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Celebrating Achievement in Health Equity and Technology Innovation at the Activate Awards

mPulse Mobile recently wrapped up its fifth annual Activate conference with the Activate Awards, which provided yet another celebration of healthcare leadership, innovative program design, and improved health outcomes amidst various health engagement challenges.

The theme of Activate2022, The Power of Behavioral Science to Drive Health Action, was reflected throughout the conference with captivating speaker sessions and expert panel discussions. Networking inspired exciting conversation around innovative technology, behavior change design, and consumer experience, and the Activate Awards surely brought those conversations full circle.

The awards help illuminate health plans, health systems, health service providers, PBMs and other types of healthcare organizations that utilized new strategies or unique tools to activate their consumer populations. The companies highlighted each year typically face barriers with engaging a certain population or driving specific health actions, so they search for innovative solutions to tackle those challenges. 

For example, in 2019, CountyCare saw drastic rates of members losing Medicaid coverage, so the managed care organization (MCO) implemented automated text dialogues and saw their Redetermination rates improve by 3.3 percentage points in just one month, subsequently running away with the Most Improved Consumer Experience award. Last year, CareSource incorporated secure surveys, SMS, and streaming video to significantly impact their hard-to-reach members – they won 2021’s Best Use of Conversational A.I.  

The same story is true for this year’s winners.   

The remaining 3 award categories are Achieving Health Equity, Most Innovative Solution and Most Significant Outcome. Like the teamwork and critical thinking generated from breakout workshops and Q&A during the conference, the awards are a celebration of two companies that partnered together to overcome consumer barriers or gaps in care by building uniquely tailored engagement programs. 

Here are the winners of the 2022 Activate Awards: 

Achieving Health Equity

Program Goal
Increase Colorectal Cancer Screenings

AltaMed Health Services is one of the largest Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) in the United States and provides a range of health services to Latino, multi-ethnic and underserved communities in Southern California. After seeing a steep drop in colorectal cancer screenings during the COVID-19 pandemic, the health center sought a solution that could help patients overcome barriers like language and lack of awareness of services. 

AltaMed partnered with mPulse to deliver multi-lingual, educational health content to patients using mobile fotonovelas tailored to both males and females who had not completed a screening. Patients received and digested vital communication about getting screened, where to find the nearest screening site, and more through culturally sensitive stories delivered in a familiar format.  

A randomized control study found that 63% of patients who responded to the fotonovelas either liked or loved it, and 39% reported it positively impacted their willingness to act. By educating patients with curated content, AltaMed closed a key screening gap, lifted health literacy and perhaps most importantly – made significant progress toward health equity.

Notable Outcome
Patients that viewed the fotonovelas (19%) were more likely to submit a sample for cancer screening than patients in a control group (11%)

Best Use of Conversational A.I.

A Technology-Enabled Health Services Company
Program Goal 
Promote smoking cessation among teen vapers 

This leading health services organization employs over 210,000 employees globally and utilizes technology-enabled solutions to promote consumer wellness and population health. A major public health problem facing young adults, particularly teens, across the U.S. is the use of e-cigarettes, or vaping. The company sought to promote smoking cessation among teen vapers, a cohort still widely understudied, by implementing intelligent conversational solutions and educational content.

They collaborated with mPulse to build a personalized SMS program, lasting 4-6 months, that leveraged Natural Language Understanding (NLU) to deliver automated, interactive text dialogues to a targeted teen population. Individuals were also provided custom-built streaming health videos that offered tips on quitting and even an option to connect with an SMS coach. 

The use of NLU enabled the delivery of automated messaging based on text responses, which helped the organization direct each individual to the appropriate resource. The program yielded an 85% engagement rate, and ultimately 69% of participating teens completed the program. The key result, that 73% of teens in the program set a date to quit vaping, demonstrates the value in utilizing automated text conversations and on-demand content to promote smoking cessation in vulnerable teens.

