lucy Reynales

Director of Sales & Marketing

Wellness Layers

 Shelley Marshall

Web Marketing Manager


Sherri Dorfman, MBA

Chief Executive Officer,

Consumer eHealth Engagement        Specialist

Stepping Stone Partners 

To register for this conference, please click here and to schedule a meeting at the conference, please contact us at info@wellnesslayers.com.

Meet Us @ mHealth

mHealth + Telehealth World Congress 2013

Set a meeting with us at the conference in

Boston, MA
July 24-26, 2013

Newsletter: April 2013

Wellness Layers Launches PinnacleHealth Health Hub App

Karen-Rhodes-Photo--2By Karen Rhodes, Business Development Manager

The new Health Hub of Central PA App from PinnacleHealth by Wellness Layers is now available in the App Store and Android Market. With over 600 beds, PinnacleHealth is the largest hospital and healthcare system in Central Pennsylvania. PinnacleHealth-The-Health-Hub-App

The Health Hub App features coupon feeds, healthy restaurant recommendations, fitness centers and healthy tips to guide Central Pennsylvania residents toward making healthier lifestyle choices.

The App supports PinnacleHealth’s positioning as the local hub for health and wellness. The App provides social ratings and rankings for the most popular healthy choices along with coupons and discounts. Dietary preferences are available for restaurants including gluten free, heart healthy, low sodium and others. Location information, business hours, services, directions, schedules and user comments are provided within the App.

For members of the PinnacleHealth patient portal by Wellness Layers, single-sign-on is available to seamlessly connect with their personal patient profiles.

The Health Hub App is designed to promote a healthy community.

The Engaged Patient – A FREE Public Webinar

A Wellness & NextGen Collaboration     

Is the ‘Engaged Patient’ a probability, possibility or wishful thinking? Wellness Layers and NextGen share the future
of hospital patient portals in a 1-hour free webinar. Learn new ways to connect, engage, motivate and sustain meaningful patient engagement resulting in better outcomes, all-in support of ACOs and collaborative care models:
Thursday April 18th 2-3 pm Eastern Time

No advanced registration needed. Click the link to join: https://nextgen.webex.com/nextgen/onstage/g.php?d=578202315&t=a



Meet Us @ TEDMED


TEDMED 2013 

Set a meeting with Wellness Layers CEO,

Amir Kishon, PhD, at the conference in
Washington, DC 
April 16-19, 2013 


Newsletter: January 2013

Happy New Year from Wellness Layers

By Dr. Amir Kishon, CEO

276Dear Friends and Family:

2012 was another successful year for Wellness Layers filled with tremendous growth and innovation. We continue to support the nation’s leading health and wellness brands in engaging and attracting their consumers and patients. Here are a few highlights:

  • We deployed a first-of-its-kind renal disease, social support portal with DaVita.
  • We formed a new partnership with NBC’s The Biggest Loser. The new site to launch in January 2013 will support the show’s “Challenge America” theme with weight loss challenges and friendly competitions. Members will be supported with active modules in diet and fitness management, a private social network and dynamic, personalized information feeds with tips, recipes and chances to win prizes from sponsors.
  • In Q1 2013 we will be launching a social healthy-eating, member retention and acquisition portal for health plans with Premera Blue Cross. The site and mobile apps will run under the name “Serve It Up” in Premera’s markets.
  • We are working with LifeWatch to launch a new healthy smartphone application that will integrate with their existing mobile app and mobile sensor technology to produce a mobile tracking and monitoring application based on both user input and biometric data.
  • Recently we launched a major upgrade to Medifast’s website along with new mobile applications.
  • Our work with PinnacleHealth System was recognized by Strategic Healthcare Communications, receiving three eHealthcare Leadership Awards.

We enter 2013 with renewed drive and momentum and will continue to enhance our offerings to better serve present and future clients. We look forward to reaching new heights and further shaping the social healthcare landscape.

From all of us at Wellness Layers, have a happy and healthy 2013!


The Birth of the Social Hospital

As seen in:

By: Dr. Amir Kishon, Chairman & CEO

Imagine: a mother-to-be signs onto her hospital’s website where her homepage loads to her own pregnancy and child birth page. She’s able to read through discussion posts from other expectant mothers, access her medical charts, set appointments and receive messages from her prenatal doctor. She can personalize her experience to receive relevant articles, tips, calls to action, and news updates.


Social_Hospitals_imageThere is no longer a need to just imagine the scenario described above, that’s the reality of the new generation of the social hospital. As patients are becoming more used to the convenience of online information, they are morelikely to choose a hospital not only by its services but also by its social functionality. In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by YouGov Healthcare, 57% of patients said that a hospital’s social media connections would strongly affect their decision to receive treatment at that facility. It’s important to note that a fully social hospital should refer to more than just the creation of a Facebook page, but instead the implementation of a new thriving and self-sustaining online ecosystem that includes three key ingredients: a patient-centric information architecture, direct access to the hospital’s information systems and an integrated social support layer. A select number of elite hospitals have grasped this concept and have begun to create robust, patient-centric hospital sites. PinnacleHealth System, the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic and Massachusetts General are just a few of the hospitals that have begun to embrace the benefits of personalization and social interconnectivity.


Micro-site Personalization Example

 The hospitals that will continue to thrive in the evolving marketplace understand that their online communities must be more personalized and social rather than static and information laden, which is a trap many hospital sites fall into. Truly high-value sites infuse elements of social networking by incorporating profile pages, secure messaging, discussion boards and rating options throughout the environment. Patients are able to interact with their personal medical records, their care teams, as well as others in their community. All of these elements should be housed within a private online network because this creates a secure and HIPAA compliant environment and can help meet meaningful use requirements as well. Moreover, private social interactions solve the privacy issues a lot of health organizations have with Facebook and other open networking sites and opens up a new avenue of secure and private two-way communication.

A shift is occurring, and soon a social hospital will not be classified by its presence on Facebook and Twitter, but by its ability to translate its services and offerings into the online realm. Hospitals that are able to create a personalized and relevant community and position themselves as thought leaders will prevail. The fact is, conversations are going to happen either way so it’s now a matter of “how” to shape the conversation about your hospital rather than “if” to shape the conversation. It seems the industry is witnessing the birth of new breed of hospital websites, the Social Hospital.

PinnacleHealth Recognized for Multiple eHealthcare Leadership Awards

By: Olga Zakharenko, Digital Marketing Specialist

PinnacleHealth System, in partnership with Wellness Layers, was awarded several eHealthcare Leadership awards at the 2012 Healthcare Internet Conference in Las Vegas. The program recognizes and awards healthcare organizations, online health companies, pharmaceuticals, equipment firms, and more with the best websites. The awards highlight a variety of categories with an emphasis on the Internet’s role in achieving an organization’s business objectives.
PinnacleHealth System was awarded three awards in the Healthcare System category:


  • A Platinum Award for Best Overall Internet Site
  • A Gold Award for Best Site Design
  • A Gold Award for Best Doctor Directory
The National eHealthcare Leadership Awards program has been running for 13 years, and it recognizes healthcare organizations with the best websites and digital communications offerings. Winners of the 2012 eHealthcare Leadership Awards were selected from nearly 1,100 entries in 14 different award categories, and were judged by a total of 115 individuals familiar with healthcare and the Internet.
For more information or to set up a demo with Wellness Layers, contact us by email.


Meet Us @ HIMSS13


We’re Exhibiting! Visit us at booth #1056

Set a meeting with the Wellness Layers team at the conference in New Orleans, LA

March 3-7, 2013