The human knowhow stretches across a myriad of different things, and yet more than anything else, it is rooted in becoming better on a consistent basis. This progressive approach, on our part, has already got the world to hit upon some huge milestones, with technology appearing as a major member of the stated group. The reason why technology enjoys such an esteemed stature among people is, by and large, predicated upon its skill-set, which ushered us towards a reality that nobody could have ever imagined otherwise. Nevertheless, if we look up close for a second, it will become clear how the whole runner was also very much inspired from the way we applied those skills across a real world environment. The latter component was, in fact, what gave the creation a spectrum-wide presence, and consequentially, kickstarted a tech revolution. Of course, this revolution then went on to scale up the human experience through some outright unique avenues, but even after achieving such a monumental feat, technology will somehow continue to produce the right goods. The same has grown increasingly evident over the recent past, and assuming one new healthcare-themed development shakes out just like we envision, it will only make that trend bigger and better moving forward.
Mayo Clinic, one of the biggest players in healthcare industry, has officially announced a partnership with Boston-based digital health company called Ayble Health to simplify GI care. To understand the significance of such an initiative, we must acknowledge how more than 70 million Americans, making up almost 25% of the commercially insured population, is currently struggling against various forms of GI conditions like irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease, stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, and so many more. Notably enough, this is despite the fact that US’ yearly spend on gastroenterology is understood to be in the excess of $140 billion, more than what is spent on cardiovascular health, mental health, and plenty other diseases. You see, even with all that investment, one in every four Americans living with a GI disease has to wait around 6 months for a gastroenterologist appointment. After you do get through to a specialist, there is still no sure treatment available to uproot the issue. So, how will the partnership in question solve the whole problem? Well, the answer resides in their hybrid care model that matches patients with the appropriate virtual and in-person services based on the acuity of their symptoms and needs. Available for large employers and health plans, this hybrid care model will essentially leverage Ayble Health’s dedicated nutrition and behavioral health platform, which guides patients to identify and remove their trigger foods and “retrain how their mind and gut communicate.” On a more granular, the arrangement works in a sense that, once you join the platform, you will be paired with a board-certified digestive health coach. By betting on an individual-specific approach, Ayble’s platform is able to create a flexible framework where the coach learns about the user’s needs and guides them through a personalized nutrition plan, and behavioral therapy, while simultaneously providing them a wide set of wellness tools like a food tracker and groceries database. Another detail worth a mention here would be that the patient will have an option to choose between a virtual brand of care or an in-person one.
“Each user’s journey with the Ayble program is personalized through AI and expert health coach guidance. Ayble’s clinically rigorous approach takes into account expansive patient biographical, diet, allergy, lifestyle and symptom information, then marries it with its massive GI behavioral health data set to personalize treatment plans,” said Sam Jactel, CEO of Ayble Health.
As for what sort of a role Mayo Clinic will play, the healthcare giant, alongside its partner, will collaborate with large employers and health plans to analyze claims and better understand their digestive health population. The incentive to do so is rooted in gauging where costs are coming from, how patients behave, and identify any recurring patterns in that data. In practice, the cycle will begin when a patient visits Mayo Clinic facility to receive care from one of the health system’s expert gastroenterologists. As a way of ensuring minimal to no friction, patient’s employer or health plan, which has to be a Mayo Clinic partner, will also offer them travel and lodging benefits. Anyway, it’s only after they receive their initial care from a Mayo Clinic expert that the patient will be referred to Ayble for continuous nutritional and behavioral care. The referral system can also work the other way around, if required.
“For the vast majority of digestive health patients, Ayble as a standalone platform is all they require to find digestive relief. However, if an Ayble patient meets clinical criteria to require escalation of care, Ayble refers that individual to Mayo seamlessly, ensuring they get the highest quality support,” Jactel explained. “The collaboration with Mayo Clinic is a first-of-its-kind model that Ayble is hoping to scale to health systems and provider groups nationwide.”
Mind you, there are other companies, such as Vivante Health, Oshi Health, and others, that are trying to improve GI care access through virtual clinics. However, Ayble sets itself apart on the basis its published clinical outcomes. These outcomes are put in place by 14 different studies, most of which involved more than 10,000 patients. Beyond that, there is also no other virtual clinic on the market that is currently offering a hybrid care model.
“Our coach-first model means we are lower-cost and complementary, rather than competitive, to gastroenterologists and primary care providers. Collaborating with [Mayo] is a perfect example of how Ayble can enable clinicians to deliver one-to-many care, enhance the care a provider can offer to a patient, and match acuity with level of intervention cost-effectively for an employer or health plan client,” Jactel explained.