Notable Outcome 
73% of participating teens set a quit date

Check out a new streaming health course for smoking cessation. »


Most Improved Consumer Experience

CalOptima Health
Program Goal 
Increase Awareness of SNAP benefits (CalFresh)

CalOptima Health is a County Organized Health System that provides health insurance coverage for low-income children, adults, seniors and people with disabilities. As Orange County’s largest health plan, the organization includes a network of over 10,000 primary care doctors and serves over 900,000 Medi-Cal beneficiaries. The health system looked to address a gap they had identified with low-income families enrolling in the state’s food assistance program, CalFresh, federally known as SNAP.

CalOptima and mPulse partnered to launch a two-way texting campaign, which utilized interactive SMS powered by NLU and tailored to 7 different languages. The health plan addressed language barriers by delivering vital information about CalFresh’s food security benefits to underserved families and Medi-Cal members in their preferred language.  

Through automated text workflows, members could respond in their native language with answers like: “I already have CalFresh” or “I want to apply.” The program has continued to expand, having delivered over 5 million messages in 2022 already. Communicating with members according to their preferences about important CalFresh benefits helped CalOptima both improve consumer experience and reduce food insecurity for an at-risk population.  

Notable Outcome 
Over 5 million messages delivered to members in 2022 about CalFresh benefits

Like what you’re reading? Join us next year for Activate2023! Secure your spot now. »

Most Innovative Solution

Program Goal 
Drive members to schedule a diabetic eye exam

Humana is one of the five largest health plans in the country according to member enrollment and has been partnered with mPulse for over 10 years. With more than 20 million members, including over 5 million Medicare members, the plan looked to close a gap with their members scheduling the annual diabetic eye exam.

The plan worked with mPulse to launch an SMS texting campaign to increase awareness around the importance of the eye exam and to drive members to schedule an exam. The program featured A/B testing, in which one half of members was provided a 30-second streaming health video in the initial message while the other half received only text.  

The educational video enabled a learning experience that was easily accessible and familiar, concluding with a URL for members to learn more about scheduling the eye exam. Humana saw a remarkable 270% increase in clicks to schedule an exam when outreach included the streaming video. The test demonstrates that using streaming health content alongside two-way conversational solutions can significantly help activate hard-to-reach members with diabetes.

Notable Outcome 
270% increase in clicks to schedule a diabetic eye exam when outreach included 30-second streaming video

Most Significant Outcome (tie)

A Technology-Enabled Pharmacy Services Company
Program Goal 
Improve member experience and pharmacy engagement

The leading PBM and pharmacy services company is nationally recognized and fills over 1 billion prescriptions annually for millions of healthcare consumers across the country. With a rapidly growing population, the healthcare leader sought a solution to improve pharmacy patient engagement by utilizing a new communication channel for its home delivery pharmacy and prior authorization programs. 

The pharmacy leader partnered with mPulse to roll out more than 50 outbound-dialer Interactive Voice Response (IVR) campaigns. The IVR messages notified members about prior authorization approvals/denials, refill reminders, shipping details and doctor responses.  

Ultimately, over 5.8 million IVR records were exchanged and the outbound dialer launched over 5.1 million total calls. By offering a new avenue for members to complete a healthy action like ordering medications, the pharmacy enterprise initiated meaningful conversations to help enhance member experience, improve self-service capabilities, and close pharmacy engagement gaps.

Notable Outcome 
Reached over 2.2 million members with 55,000+ members giving SMS consent

Most Significant Outcome (tie)

Program Goal 
Improve refill adherence for HIV patients 

MetroPlus Health Plan is a subsidiary of NYC Health & Hospitals, the largest municipal health system in the country. The insurance organization serves a diverse group of over 600,000 New York residents across Medicaid Managed Care, Medicare, D-SNP, MLTC and more plan types. A big challenge for the plan was getting HIV patients to refill medications that are pivotal to managing their condition and avoiding complications.

MetroPlus partnered with mPulse to educate the vulnerable population through interactive text messaging about the importance of medication adherence and reducing their  unmedicated days. Texts were delivered one week apart and provided members with vital resources like phone numbers of a pharmacy or a member of the HIV care team.

