Using Wellpepper

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HIMSS WA Innovation Summit

I had the opportunity to attend the Washington HIMSS Innovation Summit, where leaders from Virginia Mason, Providence, Overlake, Seattle Children’s, UW Medicine, Vera Whole Health and Confluence spoke about innovation in their organizations. A lot of great themes and takeaways. These are the ones that stood out most to me.

Technology Adoption

Several panelists mentioned they have problems with their health systems adopting new technologies. Executives tend to bring in new technologies, get pilots kicked off, but struggle in the system-wide adoption. A lot of times new technologies are implemented and expected to work immediately. The reality is that no matter what Health Systems are implementing, they need to invest resources. Physicians and end users need to be engaged early on to really take ownership of the new technology. A well-defined change management process is also key to ensuring a successful adoption. Lastly, even though organizations are piloting the new technology, call it Phase 1 vs Pilot. Pilots imply a short-term project with and end date. Phase 1 makes the technology more real and gets people thinking about what Phase 2 and 3 look like.

Return on Investment

One of the panelists challenged any technology vendor to show him a technology that has ROI. He said his organization does over $200M in uncompensated care per year so he must evaluate new technologies against cost of patient care, which is a valid point. This brought up an interesting discussion about what health systems consider to be a ROI. Not all technologies will give Health Systems dollar-for-dollar return. Some technologies will. ROI can be a blend of hard and soft cost, so it’s important to spend time thoroughly defining a business case and make sure that success metrics align with the overall mission of the Health System.


I was surprised at how much of the discussion was focused around clinician-facing vs patient-facing technologies. I agree better tools and algorithms for clinicians will directly influence the quality of care that patients receive. Virginia Mason panelists did a great job bringing everything back to the patients. Patients should be the center and they should have access to all their data, regardless of where it comes from, in one place. They should have one seamless app and experience for all their healthcare needs. We at Wellpepper could not agree more!

Key Takeaways

When evaluating and implementing new technologies:

  • Define a realistic business case and what financial and non-financial ROI looks like
  • Ensure alignment to Health System’s mission and goals
  • Don’t assume that new technologies can just be plugged in and solve all problems
  • Allocate resources and engage providers and end users from the beginning
  • Treat it as a multi-year, phased journey; call it Phase 1 instead of a Pilot
  • Have a solid change management process
  • Keep patients’ experience and needs at the top of mind

Posted in: Adherence, Behavior Change, Healthcare costs, Healthcare Disruption, Healthcare Technology, Healthcare transformation, HIMSS, patient engagement, Patient Satisfaction, patient-generated data, Return on Investment, Uncategorized, Using Wellpepper

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Wellpepper Deployment Options

Health Systems have 3 ways to deploy Interactive Treatment Plans at their organization:

  1. Using Wellpepper templates
  2. Leveraging the best practices from Mayo Clinic
  3. Custom Care Plan based on own best practices

Wellpepper Templates

We have a partnership with University of Georgia Medical School, that allows residents to join us on rotation for a month. Through this partnership, and with our excellent research partners, we’ve been able to build care plan templates based on best practice templates for over 30 chronic and acute conditions.

Health Systems may choose to implement these Wellpepper Templates, with minimal effort, which makes this deployment option the quickest.

Mayo Clinic Best Practices

At HIMSS 2018, we announced a partnership with Mayo Clinic to make their best practices available on the Wellpepper platform (here). This allows for health systems to leverage interactive care plans developed with Mayo Clinic content. This is also a very fast deployment and only requires a few configuration decisions from the health system.

Custom Care Plans

The third and most commonly selected option, especially for comprehensive care plans, is to develop an interactive treatment plan based on the Health System’s own best practices. These implementations typically take a bit more time to deploy. One of our tenants is if we can’t do better than paper, then we shouldn’t be doing it. Because of this, we’ll spend additional time going through the existing care plan documentation/discharge instructions and provide guidance and recommendations for how to deliver content digitally in context of where the patients are in their care.

EMR Integration

For initial deployments, we’ll typically see Health Systems choose to start without EMR integration. This is due to competing priorities with IT and allows the Health System to get up and running more quickly.

Shortly after that initial deployment, or in parallel with, we will start to map out what EMR integration looks like, with the goal of streamlining the clinical experience. The graphic below shows several ways that we integrate with EMRs, with the first step frequently being single sign on for patients and clinicians, followed by an ADT feed to onboard patients.

For more information on how to get the most of your deployment, please email me at

Posted in: Healthcare Technology, Interoperability, patient engagement, Using Wellpepper

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Ensuring Secure Patient Information with Wellpepper

Every country has regulations on how to protect and secure personal health information. In the US it’s HIPAA or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. In Canada PIPEDA, or the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. In the UK it’s the Data Protection Act. Each act is designed to help citizens keep personal information private and yet also account for the fact that information does need to be shared between individuals and organizations, and across organizations.

