Newtopia Inc., a tech-enabled habit change provider focused on disease prevention, today announced the results of a weight loss study conducted by the Company on client outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. On June 22, 2021, Newtopia presented these study results at the United Scientific Group’s 6th International Conference on Obesity and Chronic Diseases, a conference which brings together the brightest minds in research and academia, to share ideas and provide critical reviews of ways by which to combat obesity and related chronic diseases.
A total of 1,436 U.S. participants met the criteria for Newtopia’s study. Newtopia provided each participant access to a tech-enabled virtual habit change experience designed around that individual’s health risks, genetics, medical history, motivation, social determinants of health and personal preferences. The habit change experience was further optimized to address the unique challenges of COVID-19, such as increased stress levels and food insecurity. Participants met virtually one-on-one with an assigned health coach, or Inspirator, over the course of the year, as well as received an e-scale, activity tracker and access to an interactive app to support their efforts during the study.
Strong Study Results: Weight Loss and Risk Reduction during the COVID-19 Pandemic
“We are thrilled with the results of this study, which further demonstrates the effectiveness of Newtopia’s habit change platform to help health insurers prevent disease and lower costs,” said Jeff Ruby, Founder & CEO of Newtopia. “While over 40% of U.S. adults reported gaining weight during the pandemic, our study, which was conducted across Newtopia’s broad book of business, resulted in nearly 80% of our participants losing weight during the pandemic, with over 20% dropping an entire BMI risk category. These strong results build upon the success achieved in our prior randomized controlled trial conducted with Aetna resulting in a proven in-year ROI and continue to validate the importance of our habit change platform to both health insurers and their insured populations.”
Long-Term Study Implications
Obesity has been directly linked to increased risk of serious complications, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and even cancer, which in turn results in significant medical costs for self-insured health insurance providers. As reported by the Aetna Innovation Lab, healthcare costs per individual can increase from U.S.$3,400 per year for a healthy individual to upwards of U.S.$15,000 to $20,000 per year if that individual unfortunately develops multiple risk factors beyond obesity, including that of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. This risk of obesity increased significantly during the global pandemic, and as a result so too did the potential healthcare costs for self-insured employers. According to a recent study by the American Psychological Association, 42% of U.S. adults reported statistically significant weight gain during 2020.
Newtopia’s obesity study on the other hand showed that despite the challenges of COVID-19, individuals participating in the Company’s personalized habit change experiences could still achieve impactful weight loss during a global pandemic, thus saving their employers extensive medical costs. These results build upon the Company’s previous results achieved in a three-year randomized controlled trial (the “RCT”) funded by Aetna and published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. After a 12-month period, on average participants in the RCT achieved a clinically significant weight loss reduction of 4.3%, or 10 pounds in year one, which translated into a reduction of metabolic risk factors resulting in an annual reduction in medical costs by U.S.$1,464 per employee. Based upon an annual cost of ~U.S.$700 per participant to be part of the Newtopia platform, these cost savings translated into a 2X return on investment for Aetna within the first year of the study.
Mr. Ruby continued, “While our most recent obesity study was not a traditional randomized controlled trial, as it was conducted across our book of business, the results of this study were even stronger than that which we saw with our gold standard Aetna study. Since completing our Aetna RCT, we’ve not only improved our results across our book of business, but we have also become fully accredited by the CDC. We believe that these most recent results offer further support for the potential for even greater cost savings and return on investment per individual to health insurers utilizing the Newtopia habit change platform. At a time when outcomes are king and health insurers are under immense pressure to address pre-chronic disease risk and costs amongst their members, we look forward to leveraging this exceptional track record of efficacy to continue to build our pipeline of health insurer clients and expand our book of business.”
For more information about Newtopia’s Weight Loss Study, please visit the Resources section of Newtopia’s website.
Newtopia is a tech-enabled habit change provider focused on disease prevention and reducing the cost of care for health insurers. As a provider of whole person care, we prevent, reverse, and slow the progression of chronic disease while enriching mental health, resilience and overall human performance. Newtopia’s programs leverage genetic, social, and behavioral insights to create individualized prevention programs with a focus on type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and weight. With a person-centered approach that combines virtual care, digital tools, connected devices and actionable data science, Newtopia delivers sustainable clinical and financial outcomes. Newtopia serves some of the largest nationwide employers and health plans and is currently listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.