The plan measured results based on whether or not a patient completed a refill within 7 days of initial outreach. The program yielded a 69% improvement in medication refills when SMS text reminders were deployed, indicating that text nudges inspire self-efficacy and action within this vulnerable population. Through targeted, mobile intervention, MetroPlus helped positively impact medication adherence for over 1,000 patients living with HIV.

Notable Outcome 
69% improvement in medication refills with mPulse text reminders

Health Challenges in 2023

The 6 winners of this year’s Activate Awards showed that even when a new barrier is identified with engaging a population, healthcare organizations must adapt to adhere to their consumers’ needs. Whether utilizing a new communication channel, adding streaming video or incorporating multiple languages, the awards demonstrate that providing healthcare consumers with tailored, learning experiences can significantly impact how they engage with a program. 

As the needs and preferences of healthcare consumers continue to evolve, so too should the capabilities of the healthcare organizations that serve them. Next year’s awards ceremony will surely exhibit a new string of engagement challenges with complex populations and niche use cases – let’s see what type of healthcare innovation surfaces in 2023! 

Activating Healthcare Consumer Behavior Change: Make it Personal

Key takeaways from our interview with Solome Tibebu

In the last decade, behavioral health has grown from an ancillary service offering to a critical component of health services and care delivery. According to an OPEN MINDS Market Intelligence Report, spending on mental health services totaled $225 billion in 2019, up 52% from 2009. Companies like Talkspace and BetterHelp, founded in 2012 and 2013, recognized this spike and made it their mission to increase the availability and accessibility of mental health services to those struggling to access and navigate care. Behavioral health has continued to evolve, and it is incumbent on all healthcare organizations to adopt new methods of providing care to vulnerable populations. Learning from innovative companies and forward-thinking leaders is vital to building an effective care strategy for the one in five U.S. adults living with a mental illness.  

mPulse sat down with Solome Tibebu, a pioneer in behavioral health technology and innovation, whose passion stems from the care gaps that have existed and still remain in mental healthcare. At the early age of 16 years old, Tibebu started a non-profit online resource, Anxiety in Teens, to offer education and support for teens and young adults who were struggling with anxiety and depression. After ten years, she began working in startups and consulting, continuing to advocate for the role of technology in advancing behavioral healthcare. 

This year in June, Tibebu will be putting on her third annual Going Digital: Behavioral Health Tech summit, a conference where health plans, providers, health systems, employers, investors and startups convene to discuss the evolving landscape of behavioral health. The virtual (for now) event is a great opportunity to share best practices for implementing digital resources and innovative technologies to improve access to mental health services. We are proud to be a sponsor for the second consecutive year, and we look forward to contributing to discussions around how healthcare organizations can implement solutions to tackle barriers and make mental healthcare more accessible for all.

Improving Access through Technology Innovation

COVID-19 created an array of challenges to advancing mental health access, but it also sparked a digital transformation that brought innovation to the center stage. With more consumers staying home, “tech has exploded as a response to the pandemic,” Tibebu prefaces. Technology plays an important role in understanding and addressing the social dynamics that affect each person living with mental illness. Some of the challenges that plague mental health accessibility require more than simple one-way consumer interactions, however. 

Talking about health plans, Tibebu emphasizes, “stigma is a huge barrier even after they’ve procured some kind of solution, so they need to have a strategy around how they’re gonna address stigma, and engagement of the member.” Stigma can produce feelings of worthlessness and lead to social isolation while social determinants of health (SDOH) like transportation access or income level can prevent consumers from seeking care. To tackle barriers like SDOH and stigma, it is necessary to utilize technology to understand consumer needs and preferences. 

Conversational AI and Natural Language Understanding power the capability to deploy behavioral science strategies at scale when communicating with vulnerable populations. For instance, incorporating a strategy like Affect ensures that messaging is based in empathy, increasing motivation to engage with sensitive healthcare outreach. Social Proof is an effective strategy that helps assure consumers that they are not alone and can help reduce social isolation caused by mental health stigma.  

