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MotiSpark: personalized video platform patients love & providers need

by Ariel McNichol

AI driven visual behavioral nudges that feel like social media.
LOS ANGELES, CA United States Patient Education AI in Medicine Connected Health Affordable Choices challenge NOLAHI Challenge - See All

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

About our project

The problem we solve: Medical groups & insurers pay an enormous price because of unhealthy patient lifestyles and noncompliance - obesity, addiction, smoking, stress, etc. Counselors & nurses lose time & money trying to extend care outside of appointments. Existing apps are not working; they're text-based and trigger worse outcomes when tracking triggers shame. Unused apps means providers miss out on patient data that would help build better protocols. Meanwhile, caring nurses and counselors are spending non-billable time trying to help patients when they leave facilities, causing burn-out.

About our solution: Medical groups license our platform to increase patient and provider satisfaction as well as improve appointment attendance and clinical outcomes. Our SMS & app platform delivers patients personalized videos that trigger healthier behaviors when and where they need them most. The videos are custom branded, may include supportive messages from counselors, are demographically relevant and condition specific. Patients follow behavioral plans and attend more billable events. We provide end-users and counselors an experience as easy & fun as using social media, with always new personalized videos that trigger sense of purpose and planned action. Our platform harnesses people’s love of novelty, peer support and personally relevant content to deliver short, personalized videos that remind patients of their purpose and action plan. Our patent-pending platform builds on the power of human’s processing visuals 60,000 times faster than text along.

Progress to date:

MotiSpark launched in the summer of 2018 and showed a 4x increase in telemedicine appointments for enrolled patients. Enrolled patients watched all of their video nudges over a 30 day period and self-reported feeling happier and more supported. We began rollouts for chronic diseases patient management with PreciseTelehealth in December of 2018 and show again increased patient attendence and satisfaction. We are in discussions with other providers, pharma companies and HMOs to find our next, larger deployment.

About Our Team

Creator: Ariel McNichol

Location: California

Bio: Currently leading, a personalized video platform that is transforming outpatient behavioral health. Behavioral science + machine learning + entertainment + social video. My background in using evidence-based behavioral science to dictate design choices began at one of my first jobs as a creative at Scientific Learning under Dr. Michael Merzenich (designing games for children with learning disabilities) and then at Forensic Technologies International. Then, I moved to the consumer market as a hands-on Creative Director, UI/UX'er creating innovative, award-winning experiences for companies like Apple, Lucas Arts, Disney and The Annenberg Institute. As an entrepreneur, I've co-founded multiple companies including, an internationally popular avatar-based portable profile that we grew to millions of users and successful partnerships with adidas and the NBA.

Title: Co-founder and CEO

About Team Members

Kyle Brinkman
Co-Founder & CTO, MA
Biography: Co-founded & scaled multiple startups like MySpace & Beachmint. Seasoned technologist & product team builder.
Title: Co-Founder & CTO
Advanced Degree(s): MA

Amanda Wang Valentine
Healthcare Sales & Business Development, BA
Biography: Former banker and product market-fit specialist with expertise in healthcare sales and product integration.
Title: Healthcare Sales & Business Development
Advanced Degree(s): BA

Sean Young
Chief Science Officer, PhD
Biography: Executive Director at Institute for Prediction Technology (UCIPT); UCLA School of Medicine. Author best-selling book on lasting behavior change.
Title: Chief Science Officer
Advanced Degree(s): PhD

About Our Company

SmartSpark Inc.

Location: 9517 DUXBURY LN

Founded: 2015



Twitter: @ari


Product Stage: In the Market

Employees: 3-5

How We Help Patients

Behavior change is hard - especially when existing solutions often make us feel worse about ourselves by pointing out how we haven't walked enough or entered enough data. Luckily, there's a lot of fantastic behavioral science that has been used by advertisers, sports psychologists and great storytellers that we've combined into MotiSpark to give you short personalized videos that help you see and be the champion of your own health. MotiSpark's platform builds intrinsic motivation through a fun, video and imagery only platform. No text entry, no tracking progress...rather we spark motivation through delightful short videos that thousands of people have said help them feel and act the way they want to.

How We Help Physicians

When we first started MotiSpark it wasn't for the healthcare market. But, then two different friends in the healthcare world said that they wanted us bring MotiSpark into their organizations because it would make their lives better. For example, our friend Ellen Rothman, MD, director of outpatient care at MLK Hospital in LA said that MotiSpark was far better than anything she was giving her patients - she loves how it can not only keep up motivation, but deliver the education and information that patients often forget when leaving the hospital. Another friend, the CEO of said he thought the fact he loved checking Sparks meant that he could deliver outpatient messaging that his patients would actually look at.

How We Help Hospitals

MotiSpark is designed to deliver the critical information and support that patients need at the times and place they the language and attention span that actually gets engagement. Not only does this promise to reduce hospital readmission rates, but patients report feeling more motivated, happier and in control. “When I am in the exam room with a patient, I have a few moments to offer a few words that I hope will inspire and instruct. MotiSpark is brilliant — it offers that encouragement in the moment when it is most needed, when the patient is managing his or her illness in real life, far from the doctor’s office.” Ellen Rothman, MD Chief Medical Officer, Martin Luther King, Jr. Outpatient Center “Finally, a product that patients engage with. I haven’t seen anything in the marketplace that encourages patient participation like this” Noah Nordheimer CEO, Concerted Care Group

How We Help Partners

We have recently been talking to a big Pharma company about their need to offer real value on an institutional sales level and they have found MotiSpark's ability to be an easily integrated service that keeps patients engaged to be a much needed solution. A partnership with them offers MotiSpark the ability to deploy to a large population to track more outcomes and engagement. Any partner who needs patient engagement would benefit from integrating MotiSpark.

Challenge Mission

How We Address the Mission of The Challenge(s)

MotiSpark maybe a fantastic innovation for the Tulane Affordable Choices Challenge. Our product is designed so that consumers get the information and motivation delivered to them right in their smartphones in short personalized videos that they want to see. MotiSpark is built to dynamically address the needs of diverse patients, scaffolding visual nudges appropriately while not shaming people. We would love to show the power of intrinsic motivation through MotiSpark to deliver better outcomes for existing patient populations at Tulane. Thank you for your consideration.

New Orleans and Our Company

We would LOVE to come to New Orleans...but we would be newbees to the area!

Innovation Details

Intellectual Property Summary

After provisional patent, we filed full patent, published in spring of 2017

Patent Link

Clinical Information

MotiSpark synthestizes various evidence based research into our approach and has shown to increase patient appointment attendence. We have designed our product to deliver value to providers based on improving their financial bottom line, not on improving clinical efficacy. But, over the long haul, we also plan on showing clinical efficacy.

Regulatory Status

No plans for FDA approval at this time.

How we will use the funds raised

We will use funds to accelerate development and deploy product with larger populations.

Thank You

Thank you for your consideration - we have bootstrapped this company for years based on our conviction that people deserve the best in behavioral science and design. Our founding team are veteran startup junkies coming from the social media and design worlds, but we have personal experience in the healthcare world and have developed a solution that is really unique and needed. We love what we are building and would love to share the many patient reviews that we have gotten saying how Sparks have changed their lives - that they feel more hopeful, joyous, connected and in control. Healthcare needs to build intrinsic motivation in people and we have figured out how.



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