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Vest Health: VitaVantage

by Rita D'Onofrio

VitaVantage creates a customized health and wellness program for you that can all be paid for using the money in your Health Savings Account and Flexible Spending Account.
Newark, NJ United States Patient Power Tools! MedStartr Ventures challenge

All Team Company Patients Physicians Hospital Partners Mission Innovation Details Supporters Comments Updates

About our project

The problem we solve: People want to be healthy but struggle first, to find the health and wellness programs, products and services that are right for them and second, to pay for them.

About our solution: Health insurance does not pay for health maintenance. Vest Health acts as a personal guide for people to navigate the healthcare and insurance industries. At the core of our solution is an online health assessment which includes behavioral health habits, signs, and symptoms of health risks. The system captures and stores health data and identifies personal health needs to generate a customized, “best-fit” treatment plan and then, provides the qualification paperwork required to release the pre-tax dollars set aside in users’ Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) for recommended treatments. Our personal health record technology optimizes health data while acting as a "payment solution", to help people afford wellness programs, products and services NOT covered by insurance. We provide education and financial support to Employer Wellness Programs, Patients, Physicians, Hospitals, Complimentary Integrative Medicine and Wellness Products and Services.

Progress to date:

We’re proud of the platform we’ve built to date; while it’s the minimum viable solution, it can already be used in employer wellness programs and clinics, - and will have the capacity to integrate with EHR systems to share data. We’re raising money for the next build of the Vest Health - VitaVantage platform to incorporate all the features our partners will be testing during our pilots. If you’re interested in being a pilot partner, shoot us an email!

About Our Team

Creator: Rita D'Onofrio

Location: New Jersey

Education: Enterprise Development Center III @ NJIT

Bio: From a certified medical technologist to a patient,- to finally a health insurance producer - Margherita D’Onofrio has constantly been on the front lines of healthcare. She currently serves as founder of Vest Health, and works in health data innovation at the Enterprise Development Center III at New Jersey Institute of Technology. Committed to patient education and empowerment, her new venture addresses the pain points people face trying to pay for health and wellness care.

Title: Founder

Advanced Degree(s): Health Insurance Producer, Medical Technology BS

About Team Members


Witold Cyrek
IT Software/Cloud Developer, BS Computer Science
Biography: Witold brings his considerable technical and security background in scalable, cloud-based systems to lead the VitaVantage/VestHealth. He has worked as lead software developer in the recruiting industry, in designing and implementing systems that assist human resource recruiters in search, analysis, tracking and validation of candidate résumé data from multiple sources.
Title: IT Software/Cloud Developer
Advanced Degree(s): BS Computer Science

About Our Company

Vest Health - Advantage Insurance Group

Location: Enterprise Development Center III @ NJIT, 211 Warren Street
Newark, NJ 07103

Founded: 2014


Twitter: @VestHealth

Product Stage: Ready

YTD Sales: Working on it

Employees: 1-2

How We Help Patients

Patients are just people who want to be healthy. Often, they are proactive in their healthcare and seek ways to maintain health. 

PATIENT PROBLEM: Health insurance doesn’t cover Complementary Integrative Health therapies like vitamins, massage, acupuncture, homeopathic supplements or personalized fitness programs even though they are essential to preventative healthcare. Patients end up spending over $500 per person out-of-pocket on such treatments each year, even though they may have thousands of dollars sitting in their Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts.

PATIENT SOLUTION: Vest Health makes being healthy easy and affordable. The VitaVantage platform creates a customized integrative health plan for each user based on an algorithm and questionnaire that assesses existing and previous medical conditions as well as behaviors. It then enables patients to pay for the recommended therapies and treatments using their tax free dollars previously set aside in either their HSAs or FSAs.




How We Help Physicians

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has never been more popular; nearly 40% of American adults report using one of the CAM therapies including acupuncture, homeopathy, massage therapy, and herbal supplements. Doctors are beginning to embrace CAM therapies as well, often combining them with mainstream medical therapies and labeling it "Integrative Medicine".

PROVIDER PROBLEM: Because many doctors practicing today haven’t received training in Complementary/Integrative Health therapies, they may not feel comfortable making recommendations or addressing patients’ questions concerning natural treatments or alternative remedies. Clinicians are understandably cautious when it comes to some CAM as conventional medicine values therapies that have been demonstrated through research and testing to be safe and effective. While scientific evidence exists for some CAM therapies, for many there are key questions that are not yet answered.

PROVIDER SOLUTION: More and more patients are addressing their health in holistic ways and feel that their physicians should be a credible source of information so we support clinicians as a decision tool. Vest Health offers clinicians the ability to confidently recommend Complementary/Integrative Health therapies and products that best fit their patient’s health status. 

Use of the Vest Health platform not only improves the quality of care offered to patients, but it also saves time in the doctor’s office by gathering data online, either through office tablet or the patient’s home computer, prior to the medical consult. Once created, each patient’s personal health records will also be able to integrate into the existing electronic medical record (EMR) systems to ensure a comprehensive medical profile.

How We Help Hospitals

In 2010, the Complementary and Alternative Medicine survey of hospitals across the country found that 42% of hospitals offer one or more CAM therapies on-site, the top six of which are massage, acupuncture, guided imagery, meditation, relaxation, and biofeedback therapies. And yet, 44% of these hospitals did not charge patients or receive reimbursements for CAM services.

