Partner Spotlight: Paris Wallace – CEO, Ovuline
At Collective Health, we know creating the healthcare experience we all deserve is not the job of one company. That’s why we spend a lot of time working with, and listening to, some of the most innovative companies and people working in our industry.
For this month’s Spotlight, we sat down with Paris Wallace, President and CEO of Ovuline. Paris is a genetics and reproductive health expert who previously co-founded Good Start Genetics, a leading fertility diagnostics company.
What makes your team come to work every day?
Without a doubt, Ovuline’s incredible culture and work environment is the biggest driver for our team. We are a company built by women, for women, and consequently we attract top women in tech. I’m proud to say that as a result of strong female leadership and mentorship, we’ve earned the reputation as one of the best places for women to work in Boston.
The passion our people have for our mission and the impact we’re making in the world is another driver for us. We help shape a really important time in a woman’s life, simplifying the pregnancy process and ensuring she has the best possible outcome — that’s work people can personally connect to and be passionate about.
How would you explain what you do to a five year-old?
Well, when a mom and a dad love each other very much…(laughs). Actually, I think it’s really hard for a five-year-old to understand benefits (it’s hard for almost everyone to understand benefits!). How’s this? You know your little brother? We helped make him.
Pregnancy not only affects employee well-being, it also affects a company’s bottom line.
How do you measure the success of your products?
We have two stakeholders – the user and the employer. We measure user success by the level of engagement in our applications and the user’s ultimate health outcome.
From the employer perspective, we actually move the needle and change the cost curve on this acutely expensive population. Pregnancy is driving about 10% of all healthcare costs for the average employer. Employers have never before had a mechanism to support this particular employee group and reduce associated costs.
Why does your company feel that it’s important to partner with employers?
Our users want to have happy, healthy, normal pregnancies, and at the end of the day, that’s exactly what employers want for their people. Pregnancy not only affects employee well-being, it also affects a company’s bottom line.
And the numbers speak for themselves. The employer-specific content offered through the app is the content our users love engaging with the most. The questions we regularly hear from our users are, “What are my benefits?” or, “What am I eligible for?” The more content from employers we put in, the more engaged our users are. By facilitating the connection between users and their employers to their health information and their health benefits, users can better navigate all the ins and outs of pregnancy through the platform. It’s one of the rare occasions where the incentives are the same for all parties: employers are incentivized to get it right for their people and their business, we’re incentivized to get it right so that our users have an amazing experience, and the user is obviously looking for the best possible outcome – a healthy pregnancy.
What’s one of the most promising trends or developments in health benefits today?
We’re excited about consumer companies getting into the benefits space. Traditionally, health insurers or healthcare companies have built solutions for benefits providers, not for the employees or members actually receiving those benefits.
When it comes to health benefits, companies like Ovuline and Collective Health are in the vanguard of a consumer-focused health benefits strategy – we’re the ones with the member in mind.
Word on the Street: Tell us your favorite customer success story
One of the core features we have in the benefits portal is something we call Critical Alerts. Essentially we’re continuously monitoring the health of our users to see if any of their signs or symptoms suggest they might be suffering from an acute pregnancy issue. One of our users recently reached out to us and said she was using the app and reported a certain symptom which triggered us to send her a Critical Alert. She called her doctor and her doctor said, “Come in immediately.” It turned out she had a serious pregnancy complication, and because she caught it early the pregnancy was saved. She thanked us profusely for catching the complication and we were able to change the course of this person’s life. It’s pretty amazing because the technology is an algorithm, but it really speaks to the power of this type of platform and the real impact it can have on an individual’s life.