Two women in a garden, laughing.


Transitioning to Kannact Whole Health

Nandan Rao

For the past 8 years at Kannact, we have focused on providing the best, personal, 1:1 health coaching for people with chronic conditions. Over those years, we’ve learned that to really be effective, health coaches not only need good training and access to a good clinical team to support them, but they also need the right tools and the right data, at the right time.

We’ve made a lot of technical improvements to our platform to make sure our coaches can be more effective. We completely rebuilt our mobile app to pair seamlessly with shipped devices and be easier to use than ever before. We connected to EHR systems to pull lab results directly from medical records. We added real-time Rx fulfillment data to intervene promptly on medication adherence. We improved our multi-channel marketing engine to keep people engaged with health coaching despite their busy lives.

We are very proud of our engagement and outcomes, but we’re equally excited to see how they improve as our coaches have better data, leading to more meaningful conversations and better relationships with participants.

So what’s missing?

All of those improvements ensure our coaches have the best data and tools a health coach can have and help lead to long-term engagement for everyone in the program. But there are still too many people that never joined the program. What gives?

The magic of health coaching was never the technology. Yes, the technology might be what allows our coaches to engage with more people, and keep them engaged, compared to other programs. But it’s not what drives the change. The change comes from the relationship between coach and participant. A Kannact coach is a guide that invites participants to discover their own goals and that inspires them to find their own motivation.

Our coaches do not label participants, and they do not tell them what they should do based on the conditions in a file. Doctors already tried that and it didn’t work.

But when we create a program that is “for people with chronic conditions,” we are starting with a label. We are starting with stigma. We may try to explain that they can create their own goals, but we are starting by telling them what they are and what they need. We target them. And people don’t like to be targeted.

Kannact Whole Health was born from the realization that as long as we invite people to “join a chronic condition management program,” we will never engage as many people as we want and never move the needle for our clients as much as we believe is possible.

So we flipped the script. In Whole Health, we don’t start with a label and ask people to join if it applies. We ask everyone to meet their coach, regardless of their health condition, and let them co-create their own program in conversation with a trained health coach. It’s a relationship-first program, culturally-competent program that improves equity of health outcomes by removing the stigma of starting and increasing participation among those who otherwise would never have joined.

At the same time, Whole Health is a program that is more rigorous in tracking health outcomes than ever before. We guarantee to close gaps in care across 11 HEDIS measures that span preventive, mental, and chronic care management and if we don’t, we’ll give 100% of our fees back. These measures cover everyone, not just individuals with chronic conditions. Inviting everyone to the program is not a trick to engage more people with chronic conditions — it’s a realization that everyone has gaps in care and that coaching can effectively close them.

So what are the measures?

Regular Wellness Visits

Getting everyone to a regular wellness visit (physical) with their primary care doctor is the cornerstone of preventive health. Many health systems and clinics, however, are not successful in bringing people in as often as they need. Additionally, many people don’t even have a primary care doctor. Kannact health coaches motivate people to schedule with their current primary care team or, if they don’t have one, help them find a primary care doctor they can begin to see regularly.

Breast, Colorectal, and Cervical Cancer Screenings

Kannact health coaches, with their access to medical records, get alerts when someone is coming up on their due date for a cancer screening. They work with participants to schedule a screening with their primary care team or OB-GYN.


Recommended immunizations can get complex as we get older. Kannact health coaches, specialists in health education, help participants understand the immunizations they need as well as how to book an appointment with a primary care team or local pharmacy.

Depression and Alcohol Use Screening and Follow Up

Coaches directly screen all members, at least annually, for common emotional health problems such as depression and unhealthy alcohol use. They additionally support everyone who screens positive to find a mental health professional or program that can help them, supporting them to not just make an appointment, but to attend it as well.

HbA1c and Blood Pressure Control

Coaches have access to lab results by pulling the data directly from the EHR systems that primary care doctors already use. This allows coaches to see current results, set goals, and help guide participants to improved outcomes.

Statin Adherence and Asthma Medication Ratio

Coaches have access to real-time pharmaceutical fulfillment data, allowing them to know when people don’t pick up their medication and help them (a) understand the importance of medication adherence and (b) improve compliance with their medication use as measured by their proportion of days covered (PDC).

Interested in learning more about Kannact Whole Health? Get in touch.