Blue Mesa Health (Virgin Pulse)

Who they are 👋🏻

Optimizing Global Health Through Digital Therapeutics

Blue Mesa is a health technology company on a mission to optimize the global population’s health by using science, data, and design to deliver digital therapeutics. Having started as three co-founders in the NYC Blueprint HealthTech Accelerator, Blue Mesa Health’s Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) has been translated into five languages and delivered on four continents. The company was acquired by Virgin Pulse in 2020 and is now part of its employee-benefits service portfolio.

Our Work 🔎

Alteria built out the business strategy and scoped the development pipeline for Blue Mesa’s software development and hardware integrations.

Technical Leadership
Content Pipeline Development
Content Management System
Translation Management System Building
Software in a High Compliance, Privacy-Centric Environment
AI Chatbot Project

In order to be eligible to be claimed under US insurance policies, the product had to meet the CDC’s guidelines for diabetes-prevention education. These consist mainly of handouts and PowerPoints, and they have not been updated to take the latest digital technologies into account. Moreover, in order to have a viable business, Blue Mesa needed something that would engage its users in a digital experience and lead to core behavior change in the areas of food and exercise.

The Challenges 🏔

Agile Development and Product Iterations

The agile process involved collecting Blue Mesa’s external requirements from the CDC, gathering user feedback on the digital experience, and making all of the work manageable for the small development team working on the project. The result was a clear roadmap of incremental features that provided users with a cohesive experience at every step while incrementally moving toward the complete CDC requirement set.

Blue Mesa’s diabetes-prevention program needed to be clinically effective in order for it to obtain the CDC’s recognition. We co-designed a behavioral-change digital therapeutic program that resulted in an average body-weight reduction of 6.1% and had 75% user retention after nine months.

Blue Mesa was an early-stage startup business when Alteria began on the project. Alteria led and developed the first product iteration, which included end-user Android and iOS apps, a web dashboard for health coaches, and an HIPAA compliant backend. We migrated HTTP API from REST to GraphQL for bi-directional real-time data push, including offline activity sync for mobile apps. We also completed annual HIPAA audits with two of the largest US health insurance companies. We chose a technology stack that would meet the need for rapid iteration across mobile devices, web dashboards, and scalable backends. We used typescript, Angular in the Cordova Hybrid App, Angular webapp, and a NodeJS API server.

The Outcome 🌟

5 translations

user retention

↓ 6.1%
avg body-weight

Success and Beyond 🚀

Alteria quickly scaled a team that required cross-functional expertise. Taking a remote-first approach to hiring, by the end of the project Alteria was leading a software team of 12 developers, an engineering manager, three data scientists, two product managers, and two designers.

Core technical aspects of the work on the Blue Mesa product included adding 60,000 words of educational content, defining relationships between different types of content based on individual users’ needs, and reducing the friction for managing and publishing further content.

Alteria built a pipeline for copywriting and content using a custom lexer-parser-compiler that enabled non-technical authors to define interactive widgets in text. Additionally, Alteria integrated a translation management system and conducted cost accountability for production of French, Spanish, Portuguese, Cantonese, and Arabic content. It also enabled synchronized content updates while maintaining extensive cultural localization of health and nutrition content.

Interested in working with us?

Let's chat on how we can make your project vision come to life!