Studies have shown that listening to music can have clinically-beneficial side effects from lowering cortisol hormone levels that cause stress and anxiety to correlating highly with verbal memory improvement in stroke patients when compared to patients not listening to music.
Seeking to leverage its existing music expertise and enter the mobile health market is Feed.fm, a San Francisco-based business with a platform for digital media solutions, which is launching Health.fm. Today, Feed.fm helps companies like Fitbit Coach, ASICS, and LA Marathon use music to increase user retention, social engagement, and workout motivation. With Health.fm, the company hopes to break new ground by offering the first algorithmically driven music program for the mHealth industry. The goal is to make mobile health apps and devices more effective to reduce the cost of care with curated music content that aligns with a given program’s goals. Similar to how Feed.fm currently uses music to drive completion of workouts, Health.fm aims to help patients complete digital health-based programs at their most challenging points. Examples of use cases Health.fm is considering include reducing anxiety, increasing mindfulness, completion of physical therapy exercises, and supporting medication adherence.
According to Feed.fm CEO Jeff Yasuda, “mHealth is the single most positive shift in healthcare in the last fifty years and Feed.fm is thrilled to help place the healing and alluring powers of music and sound into such a curative effort with the launch of Health.fm.” Medgadget had a chance to hear from Jeff and learn more about his vision and goals for Health.fm.
Michael Batista, Medgadget: Thanks for taking the time to share some insights about the launch of Health.fm. To start, can you tell us a little about Feed.fm and how the company leverages music in a new way for businesses?
Jeff Yasuda: Traditionally, music for business has meant one of two things: background music in stores or expensive licensing for commercials. We saw a huge opportunity to help businesses across many different verticals share music, legally, with customers to drive engagement, create positive new behaviors, and help them stick with programs. From keeping Golden State Warriors fans engaged with the team in the off season, to powering the soundtrack for guided meditation, to helping people managing diabetes stick with a workout program; we’ve been able to drive meaningful results with music.
Medgadget: What are some examples of how music can play an important role in healthcare?
Yasuda: Here are three that we find really compelling:
- Stress reduction – listening to music lowers cortisol hormone levels that cause stress and anxiety
- Stroke recovery – verbal memory improved 60% in music listeners versus 18% in audiobook listeners and 29% in non-listeners
- Pain reduction – post-op children who listened to music demonstrated pain decreases equivalent to taking Panadol.
Medgadget: With the bevy of music streaming services available. What differentiates Feed.fm? More specifically, how does Feed.fm use music to drive engagement, retention, and ROI for its customers?
Yasuda: Feed.fm is not a consumer destination – we are 100% focused on helping our partners drive results in their own environments. When music is seamlessly integrated in to experiences, it improves the results and removes a friction point for users. Across all of our wellness partners, we’ve seen lift of at least 2x in 90 day retention rates. That’s an additional 3 months of workouts, meditation, yoga, and mobility work! Meaningful for the end user but also meaningful for a subscription-based business.
Medgadget: Let’s shift gears to the recent announcement on the launch of Health.fm. What is Health.fm and what distinguishes this offering from Feed.fm’s other offerings?
Yasuda: Health.fm’s specific purpose is to increase the benefit, effectiveness and revenue associated with these life-changing programs. Properly curated and synched with program goals, Health.fm’s music will help participants to continue with mHealth programs at their most challenging moments. The platform and team of musicologists and music licensing experts combine to remove all the risk and guesswork out of licensing, curating and sharing music for patients. Much of what we’ve done in the past has centered around popular music and behavioral metrics around music that motivates. While we are building on those learnings here, we’re also incorporating more biometric inputs and leveraging behavioral science to dig a little deeper into how music creates change.
Medgadget: Based on Feed.fm’s model, is it true that this offering would be something experienced by consumers but sold to and implemented with mobile health technologies and platforms? What are some target use cases?
Yasuda: That’s exactly right. Mental health, Diabetes Control, Stroke Recovery and Wellness/Stress Relief are the initial obvious targets for leveraging music more systematically.
Medgadget: The press release mentioned Health.fm’s focus on decreasing healthcare costs by making mobile health apps and devices more effective. Beginning with the second part of that statement, how will Health.fm make mobile health technologies more effective?
Yasuda: We’ve seen huge improvements in efficacy via better performance and increased endurance during activity. Music helps you push through a workout and actually makes it feel easier. This helps people complete physical programs, and also keeps them coming back. Additionally, music is valuable content and keeps people coming back and engaging with apps beyond physical activity. We’ve seen this in apps of all shapes and sizes – from championship NBA teams to recipe apps. We’re excited to apply this to health apps as well.
Medgadget: To the second part of the previous statement, how will Health.fm’s role in mobile health technologies ultimately help decrease healthcare costs above and beyond what mobile health technologies already hope to achieve?
Yasuda: It’s really all about keeping people engaged with the app. If we can help a patient stay engaged for 60 or 90 days longer than they would have otherwise, that represents meaningful change.
Medgadget: Congratulations on the launch! What’s next for Health.fm? Are there any mobile health technologies where Health.fm will be implemented that you can share?
Yasuda: Thanks! We’re really encouraged by the early results. We’ve got upcoming programs in the works with diabetes management, heart health, and digital therapeutic apps. The next logical step is incorporating into bigger corporate wellness and insurance programs to really broaden the reach and impact.