Technology vendors, like Wellpepper need to ensure that they are following certain guidelines around data access and encryption to protect this information. The types of things we need to do include encrypting information when it’s in transit or stored, making sure each person has a secure login ID, limiting access to who can see information. Basically, most of these regulations are just best practices for protecting any type of digital information, and we’d expect to see them in any well-designed software that needs to protect information.



Wellpepper does not store any information on the device. It is all stored securely on Amazon Web Services. Video, which includes patient identifiable information, is uploaded and encrypted when you record it. It’s transferred to our servers, and it’s streamed back to the client in an encrypted manner. (Also remember that the patient can do whatever they want with their health information. However, we still don’t store any of their information on their devices, and we send information encrypted to them.)

We can only fulfill part of the equation on protecting information. How you use Wellpepper and protect the hardware that it’s installed on is the other part.  In fact, if you look at some of the top health-related data breaches in the US in 2012, you can see that a number of them were human error. Examples include not cleaning the hard drive of a photocopier before selling it, having records stored on a laptop computer that was stolen from an employee’s car, and disabling a firewall that protected records. All of these situations were preventable with good data management practices.

We’ll take care of securing the information, you take care of the devices and your passwords. So, with that a few things to remember when using Wellpepper.

  • If you are recording video in an open space, make sure you don’t accidentally have other patients in the background. Otherwise, you may inadvertently include recognizable information about one patient in another patient’s record.
  • Put a password on the iPad. We know that you will want to stay logged into Wellpepper during clinic hours. Use the password protect feature on the device to lock it when it’s not immediately being used.
  • Use remote management features. Apple provides the capability to wipe all devices if they are lost or stolen. Note that since we do not store information on the device, if it’s stolen you don’t need to worry unless you were logged into Wellpepper. Then, you can use remote management features to delete Wellpepper so no one can log in.
  • Secure the iPad when it’s not in use. Make sure you have a secure place for it, either in a locking docking station or locked location when it’s not at use or when the clinic is closed.

You do your part, and we’ll do ours to secure patient information.


Posted in: Using Wellpepper

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Integrating Wellpepper Into Your Practice

At Wellpepper we’re focused on motivating behavior change and encouraging people to do their exercises and get better. We’ve learned that we are also asking you, the professionals to change your behavior. While we’ve developed Wellpepper to be extremely easy to learn and use, integrating any new technology into your practice requires some change.

A few things to think about as you are adopting Wellpepper:

    Wellpepper Clinic

    Wellpepper Clinic

  • Some clients may be better candidates than others for using Wellpepper. You might want to find out in advance who has an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and make sure they bring it to their first session. You could do this when confirming appointments.
  • Try it out first and practice recording videos and assigning exercises. Also check out what the client will see so you can answer any questions they may have. It’s easy to use, but you want to be a pro when you’re using it in practice.
  • Get help. We know you don’t have a lot of time with your clients. We recommend you set up their program before they even install. When you invite a client to use Wellpepper, their exercises will be waiting for them when they download the app and login. Maybe have your receptionist help the client download and login to Wellpepper before they leave your clinic. It will give them a chance to build a greater connection with the client and offer an increased level of service.
  • Determine your “SLA”. An SLA is a service level agreement: what is your commitment to your clients for their Wellpepper results? Will you look at them daily? Weekly? At the beginning of their next session? It’s your business, and it’s up to you but you need to set expectations with your clients.
  • Integrate Wellpepper into your sessions. At the point when you are getting clients to practice their exercises, just start recording them. Avoid the temptation to reach for pen and paper and your clients will thank you.
  • Create special programs or offerings that incorporate using Wellpepper, for example, get ready for tennis or golf season. Wellpepper can be used as part of the program as a lightweight communication tool for patients, to show them the exercises, and to hold clients accountable to reaching their goals.
  • Remember your iPad. This may seem obvious, but at the start it sometimes takes time to get used to remembering a new tool. Remember when you got your first cell phone? Did you always have it with you like you do now?

Our blog posts on choosing the right clients to use Wellpepper and best practices for recording video can also help you get started. We promise though, that once you make the change it will be as easy as drawing stick figures.

We design Wellpepper by testing and getting feedback from our users. Our development process enables us to continually improve and innovate.  If there’s anything you’d like to see us add to make Wellpepper even easier for you to adopt, we’d love to hear about it.