Applying behavioral science and identifying SDOH in conversational outreach enables a deeper understanding of consumers. Once individual preferences are captured, healthcare organizations can efficiently tailor relevant content to each consumer and activate meaningful behavior change. 

Delivering Tailored Content at Scale

Incorporating clinically validated behavior change techniques helps with understanding the needs and preferences of consumers. Tibebu asks, “now all of these payers have implemented their telehealth solution but it’s the next level – how do we get something more customized, personalized to their respective populations?”  

Plans and providers can drive deeper engagement and self-efficacy by adopting tailored engagement strategies that lift utilization of the programs they’ve invested in. Conversational AI enables the orchestration of programs and resource delivery across preferred consumer channels. Natural Language Understanding helps capture important data from consumer responses to help route them to the appropriate digital resource. 

A one-size-fits-all care model fails to meet the needs of each consumer, while customization empowers healthcare organizations to intervene with meaningful content that drives behavior change. “How can you identify the consumer’s need and triage them to the right end solution?” Tibebu reiterates. Certain individuals who prefer a visual learning experience may benefit from a course like Living with Anxiety & Depression, while those who respond better to audio can be directed to a podcast like Mental Health Matters. 

Providing on-demand, curated content can motivate consumers to take control of their health and execute healthier behaviors, leading to improved outcomes and a better consumer experience.

Impacting Beyond Mental Health

We asked Tibebu why personalization in mental healthcare should be important to payers specifically. She responded, “because mental health is at the vortex of all health…for all of these other conditions, expensive conditions, that are impacted as a result of poor mental health.” Consumers who are negatively affected by mental health are more likely to develop chronic conditions, which piles up costs for both the consumer and the organization providing services. This creates an opportunity for plans and providers to adopt innovative solutions that promote well-being through tailored engagement. 

MagellanRx Management serves a complex population and recognized the need to incorporate well-being content for their members who were experiencing loneliness and anxiety from COVID-19. They partnered with mPulse to deploy digital fotonovelas, which use culturally sensitive stories in a comic-strip format to improve health education and activate diverse populations. The program drove impressive outcomes, yielding over a 38% engagement rate and a 90% member satisfaction score. 

We questioned how organizations outside of payers and providers can “step up” to make mental healthcare more accessible. Walmart Wellness is a nationally recognized brand whose goal is to “help customers raise their hand and more easily access their hubs,” Tibebu clarifies. Walmart partnered with mPulse to implement SMS solutions along with streaming health education to drive their customers to the right well-being resources. The program included custom learning plans across several wellness topics and produced significant improvements in customer engagement. 

After chatting with Tibebu, we are reassured that mental healthcare should be the focal point of an effective engagement strategy. Innovative companies can promote mental well-being and health literacy by leveraging technology that personalizes outreach. Educating consumers with tailored content through timely and convenient engagement builds self-efficacy and lasting behavior change.

Learn more about Conversational AI and streaming health education here. 


CareSource Activates Hard-to-Reach Members with Conversational Outreach and Streaming Content

COVID-19 Accelerating Digital Engagement

It is no secret that COVID-19 has changed the way healthcare communication is delivered to consumers. The uncertain nature of the pandemic has forced healthcare organizations to incorporate digital strategies to continuously update their members on important COVID-19 information. Just this year, health plans have had to respond to the new mandate requiring reimbursements for at-home COVID-19 tests.  

Gaps remain in other facets of COVID-19 communication, like driving behavior change to increase vaccinations. Across the country, states are seeing lower vaccination rates among Medicaid beneficiaries. In California, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) released a January 2022 report indicating that 81% of the general population had received one dose of a COVID vaccine compared to only 54% of Medi-Cal (California’s Medicaid program) beneficiaries. Significant disparities in vaccination completion such has this have developed in states beyond California as well. 

