Last week, against the global backdrop of COVID and other health crises and social issues impacting employers, employees, health plans, and their members, Virgin Pulse held its virtual THRIVEx Summit. Themed “Connecting for Good,” the highly immersive and social multi-track event set a new registration record, connecting more than 3,300 participants across 35 countries with experts on today’s most pressing health and wellbeing topics.
Virgin Pulse CEO, David Osborne, opened this year’s THRIVEx with an update on the company’s strategy in the context of the current pandemic, social justice issues, and other macro trends. He challenged attendees to look beyond incremental, status quo wellbeing solutions and reimagine health and wellbeing through the lens of Virgin Pulse’s Homebase for Health®, which unifies, simplifies and personalises the health, wellbeing and healthcare experience for individuals and organisations.
“The past 18 months have fundamentally reshaped the way employers, employees, health plans and their members approach health and wellbeing,” said Osborne. “As we heard from THRIVEx attendees, diversity, equity, and inclusion, social determinants of health, and mental health are top priorities across organisations. These issues are interconnected and have a significant impact on an individual’s health and wellbeing. Addressing them in an authentic, intentional way is essential for building equitable communities and organisational cultures. They must be built directly into the health and wellbeing experience, not bolted on. An inclusive and integrated health and wellbeing experience that combines technology and empathy is exactly what Virgin Pulse is aiming to deliver with Homebase for Health.”
Building on Osborne’s key themes, Ron Hildebrandt, Virgin Pulse’s Chief Product Officer, delivered the product innovation keynote. During his presentation, Hildebrandt underscored the urgent need to build community, connection, and empathy in a world that has been disconnected and suffering over the past 18 months and detailed how Virgin Pulse’s solutions were built to natively support organisations in embedding mental health support and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into their work cultures. Reiterating Osborne’s commitment to continuous, game-changing innovation to advance wellbeing, improve access to care and drive measurable health outcomes, Hildebrandt announced that the company had significantly increased R&D investments in 2021 to accelerate its Homebase for Health platform and ecosystem strategy.
The significance and relevance of Virgin Pulse’s strategy was further amplified in the opening mainstage keynote by physician turned internet sensation, Zubin Damania, also known as @ZDoggMD. Damania commented, “The concept of a homebase for health is important because it pulls in all these different pieces to build what I call, Health 3.0, which is this new emergent of healthcare that’s personalised, humanised, technology enabled, but never technology enslaved. Health 3.0 is relationship driven but amplified by technology. It has an analog heart, but it’s digitally enabled.”
Hildebrandt concluded his keynote with a final reveal that was met with enthusiastic responses from attendees: the unveiling of Virgin Pulse’s 2021 Connecting for Good: COVID Relief charity challenge. The event, scheduled to kick off in the fall, will bring Virgin Pulse clients from around the world together to raise money for COVID relief. Virgin Pulse has set a goal of raising $1 million during the three-week event and has committed to contributing up to $100,000 towards the goal. Additional details about the 2021 Connecting for Good: COVID Relief challenge will be available in the coming weeks.
In addition to strategy and innovation updates, attendees had an exclusive preview of Virgin Pulse’s current and forthcoming Homebase for Health innovations which reinforce the need to focus on the mental and physical health of individuals by connecting them to critical resources and guidance when they need them most. During his keynote, Hildebrandt unveiled three major innovations:
- Same-Day Mental Health Coaching: To support members in managing anxiety, depression, stress, and other mental health challenges, Virgin Pulse announced it will be offering same-day access to live coaching sessions, including behavioral health coaching, which can be scheduled directly from members’ Homebase for Health. Virgin Pulse announced its comprehensive approach to mental health, which brings together digital tools, content, coaches, and mental and behavioral health partners, earlier this month in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month.
- Guides Anytime: With the pandemic exposing undeniable disconnections across workplace, home, and community, organisations responded swiftly, adapting their benefits and adding programmes to help the neediest. However, many people were not aware of or were not utilising many of the health and wellbeing benefits available to them. To address these challenges, Virgin Pulse’s wellbeing and benefits navigation offerings will now include on-demand access to Guides who can help familiarise members with the Virgin Pulse platform, address questions about a member’s specific Homebase for Health, and answer open enrollment and benefits questions. Guides will work with members to personalise their experience by connecting them with relevant tools, resources and programmes that support their health and wellbeing goals.
- VP Health Risk Bundle: A connected health experience combining condition coaching guidance and targeted interventions for improved care compliance backed by a performance guarantee, VP Health Risk Bundle integrates clinical screenings, claims, behavioral, device and app data, and targeted interventions to create a comprehensive health picture of a member’s health risks and open care gaps.
Additional mainstage keynotes featured a broad range of prominent voices presenting on important and timely topics, and included Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and mental health thought leaders and real-world practitioners Dr. Ruqaiijah Yearby, professor and executive director and co-founder, Institute for Healing Justice and Equity; community psychologist and Science Advisory Board (SAB) member, Dr. Jessica Isom; Dr. Lily Lamboy, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Blue Shield California; Dr. Marlette Jackson, Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Virgin Pulse; Dr. David Katz, founding director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center and regular CNN and New York Times contributor; as well as a fireside chat with Virgin Pulse’s former chief medical officer and current SAB member, Dr. Rajiv Kumar, and Dr. Sachin Jain, health disparities expert and president and CEO of SCAN Group and Health Plan; and Josh Bersin, leading analyst and authority on HR, future of work, and employee experience, who presented on how organisations can best support their dispersed workforces to build a culture of health and resilience as employers prepare to welcome employees back to the workplace.
Access to THRIVEx 2021 keynotes and session replays are available here.
In addition to thoughtful keynotes, the three-day virtual THRIVEx experience, which was custom-built and designed to replicate Virgin Pulse’s in-person Thrive Summit experience, offered attendees the opportunity to participate in dosens of customer, partner, and Virgin Pulse-led breakout sessions, initiate live chats with other attendees, partners, and thought leaders, launch in 1:1 video learning sessions with Virgin Pulse leaders and health coaches, and engage in real time discussions with peers. Attendees also had access to the Virgin Pulse partner pavilion, which included more than 20 partners who showcased the depth, breadth, and value of the company’s partner ecosystem.
About Virgin Pulse
Virgin Pulse is the global leader and premier provider of digital health and wellbeing SaaS solutions and services focused on driving health outcomes and reducing healthcare costs. Featuring the industry’s only true Homebase for Health® that unifies and simplifies the health journey, Virgin Pulse fuses high-tech, high-touch, predictive analytics, AI, and data to support clients and members across the entire health, wellbeing, and benefits lifecycle—from screening and risk assessment to activation, behavior change, and the adoption of sustainable, healthy habits to benefits navigation, condition management, gaps in care closure, and digital therapeutics guidance. Today, 14 million+ users in more than 190 countries rely on Virgin Pulse’s digital and live solutions to change their lives—and businesses—for good. To learn more, visit VirginPulse.com and follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.