HOSPITAL PROBLEM: Reimbursement is a major challenge for administrators, but hospitals are acknowledging and responding to the need for Integrative Medicine therapies. Quality of care and patient satisfaction are quality of measures for hospitals, but not charging for CAM services means that alternative treatment must be covered either by philanthropy or included as part of the patient’s overall care, making them an out-of-pocket cost since most are still not reimbursable by health insurance.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

HOSPITAL SOLUTION: We serve hospitals as a patient engagement tool for retrieving patient payment information, delivering health education, and collecting data on health outcomes, particularly for CAM therapies so that protocols and best practices can be developed. In serving the patient's problems of knowledge and affordability - we solve the hospital’s problems of lost patient payments, low rates of patient engagement, and fulfilling Meaningful Use criteria.  

Vest Health's secure personal health record (PHR) platform may scale to connect to EMR's via FHIR standards to share vital data and behavioral data. It also allows provides a portal for understanding cutting edge healthcare trends amongst as analyses of the data can lend itself to behavioral health schemes, inform policy and pricing discussions, and will gather relevant information for the big health data initiatives of the National Institute of Health (NIH), Health and Human Services (HHS), and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).

How We Help Partners

We present a unique opportunity for our partners to gain deep insight into population health and behavior as well as provide them with our payment solution. We gather reliable, well-sourced data on wellness products and services and complementary alternative therapies (CAM). This information can be used to inform the development of new products, how products and services benefit and are marketed, and reimbursement policies and processes.

Vest Health >  Engagement - Payment Solution serves multiple partners:

Self Insured Employers can benefit from our ability to promote health and wellness with set aside money in HSA’s, FSA’s, to achieve a healthier, happier, and more productive workforce.

Physicans and Hospital Integrative Medicine can benefit from our educational tools and HSA, FSA reimbursements. 

Pharmaceutical companies can gain insight into user behavior and what health needs are not being addressed by the current products and services on the market.

Natural product manufacturers can benefit from the research we are crowdsourcing without having to worry about funding research trials or gathering their own evidence.

Wellness products and services - providers can help clients pay for services with tax free money in HSA's, FSA's.

The benefits are endless.

Challenge Mission

Market Size

Total Market Opportunity = Vest Health serves all industries that provide health and wellness products and services to the end consumer/patient, with exceptional value to the consumer whom is an account holder or potential holder of a Health Savings Account and Flexible Spending Account (HSA, FSA). Our value proposition serves, - Corporate Wellness Programs; Hospital/Preventive Health; and Merchant Vendors of wellness products and services. Consumer healthcare is a $502 billion market that will grow by almost 50 percent to $737 billion over the next five years. This growth will be driven primarily by preventive health and wellness categories such as vitamins, nutrition, weight management and fortified foods and beverages—fueled by demand from health focused consumers and the growing wealth of emerging market consumers. (Accenture Consumer Healthcare.)

Projected 3 Year Growth

Our initial target market is the corporate wellness services industry - as it has experienced rapid growth in recent years. In 2011, the industry reportedly generated $1.8 billion in revenue. Today, more than 5,600 vendors reportedly generate annual revenue of $8 billion. Leading vendors include health insurance companies, as well as non-insurer entities. We plan to release our service as a feature to leading vendors to capture a percentage of the general annual revenue in proportion scale; 1st year .0005% = $500,000 > 2nd year .0015% = $1,500,000; > 3rd yr .002% = $2,000,000.  Scalable revenue streams include; Hospital/Clinic EMR data integration and analytics in health outcomes; eCommerce payments for health and wellness programs, products and services and analytics in consumer consumption.

How We Will Make Money

Our value proposition has multi market opportunities in revenue; Corporate Wellness Programs, Hospital/Clinic Integrative Medicine Programs and Merchant Vendors of Wellness Products and Services. VestHealth initial revenue model is based on (2) streams:

Subscription fees: Health & Wellness Service.

Advertising fees: Health and Wellness Programs, Products and Services.

About our Competition

The Vest Health proprietary IP and value proposition has unique competitive advantage to promote engagement and adherence to allied partners in health and wellness markets that require financial commitment solely from the consumer/patient. To date, we are first to market to provide personal guidance for health treatments and the release of funds in Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts to pay for preventative measures. Our platform has direct access to a defined health consumer with newly available "money in hand" to invest in health and wellness programs, products and services.

Innovation Details

Intellectual Property Summary

Vest Health has proprietary IP algorithms and the appropriate copyrights in place for the VitaVantage platform.

Clinical Information


Regulatory Status


How we will use the funds raised

We’re raising money for the next build of the Vest Health platform to incorporate all the features our partners will be testing during our pilots like a provider portal to review and manage aggregate user/patient information, multi-EHR system integration, an interactive data tool for our partners to break down and analyze behavioral health outcomes or Complimentary Integrative Medicine therapy indications, eCommerce services so user/patients can find our sponsor facilities or view exclusive deals on products and services relevant to them, and so on. We’re open to building customized features for our pilot partners as well, so the possibilities are endless!


Thank You

Vest Health was born from my personal health journey and the need to find any and all viable therapies that support healing and regenerate health. I discovered the hard way, like most patients, that health insurance more often than not, does not pay for health maintenance. Even ‘preventive measures’ like personal fitness, massage and mind body therapies, vitamins and herbal supplements.

To be confident in my care and to be able to focus on my healing, it was clear I needed to take control. I educated myself in health insurance policy, studied the IRS mandates, and developed the algorithms and programming behind VitaVantage - a platform that can help anyone pay for their health and wellness care using the money already sitting in their accounts! That’s the goal: making basic health and wellness more affordable.




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Rita D'Onofrio
Enterprise Development Center III @ NJIT

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