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Dr. Simon Mathews | Vivante Health

In this episode, Michael introduces Dr. Simon Mathews, a distinguished researcher, clinician, author, and Chief Medical Officer at Vivante Health. He is also a practicing gastroenterologist at the John Hopkins School of Medicine and the Head of Clinical Innovation at John Hopkin’s Armstrong Institute of Patient Safety and Quality. 

Simon’s research centers around understanding and improving the quality of digital health for patients. Unfortunately, he finds that the key issues in healthcare revolve around inefficiency, fragmentation, and a lack of a team-based approach that is centered around the patient’s best interest. This inspired him to work with Vivante Health, so patients with digestive issues could get the personalized, tech-forward support they need to heal. And with digestive disorders—everything from reflux to IBS to autoimmune disorders—making up a burden of $136 billion dollars on an annual basis, it’s clear that there’s a serious need. 

Vivante Health serves the large, underappreciated, and sometimes stigmatized realm of digestive disorders with a comprehensive and personalized digital platform. Patients are provided with a care team, including a licensed dietician and health coach, and their progress is supported with app reminders, appointment support, check-ins, and progress reports. Although tech is leveraged to best support the patient and their results, it’s the care team outreach and their personal touch that bridges the gap for truly positive user experience and improved outcomes. 

The care team at Vivante Health has an NPS rating of nearly 80. They work primarily with employers and are flexible in the way they integrate with new and existing systems. Although excited for everything currently underway, Simon looks forward to more clinical pathways and screenings in the future to continue to help patients quietly or outwardly suffering from digestive disorders. 

Here’s a glance at what we discuss in this episode: 

  • 01:00 – Introducing Simon, his accolades, and how he came to work with Vivante Health. 
  • 03:00 – He studies the space of digital health, it’s gaps, and it’s solutions, which was a perfect fit for Vivante Health. 
  • 04:20 – Key issues in healthcare: Inefficiency, fragmentation, and a lack of a team-based approach.
  • 06:45 – On digestive disorders: Nobody has digestive disease in general, they have something specific like reflux, IBS, a type of liver disease, pancreatitis, etc. 
  • 08:25 – Digestive disorders make up a burden of $136 billion annually; they come with a stigma and people don’t always feel comfortable with it. 
  • 09:38 – How digestive disorders are being treated today and the cost implications vary widely, as the types of disorders vary.
  • 12:30 – The link between gut health and overall health, including immune and emotional health; there’s a connection.
  • 15:05 – The Vivante Health product and service; the space they serve is large and underappreciated.
  • 15:40 – It’s a comprehensive digital platform that addresses the management of the digestive disease and is integrated with common tech and a care team.
  • 16:15 – With a health coach and licensed dietician, patients get a personalized program based on their history, gaps in care, best practices, and evidence. 
  • 19:05 – How they improve the customer experience: App reminders, appointment navigation, health coach support, check-ins, assessment tools, and progress reports. 
  • 21:30 – The microbiome assessment: Certain diets/lifestyles have certain bacterial compositions and we can manipulate that bacteria, our microbiome. 
  • 25:00 – The clinical rigor and evidence are of utmost importance for Simon and Vivante.
  • 27:30 – How progress is tracked with Vivante Health: Assessments, trend anticipation, self-management improvement, and care team outreach.
  • 30:45 – Their care team NPS rating is almost 80 and people appreciate a personal touch. 
  • 31:45 – On cost: Over 2x ROI according to a case study, great feedback, and great savings and experience. 
  • 33:15 – Marketing the program and getting patients; they have full-spectrum support depending on what a client wants and needs. 
  • 34:20 – Fee structure: It’s usually per active member per month, on a quarterly basis; people don’t get billed for something that isn’t used. 
  • 35:30 – They have a dozen clients and a great spectrum in terms of the number of employees; they have several thousand active members.
  • 36:30 – The challenge: Many people don’t realize how big a deal digestive disorders are. 
  • 42:35 – Exciting things ahead: Clinical pathways and screenings to help people better and more easily; data, research, and analytics that are underway. 


Vivante Health

About the Host, Michael Menerey

Michael Menerey is a Senior Vice President and Benefits Consultant with one of the largest Employee Benefits Brokerage & Consulting firms in the country. He is a partner in the Employee Benefits Practice and works in the Los Angeles office.

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