CareSource, an Ohio-based managed care plan offering insurance coverage to vulnerable populations across five states, recognized a similar disparity in their diverse member population and sought a solution. Traditional methods of engaging members had failed to produce desired results, creating an opportunity to incorporate a new approach in their outreach efforts. The plan partnered with us to implement conversational outreach and streaming health education into their COVID-19 vaccine program strategy.  

Here’s some key takeaways from the program along with strategies that health plans can adopt to drive vaccine engagement.  

Strategies That Personalize Outreach

Delivering vital information about vaccines becomes more difficult when using a one-size-fits-all approach to communicating with vulnerable members. A successful COVID-19 outreach program requires personalized interactions with members to inspire healthier actions. CareSource identified a need to activate hard-to-reach consumers and sought a tool to tailor engagement based of range of factors including health beliefs. 

The plan leveraged our robust technology platform and Natural Language Understanding capabilities, which enabled tailored engagement through 25 SMS workflows, 1 Secure Survey, and 1 streaming video.  

We helped deploy SMS surveys to assess individual vaccine readiness levels, and members were assigned one of three personas based on their responses: Ready, Unsure, and Nonbeliever. Developing personas enables plans to tailor messaging according to personalized interactions with members to inspire healthier actions each member’s preferences and self-reported barriers. Messaging must be intentional and sensitive to inspire paradigm shifts for unvaccinated members or members who have no plans to get vaccinated.

Behavior science informs every communication we send, and this program was no different. An effective behavioral science strategy in the CareSource program was giving members Social Proof, which comes from the Social Determination Theory and suggests that people are motivated by feelings of competence and relatedness. Through the texting channel, members were sent a streaming video, “My Why,” which highlights a diverse range of people explaining their personal reasons for getting vaccinated. Plans can inspire confidence and healthier actions just by making members feel as though they are not alone.

Another behavior science strategy employed in the program was Authority, which is using trusted health experts to improve education, drive health literacy and reduce barriers like misinformation. Using sources like the CDC can ease doubt and motivate members to reconsider personal health beliefs that may contribute to vaccine hesitancy.   

CareSource provided zip code data, which we used to further tailor conversations based on socioeconomic factors. Providing members with personalized, familiar interactions gives the member a voice and drives self-efficacy. 

By incorporating behavioral science and SDOH into their COVID-19 engagement strategy, CareSource was able to tailor conversations and streaming educational content at scale. Social determinants of health (SDOH) can play an integral role in tailoring messaging to each individual inspiring vaccine readiness. 

Innovation That Drives Outcomes

We sent a total of 4 million SMS messages and delivered over 3 million automated dialogues to 664,000 members. The program yielded nearly a 15% engagement rate, an increase from traditional rates of 8-10%. Of the members who received a first dose, 81% reported they would follow through to get a second dose. By the end of the program, 57,000 of the 107,000 “Unsure” members moved into the “Ready” persona. 

Each member response led to additional tailoring, with automated responses covering topics like variants, availability, cost, fear/anxiety, effectiveness, and side effects. Upon conducting 30-day and 90-day reviews of the program, common themes were uncovered within each member persona. Gathering insights from member interactions can help influence future vaccine engagement programs and ensure that each conversation is tailored to drive the best results. 

As companies focus on highly tailored engagement, scalable intelligent capabilities are required.  CareSource has demonstrated the potential for Conversational AI outreach and streaming health education to drive healthier actions and meaningful outcomes.

Overcoming Barriers for the COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids

On October 29, 2021, the FDA authorized usage of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11-years-old. This was followed by the CDC’s announcement four days later recommending the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for the 5 to 11 age group. Now that 28 million more Americans are eligible to receive the vaccine, healthcare organizations must play an important role accelerating vaccinations and decreasing the spread of the virus.

Routine child immunizations have declined over the last few years and have continued to drop since the emergence of a new virus. Recent data from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that in 2020, over 23 million children missed out on basic vaccinations, which is 3.7 million more than in 2019. Children make up a large segment of the U.S. population and can substantially advance the spread of COVID-19, elevating the need to promote vaccine awareness to parents of eligible children.

