The need for true health and wellness innovation has never been greater.
We live in a country that boasts more advances in medicine, medical devices, and surgical interventions than any other place in the world. The U.S. is also home to the largest physical activity economy, with more gym members per capita than any other country. Yet, despite all of these efforts and advancements, we are not getting healthier. In fact, we are getting sicker.
The decades old decline in American health is a complex story that runs layers deep.
One contributor to this downward trend ties back to the reality that traditional American healthcare is primarily focused on reactive, “sick care”. Healthcare systems are designed to primarily treat patients once there is an acute need or once (clinically defined) symptoms are prevalent. And in many cases, once symptoms are minimized with treatment, there is no consideration given to the root cause or underlying reason as to why the symptom existed in the first place. I am speaking to the alarming majority who follow this reactive-based approach, there are of course exceptions.
One would assume that the mega-gym industry previously mentioned would have statistical evidence of improving the health of communities. After all, it is a $27 billion industry. Unfortunately, health impact statistics are jaded by numbers of who is inside the gym versus demonstrating a direct correlation to the communities they serve. People inside are already healthier than the people outside. And while the number of health clubs is growing, the segment of the American population that would consider joining a health club hasn’t changed. The physical activity economy has historically served around 20% of the U.S. population, a percentage that rarely fluctuates. The retailers of gym memberships, fitness wearables, and at-home fitness equipment all compete over that same population segment. You may give up your sand weights in the garage when a new gym comes to town, but you are still a part of the 20% of the American population that is already invested in their health. The fitness industry has done a good job touting exercise as the most important way to get healthy, which isn’t always the right answer for every person. Don’t get me wrong, gyms can be a helpful tool for staying active. However, statistically speaking, gyms are not making America healthier.
Another commonly acknowledged contributor to our declining health is the Consumer Packaged Goods industry. With great marketing tactics that label processed and packaged goods as healthy, Americans are misguided to think low carb, gluten free, or diet, means healthy. Meanwhile, “healthy” or “nutritious” highly processed foods contain many various ingredients that may cause more harm than good.
There is also growing recognition that a one-size-fits-all approach does not work when it comes to health. The Crossfit style workout that keeps your neighbors biceps bulging may not be the right solution for you. The diet that counts points and puts broccoli and popcorn on equal footing might not be the right answer either. Any company that states that their “singular” solution is the answer to your health and wellness goals is misleading. In fact, most of these solutions use limited to no measurement to ensure the solution is in fact working. Those that do, often use a single data point like the scale or blood glucose levels. Health isn’t that simple.
Finally, there is no denying the fact that lower socioeconomic status plays a major role in the complex story of poor American health. Not having adequate housing, food, or childcare causes higher levels of stress. In addition, due to financial constraints – poorer populations go to the doctor less and miss basic screenings that detect early signs of disease. High levels of stress have also proven to have a direct correlation to higher prevalence of mental health concerns and even substance abuse. In addition, there are arguments as to whether or not fast food companies target poorer areas as a way to promote cheaper food. Some would argue that this is one reason why obesity rates are higher amongst poorer communities.
In summary, the current health and wellness market is dominated by big businesses that deliver minimal positive impact. This all seems to read as a bleak story for the future of American health. However, there is reason to be optimistic.
At WellWay, we are driving a shift in how healthcare is delivered.
From the beginning, WellWay has recognized these problems. We exist because we know there is a better way to deliver effective healthcare and we are passionate about making impactful change. We know the importance of supporting local communities and those we love with the resources to live longer and healthier lives. Now we’re on a mission to expand our reach.
Through our personalized approach, collaborative care model, and accessibility, we are already optimizing health outcomes across the country. WellWay currently works directly with individuals, health club members, healthcare systems, and employers to provide life-changing service offerings and drive real change across these populations we serve.
The WellWay approach recognizes that each individual’s current health status is a result of three key areas: cellular status, environment, and lifestyle habits. We take the time to understand the status of these three key areas to create approachable, actionable plans that our clients can implement with confidence to achieve lasting results. This puts them on a glide path to improved, and even optimal health.
We also are not a niche based company. We don’t just focus on nutrition or exercise, nor do we sell you a magic pill that makes everything better. Using data and evidence based care, our Wellness Advisors connect you to the providers and services that are right for you based on your immediate need and readiness to change. Our Wellness Advisors stay with you, through life’s inevitable ups and downs. We still believe in the power of a 1 to 1 relationship. Using ongoing health assessments and your current health status as their guide.
Through our combination of trusted health experts, cutting-edge technology, and collaborative care resources we are able to provide health and wellness care that delivers measurable results through ongoing testing and assessment. This includes improving body fat percentage, improved stress response, lowered risk of disease, pain management or elimination, self-reported decrease in symptoms, self reported improvement in quality of life, and overall strong engagement and buy-in from the clients we serve.
Our purpose is to change the way healthcare is delivered. Our mission is to improve the lives of millions through health education and personal empowerment, and our vision is to be the most trusted name in health.
We are determined to change the trajectory of health in America.
We’re already making real change, and this is only the beginning. We look forward to sharing more advancements in our products and services to help you improve your health and the health of the greater communities we serve.