From Idea to Implementation: Two Founders Prepare to Launch Patient Engagement Platform with Clinical Partner to Create a Pathway to Better Health

by Innovate Arkansas May 15, 2023 Acceleration, Capital

Co-founders Nate Fells and Jerald Todd founded MappedOut Health, a patient engagement and education platform that aids clinicians and healthcare professionals in helping their patients make meaningful behavior changes leading to better health outcomes. Their user-friendly platform addresses significant challenges that patients and clinicians face in managing chronic conditions. Fells and Todd approached Innovate Arkansas after completing Winrock’s I-Fund Proof of Concept Accelerator with a "Go Decision" to move forward on their idea.

The Problem

At a high level, individuals with chronic conditions are responsible for most higher-cost health claims. This trend can be prevented by behavior modification through health education. Fells and Todd theorized that they could help clinicians help high-risk individuals better manage their conditions and reduce healthcare costs by providing meaningful health education, information, and clinical engagement.

However, overall enrollment in health education programs for individuals with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory disease, remains low, suggesting a lack of awareness or interest from individuals, as well as improper execution from clinicians, health systems, and payers.

Furthermore, many healthcare education programs relying solely on traditional methods like sending information through mail or email often prove insufficient to prompt individuals to change their health habits. Additionally, this approach severely limits clinicians’ and health counselors' ability to monitor patients’ progress and measure their success. The lack of personalized engagement can make it difficult to motivate individuals to take action and make the necessary changes for better health.

Mapping Out the Path Forward

Fells and Todd sought help from Innovate Arkansas to strategize around these identified and seemingly insurmountable problems. We worked on developing a product roadmap, identifying and securing a strategic clinical partner that understood the problem, and fundraising for product development. 

"When I met Nate and Jerald, I was struck by their determination and combined industry backgrounds in healthcare and technology. Their drive to tackle a staggering problem was impressive, and we knew that we wanted to work with them to help MappedOut Health reach its full potential," said David Sanders, Director of Innovate Arkansas.

After months of work with Innovate Arkansas and their new partner, the Baptist Health Weight Loss team, Fells and Todd co-developed a work plan that streamlined the clinical workflow for Baptist Health around a compelling software platform and a smartphone app that would meet the expectations of all stakeholders. 

Building the Solution for Success

Moving from an idea to a completed project plan –  with a clinical partner and first customer –  allowed Fells and Todd to secure $100,000 in funding to build the platform. With a plan, money, a development team in Metova, and a committed clinical partner, Fells and Todd could move quickly, relying on a collaborative approach to develop their technology inside a health system willing to activate and engage multiple departments and key leaders inside business units.  

With development near completion, the MappedOut Health pilot rollout at Baptist Health began in May.

“The guidance from our advisers at Innovate Arkansas has been critical to our success.  David Sanders and G. Dennis made key introductions, encouraged us along this long journey, and helped us map out a path to success,“ Nate Fells, Co-Founder of MappedOut Health, said. “Our advice to others is trust the process, don’t time the pace.”

If the pilot performs as expected, Baptist Health will expand its use of MappedOut Health’s technology to other service areas. Fells and Todd's innovative approach to improving patient outcomes and reducing healthcare costs can potentially advance healthcare education and engagement.

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