To increase vaccination among 5 to 11-year-olds, it’s important to first understand what causes vaccine hesitancy in parents. Social determinants of health (SDOH), misinformation, and health access are a few factors that influence vaccine hesitancy, and healthcare organizations can overcome obstacles like these by incorporating behavioral science strategies when communicating with parents. Overcoming vaccine barriers requires that parents are engaged with the appropriate educational resources that inspire behavior change and promote self-efficacy.

Understanding the Importance of Vaccinating 5 to 11-year-old Children

In the United States, there are over 72 million children under the age of 18, accounting for roughly 22% of the total population, according to a recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau. While the 12 to 17-year-old population is 51% fully vaccinated, those numbers are declining. The addition of 5 to 11-year-olds into the population of eligible Americans means that 28 million new patients are now able to be vaccinated. The data suggests that there are over 40 million children yet to be vaccinated, and well over half of them are between 5 and 11-years-old.

The urgency with vaccinating these children lies in the threat of widespread COVID-19 infection. 5 to 11-year-old children represent a large portion of the population across the U.S., and more importantly, they can infect vulnerable groups around them unknowingly through asymptomatic spread. Additionally, as the virus spreads throughout the community, the emergence of a more contagious COVID variant becomes increasingly likely. This complicates the pandemic by not only by bringing this unknown factor into the equation but by also potentially threatening the efficacy of existing vaccines for the greater population.

Beyond the threat of the coronavirus itself, however, required social isolation has contributed to loneliness and anxiety in children. The National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation (NIHCM) reported that from mid-March 2020 to October 2020, mental health-related Emergency Department Visits for children ages 5 to 11 had increased 24% compared to the previous year. Returning to a normal, pre-pandemic lifestyle may be critical to protect the long-term mental health of children.

So, if vaccinating the youngest eligible population is a step in the direction of normalcy, what is stopping parents from acting?

Identifying Barriers That Cause Vaccine Hesitancy

Perhaps the most apparent obstacles in the way of widespread vaccination among 5 to 11-year-old children are the education level, healthcare access, and health beliefs of the parents. In a study from Northwestern University that surveyed over 1,900 parents, it was found that those who received less education were less likely to vaccinate their kids. Fortunately, insights from older populations demonstrate that personal health beliefs and misinformation can be mitigated by providing adults with accurate COVID-19 information from trusted health experts and trusted channels of communication.

Lack of healthcare access can prevent parents from receiving vital communication about the free cost of the vaccine, locating vaccination sites, or how safe the vaccination itself can be (91% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children ages 5-11 years-old). Those populations with lower incomes are less likely to have healthcare coverage, which ultimately negatively influences vaccination rates.

When evaluating low access to COVID-19 resources, understanding how race and SDOH influence program utilization can help illuminate the best strategies to reach a parent. The aforementioned study also found that when it comes to vaccinating their children, Black American parents were the most hesitant racial group. This presents an opportunity to deliver more personalized interactions that scale across diverse populations. In order to do that, it becomes necessary to engage parents with culturally sensitive and accurate vaccine information.

Each individual parent has unique beliefs and preferences that influence how they engage with a COVID-19 program. Barriers like misinformation, SDOH, and health access can significantly impact vaccine hesitancy. While these are ingrained beliefs and difficult obstacles to overcome, healthcare organizations can adopt strategies to uncover these barriers and inspire healthier actions through meaningful conversations tailored to each individual’s unique beliefs and barriers.

Overcoming Barriers with Behavioral Science

The barriers that create COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in parents are similar to the barriers that have long existed with traditional immunizations like influenza. Just like with the flu, an individual’s preferences can be understood by incorporating behavioral science strategies like social proof, authority, perceived effort, and affect.

Social proof is a concept derived from the Self Determination Theory, which suggests people can be motivated by their psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Giving people social proof, such as stories from parents like themselves who have already vaccinated their own children, ensures parents that they are not alone.

Authority is the inclusion of trusted health experts to improve vaccine education and reduce misinformation. When vital information is shared through clear and convenient conversations, organizations can begin to build trust with parents and drive health literacy.

