“Hubbub is a technology-driven online playground and mobile wellness solution that uses social circles and gamification to motivate and engage people in healthy behaviors.”
Several people have suggested I take a look at what Hubbub Health is doing so I did. At first glance, there were several things that caught my attention (beyond the interesting teaser description of the company):
- Lots of unconventional language in how they talk (reminds me of the Wellpoint Tonik Healthcare business from years ago)
- A direct to consumer model where you can download the app and use their tool AND a $3 PMPM (per member per month) model for employers which includes additional services like health coaching (most people aren’t in both markets)
Of course the question is whether this is just another one of many mobile companies making a play in healthcare or whether they’ll actually survive for a few years and get traction.
But, Hubbub isn’t just another one of the many wellness vendors out there. They’re part of Cambia Health. You’ve probably still never heard of them, but Cambia is Regence which is a BCBS plan operating in Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and some counties in Washington. Additionally, they own and/or invest in lots of companies – e.g., HealthSparq, GNS Healthcare, OmedaRx, and Wellero (plus Hubbub).
So, this gives them some instant credibility. And, it’s an interesting time in the market. The Population Health Alliance (which used to be the Care Continuum Alliance) recently put out a post looking for contributions around “Return on Value” or VOI (Value on Investment) which is the focus these days in Population Health Management.
This sounds a lot like what you see in the presentation and white paper by Hubbub.
What was more interesting was some of the foundational elements upon which Hubbub was built like:
Cognitive Evaluation Theory (CET) concerns intrinsic motivation, motivation that is based on the satisfactions of behaving “for its own sake.” Prototypes of intrinsic motivation are children’s exploration and play, but intrinsic motivation is a lifelong creative wellspring. CET specifically addresses the effects of social contexts on intrinsic motivation, or how factors such as rewards, interpersonal controls, and ego-involvements impact intrinsic motivation and interest. CET highlights the critical roles played by competence and autonomy supports in fostering intrinsic motivation, which is critical in education, arts, sport, and many other domains. (source)
Self-Determination Theory (SDT) represents a broad framework for the study of human motivation and personality. SDT articulates a meta-theory for framing motivational studies, a formal theory that defines intrinsic and varied extrinsic sources of motivation, and a description of the respective roles of intrinsic and types of extrinsic motivation in cognitive and social development and in individual differences. Perhaps more importantly SDT propositions also focus on how social and cultural factors facilitate or undermine people’s sense of volition and initiative, in addition to their well-being and the quality of their performance. Conditions supporting the individual’s experience of autonomy, competence, and relatedness are argued to foster the most volitional and high quality forms of motivation and engagement for activities, including enhanced performance, persistence, and creativity. In addition SDT proposes that the degree to which any of these three psychological needs is unsupported or thwarted within a social context will have a robust detrimental impact on wellness in that setting. (source)
Those are foundational for a lot of the work in healthcare, and I liked this graphic about motivation.
Whether the app works and captures my attention is still TBD. I did download it and register, but I didn’t really get engaged upon registration. And, the website seemed better than the mobile app, but it still had a few issues in terms of how the large top image dominated most of my screen on my laptop.
At the end of the day, their key role like anyone in this space is to figure out how to engage the consumer (or patient or member or individual) as validated in a study they use.