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.
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.
75% 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.
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