The idea of perceived effort stems from providing accessible resources like FAQs or vaccine finder. This concept inspires self-efficacy by empowering parents to learn more about COVID-19, making it easier to take action.

Finally, incorporating a concept like affect ensures that messaging to parents is based in empathy and compassion. Communication should exhibit sensitivity to ensure parents feel comfortable discussing their child’s healthcare.

By gathering data directly from parents through behavioral science, healthcare organizations can tailor conversations according to the parent’s preferred language and preferred channel of communication.

Tailoring Conversations and Content to Drive Vaccine Readiness

All the behavioral science theories above can be employed when building an effective vaccine engagement strategy. One way healthcare organizations have begun fighting vaccine hesitancy throughout the last year is by utilizing Conversational AI solutions and streaming health content to educate their populations.

Personalized interactions with parents offer insights into how to keep them engaged with a program. By leveraging Conversational AI solutions, organizations can scale the number of conversations they are having while ensuring messages are tailored to each recipient. When employing two-way dialogue, unique barriers can be tackled by providing appropriate health resources and information to challenge their beliefs. One health plan saw member response rates of 19% for a COVID-19 vaccine engagement program. The plan understood that certain healthcare consumers may not respond to traditional methods of communication, enabling new and innovative approaches to lift vaccine awareness and readiness.

Access more resources for COVID-19 vaccine engagement >>

By providing streaming health education to parent populations, they can easily access a library of COVID-19 learning content from trusted health experts. The easily digestible nature of streaming educational videos and podcasts makes it easy for both parents and children to follow along. The adoption of tailored conversations and rich, learning content yields a 69% average completion rate of on-demand COVID-19 content.

While engagement is necessary to improve vaccine education, providing a tailored learning experience is driving the most impressive outcomes related to program satisfaction. Personalization inspires program engagement that scales populations and is helping health plans achieve results like 70% member satisfaction. When healthcare organizations deploy educational COVID-19 video content, they encourage parents and children to learn more about the vaccine while positively impacting consumer experience.

Parents should be met with meaningful dialogue and content that is convenient to them. The use of behavioral science enables the understanding of parents’ personal beliefs and preferences, helping uncover barriers and information gaps. By incorporating tailored conversations and streaming content, healthcare organizations overcome those barriers, creating a seamless consumer experience that lifts health literacy and self-efficacy. Parents who are empowered with accurate health information and accessible resources can reduce vaccine hesitancy and significantly improve vaccine readiness for their children.

Recognizing Innovation in Healthcare at Activate2021

We recently hosted our annual conference, Activate2021, which featured a keynote address from Nick Webb, healthcare futurist and best-selling author, along with a number of exciting sessions, panel discussions, and of course–Activate2021 Awards!

The Activate Awards shine a light on healthcare organizations who are delivering excellence in health engagement to meet and exceed the needs of an evolving healthcare landscape. Never has this proven to be more fitting than in the past year when organizations have had to alter their consumer outreach strategies in response to Covid-19. With the disruption caused by the pandemic, it is now more important than ever to address gaps in communication and low utilization of services. 

These companies demonstrated how innovative ways to activate their populations can improve access to healthcare and significantly enhance the consumer experience.

Winners were decided based on qualitative and quantitative results across five categories: Health Equity, Conversational AI, Innovation, Outcomes, and Consumer Experience. In case you missed it, we’ve recapped for you the ways these 6 different healthcare organizations are making a powerful impact on health engagement, health equity, and health outcomes.

CalOptima – Improving Health Equity

CalOptima is a large, county-based health system that offers health insurance for low-income residents of Orange County, California. The plan sought a solution to uncover barriers to getting the Covid-19 vaccine and to increase vaccinations of its diverse Medi-Cal population. CalOptima rolled out a Covid-19 vaccine engagement program across 6 languages that geo-targeted highly impacted groups and delivered over 1.4 million tailored messages to members. 389,648 members received vaccinations with health equity efforts among populations of color resulting in CalOptima’s Black Medi-Cal population reaching a 45% vaccination rate compared with only 40% of Black Medi-Cal members vaccinated statewide. Similarly, 56% of their Hispanic Medi-Cal members are vaccinated versus 54% of Hispanic Medi-Cal members statewide.