Posted in: Rehabilitation Business, Using Wellpepper

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Choosing the Best Clients to use Wellpepper

We’d like you to use Wellpepper with all your clients, however, we know that is not possible. Here are some things we know about clients that are good candidates for Wellpepper:

Technology Profile

Wellpepper Clinic Dashboard

  • Patients need access to a smart device. Either iOS or Android.
  • People who are already tracking things on their phones are often very excited to use Wellpepper


  • Honestly, we haven’t seen any differences in age. Wellpepper users range from late teens to over 85. Familiarity and usage of technology seems to be a bigger factor than age although we have had users that are completely new to technology.


  • The very best time to introduce Wellpepper is with new clients. Your long-term clients often already know their exercises. You’ll find that if you introduce Wellpepper as part of your overall treatment plan, you’ll get better client compliance. If your clients know you will be tracking them, they will do what you prescribe.
  • Another reason to introduce early is that in the first few weeks of a treatment or exercise program, clients often have more questions about whether they following the program correctly. Wellpepper enables them to be in touch with you for feedback and corrections without waiting for their next appointment to find out they’d been doing an exercise incorrectly.


  • Wellpepper is a great way to keep in touch with remote clients who can’t get to see you in person as often as you both would like. You can use it to check in with patients between visits.

Communication style

  • Have you noticed that some clients want to be in constant contact with you? Wellpepper lets them do that, but puts the control to respond in your own hands and doesn’t require you to give your clients your personal contact information.
  • For public health organizations, using Wellpepper is a great way to “discharge” patients from an active treatment program. They can still have contact but without in-person visits.

Chronic disease management

  • If you have clients who are trying to manage a chronic disease like Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, or diabetes, you know the best way to keep them well is to keep them moving. Wellpepper motivates them to complete their exercise programs through notifications and reminders and by always having their program with them.

We strongly believe that applications like Wellpepper represent the future of patient and client engagement, and will eventually be used with every type of person. For now, these are some ideas to get you started.

Posted in: Uncategorized, Using Wellpepper

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How and Why to Record Personalized Client Exercise Video with Wellpepper

Smartphones and Instagram have made many of us into amateur or semi-professional photographers. Of course, one of the reasons is that we can instantly hone our skills by taking photograph after photograph, adding fancy filters, and only choosing to publish the very best ones.

While everyone’s skills might have improved dramatically as photographers and videographers, we thought we would offer a few tips to help you capture the best client photos and video when using Wellpepper. We know that fitting Wellpepper into your practice requires doing some things differently, and we want to help make this as easy as possible. Also, unlike the amateur photographer, you don’t have time to shoot and reshoot video when you’re working with a client. We designed Wellpepper to be as easy as drawing stick figures, and we want to help make recording video as natural to you as picking up a pencil.

A few things to consider to improve your client videos and photos

    • Practice first. Try recording yourself or your colleagues. You may also want to use these videos to assign to your clients if you think they best represent how to do the exercise.
    • Get the client to practice a few times before recording. In the same way you might have them do an exercise a few times and adjust them, or show them first, you’ll want to do that with video. When they have it perfect, ask them to do it once and capture it.
    • Try to keep your video to 30-60 seconds. Longer than that and clients probably won’t watch the whole thing anyway. You can record up to 2 minutes with Wellpepper, but that is usually overkill for one exercise.
    • Give verbal instructions while you are filming. You can even instruct on simple corrections, which helps them remember later the right way to do it. Take a look at this video, where the client doesn’t quite have her abdomen tucked in properly for the pelvic tilt. See how effective her correction is when she hears the instructions. Imagine how much this will help when she views it at home.

Pelvic tilt from Wellpepper on Vimeo.

  • Try to hold the iPad horizontally. We know this might not always be possible, given the type of exercise, and space constraints, but wide videos generally look better than tall ones. See what we mean? Because video players are horizontal, the vertical video is smaller than the horizontal one. However, for standing exercises, it’s not always possible to have a horizontal video.
Vertical and Horizontal Video Comparison in Wellpepper

Vertical and Horizontal Video Comparison in Wellpepper

What if your client doesn’t want to be recorded? First, we recommend that you try to convince them. Assure them that the only people who can see this video is them and you. It cannot be shared outside of Wellpepper. It’s not even stored on your iPad or their iPhone.  Second, tell them that it will be helpful to their treatment: physical therapists and personal trainers have told us that people remember and understand better when they review videos of themselves doing the exercises. We think there are a few reasons for this: first they have the visual representation of what their body remembers doing, and second, if they have a modified version of a standard exercise due to functional limitations they will see them doing it to their own abilities. This is a lot more motivating than seeing a perfectly fit model demonstrate an exercise.

If you really can’t convince them, or if you’re short on time, we recommend either having pre-recorded video of yourself or your colleagues doing the exercise that you can assign to them, or having the client record you doing the exercise during their session with you. (Yes, it’s easy enough that you can just hand them the iPad.)

Well, what are you waiting for? Download the Wellpepper Clinic app and try it out with up to 2 clients.

Posted in: Using Wellpepper

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