Before the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated industries into the digital delivery of products and services, the health and wellness industry was already leaning into this model. The drivers ranged from expansion of services for in-person programs, to primary delivery of programs via telehealth platforms. But then March 2020 happened (followed by April, then May and so on). Suddenly, the one thing that program developers had—time and resources—changed dramatically.

The challenge for many of these companies is that they lack the resources needed to quickly produce a branded, differentiated, customizable, and effective solution. Limited budgets, time, and technical proficiencies can naturally lead some teams to simply buy a solution off the shelf. But as a result, you lose the ability to fine-tune your platform to your program’s unique needs and miss the opportunity to continually innovate. For the health and wellness industry, providing a continuum of care that is anchored in behavioral data and presented in a workflow dashboard that allows coaches to scale service to multiple members quickly, is as important as the app innovation.

Instead of picking a side between building vs. buying, enlisting an expert partner creates the opportunity to build your program, your way, without breaking budgets or wasting time. Here’s what the right partner can do for your program:

1. Speed to market

Going digital is really make or break for health and wellness programs today. Being the first, or at least not the last, to this quick moving market is essential as well. For the most part, few of these businesses have the existing digital development resources in-house to get a new platform off the ground. Even if they do, designing a new platform from scratch can take several months.

Working with a partner that can offer pre-built, configurable options speeds your platform to market. Aside from already having a skeleton for the app, you need someone who can fill-in your cracks quickly – providing relevant content and/or world-class coaches. At the same time, your program and your members are unique! If your coaches and content are areas you already have covered, you need a partner that can work-in your existing assets to best serve your membership.

2. Cost savings

Having to build a digital health program on your own comes at a cost. If you’re not hiring new talent, you’re likely leveraging in-house skill sets that take people away from other meaningful projects that impact members. Also, there are other lesser-known costs associated with software operation and maintenance, such as backup and recovery management, version updates, and bug fixes.

Partners, on the other hand, benefit from economies of scale. By distributing these costs across all of their clients, they can charge less for building your product or service than you would be able to achieve by building it yourself. Not to say that it is impossible to build an app at a lower expense; however, ill-advised short-term decisions that may come with cost savings, likely yield long term cost overruns.

3. Proven expertise that emphasizes your existing value

Your program is already valued by your members. A digital platform is the delivery method, requiring a key element to be successful: engagement. While limited budget, lack of in-house skillsets and limited time are all excellent reasons to take the project to an external partner, not just any app builder can ensure the level engagement you need for a successful program.

Health and wellness programs need a digital platform builder experienced in delivering programs at scale with an integrated coaching dashboard that is beyond simply staging a website or an app. The perfect partner can do the following:

  • Build and design coaching teams, standard operating procedures and best practices
  • Highlight behavioral markers in product analytics to aide coaches in redirecting negative behaviors
  • Guide digital marketing and branding for member acquisition
  • Track member behaviors within the app, to adjust tactics and provide insights to augment program areas

More than anything, you need a partner that knows why users stop engaging with programs. Solving this single challenge, especially for telehealth programs, is the difference between a program’s success and failure, and ability to capture share of wallet.

At Zillion, our objective is to help health and wellness programs of all shapes and sizes make the leap to digital. Let us do the building, while you focus on what you do best: helping people live happier, healthier lives.  Learn more about how Zillion Platform may be able to launch your digital health platform in as little as 60 days.