CareSource – Best Use of Conversational AI

CareSource is a health plan, headquartered in Ohio, dedicated to member-centric insurance coverage for its 2 million members. Looking to combat vaccine hesitancy, the plan implemented tailored SMS messaging, member surveys, and streaming health content to educate and uncover member barriers to getting the Covid-19 vaccine. The campaign delivered over 3 million automated tailored dialogues to 664,000 members, with members self-reporting as “Non-Believer,” “Unsure,” or “Ready.” By tailoring communication based on member preferences, CareSource was able to impact more than 650k members nationwide. At the end of the program, 57,000 out of 107,000 “Unsure” members moved into the “Ready” persona.

Magellan Rx Management – Most Innovative Program

Magellan Rx Management, part of Magellan Health, is a national pharmacy organization that serves complex populations. Magellan Rx engaged their specialty pharmacy members with two-way messaging and digital fotonovelas to address loneliness and anxiety experienced by their members during the pandemic. The use of fotonovelas was an innovative approach to deliver easily digestible and educational content in an engaging, story-based format that is relevant across diverse populations. After incorporating conversational dialogues and fotonovelas, the most impacted populations were younger members and members most impacted by social determinants of health. Overall, the program yielded over a 38% engagement rate to go along with a 90% member satisfaction score.

CountyCare Health Plan – Most Significant Outcome (tie)

CountyCare Health Plan is a large Medicaid managed care organization offering no-cost health insurance to eligible members in Cook County, Illinois. The plan wanted to uncover obstacles preventing members from getting vaccinated while increasing awareness and readiness. CountyCare launched a vaccine engagement program that targeted members significantly impacted by social determinants of health. The program utilized digital fotonovelas to address vaccine hesitancy and lift health literacy. After over 2.6 million tailored messages sent, 18% of members replied or clicked a link and 72% said they are more likely to get the vaccine.

Providence Health & Services – Most Significant Outcome (tie)

Providence Health & Services is a nonprofit health system, based in Washington, that operates in seven states and serves millions of individuals. The health system sought to increase sign-ups for their MyChart eCheck-in Program, which centralizes appointments, prescriptions, bills and other important patient resources all in one place. By partnering with mPulse and optimizing their patient engagement strategy, with the SMS solution, they grew patient activation rates from 9.9% in December 2020 to 27.4% by August 2021.

A leading Health Services provider – Most Improved Customer Experience

This organization is a nationally recognized leader in technology-enabled health services with over 100,000 employees worldwide. The company needed to transition a wellness coaching program from telephonic to a fully digital experience. A focus of the program included delivering a tailored, content experience that scales across populations. The health services company partnered with mPulse to build 11 custom content courses that drove 120k enrollments, and it yielded a 75% completion rate along with an average engagement rate of 51 minutes per enrollment. The organization used digital tools to deploy a robust program that kept their health consumers more engaged with their health content for a longer period and moved them into a space that allowed for more meaningful engagement in the future.

These 6 healthcare partners harnessed the value of innovative engagement solutions and streaming health education to positively impact their populations. The programs illustrate how rapidly health engagement is evolving to meet the needs of a shifting healthcare landscape and through adoption of new capabilities that create more meaningful touchpoints with members. For more information about the Activate Awards or any of the capabilities used in these programs please email us at

About mPulse Mobile: mPulse Mobile is reimagining health engagement to inspire healthier lives and deeper relationships between healthcare organizations and their consumers. Healthcare’s leading Conversational AI platform combines with award-winning health education for the streaming age to deliver tailored educational health engagement that nurtures, educates, and activates healthcare consumers.

With more than a decade of experience, 125+ healthcare consumers and 500 million conversations annually, mPulse Mobile has the data, expertise and the solutions to drive healthy behavior change.