healthcaretechoutlook

Off The Scale: Comprehensive Chronic Disease Intervention Programs

 Peter Brechter, CEO
The momentum of chronic disease worldwide doesn’t show any sign of slowing. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic disease is responsible for 7 of 10 deaths each year, and treating people with chronic disease accounts for 86 percent of the nation’s healthcare costs. “For people already suffering from lifestyle-based chronic disease, there is a care gap between wellness and the medicine and surgery that come with advanced chronic disease,” begins Peter Brechter, CEO, Off The Scale (OTS). This is where OTS is connecting the dots by creating an impact with long-term sustainable behavior change.

In 2013, it was the goal of Ashley Heather and Billy Pymm to leave a lasting impact on the people enduring chronic disease that spurred the genesis of Off The Scale. Today, these two, seasoned healthcare, technology, and marketing executives, are leading the wave of change to improve the daily routine of the population. The firm conducts intervention programs that comprise structured physical activity, lifestyle modification strategies, and a nutritional curriculum to assist in slowing, stopping, and even reversing the progression of chronic diseases. Behavior change is administered through in-person sessions, online community tools, and mobile applications. “We offer a turnkey solution to reduce chronic disease. The benefit to the patient is better health, while the payer benefits from, reduced medicine consumption, doctor’s appointments and emergency room visits,” states Brechter.

In today’s era of health care reform, digital solutions are everywhere. OTS learned that digital alone rarely works, and developed a platform involving a year-long intervention with weekly sessions for three months followed by a nine month maintenance program. The firm’s program combines exercise, nutrition education, and behavior change to assist the participants in eliminating unhealthy habits and embracing new ones.

We offer a turnkey solution to slow, stop or reverse the progression of chronic disease


“By the end of three months, we aim for users to be self-sustaining,” says Brechter. The program is set into action with a wearable device—activity band— offered by OTS in partnership with Garmin to capture the activity data for the full year.

At the heart of the activity band and the multi-channel platform lies a Participant App and a Professional App that encompass every miniscule aspect of the intervention program. These mobile applications allow participants to observe their food and drink consumption, goal setting and tracking, bring forth questions, ideas, and share food reviews with their program coach for feedback. “The Professional App allows cost-effective group intervention for tracking a participant’s nutritional and physical activities. It allows our staff to interact, guide, encourage, and advise them along the way,” explains Brechter. The program was developed over the last three years in partnership with The Rollins School of Medicine, Exercise is Medicine and OTS. “Over the course of two years, we ran 400 people through community-based trials, continually adjusting to improve outcomes,” says the CEO.

Chronic disease is a top priority at most health systems due to its huge cost. It is not only relevant for the populations they treat every day, but for their employees as well. This is true of Mount Sinai Health System in New York where OTS recently completed a pilot program. Mount Sinai took the initiative and partnered with OTS to reduce chronic disease in its own employees and is examining the possibility of rolling the program out to their patient population.

The prowess to provide hybrid inventions with immense attention to detail, in a cost-effective manner, is taking the firm to great heights. In the days to come, “We are in talks with major health systems throughout the U.S. and even have strong interest from overseas,” concludes Brechter.