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Meet Adam Kaufman of Canary Health in West LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Adam Kaufman.

Adam, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I thought I wanted to be a professor, so started grad school at USC in Economics. I love the subject but somewhere along the Ph.D. course, I began to get the bug to actually build a company and directly try and impact thousands of lives. So after teaching for two years at USC, I made the jump to industry to run the Healthcare division of a small media company. After two years I saw the opportunity I was waiting for in the emerging sector of digital health. It was an exciting time in the early days of applying mobile and web technologies to healthcare.

So in 2011, I moved back to LA from Connecticut and teamed with my two co-founders to start Canary Health. It took us a little over a year to get started and we launched Canary Health in 2013. I am particularly lucky that one of my co-founders is my father who serves as our Chief Medical Officer and the other was the co-founder of Santa Monica based bLife – Paul Campbell.

Today, we’re one of the leaders in the Digital Therapeutics space helping improve the lives of thousands of people with various long-term health conditions like diabetes, arthritis and depression. In 2017 alone we served over 15,000 people in one of our solutions. We work directly with health insurers like Kaiser Permanente and so while we’re making a big impact, our program participants never see the Canary Health brand.

Has it been a smooth road?
I’ve been fortunate that it’s been mostly upwards but early 2017 was a particularly tough time. The election threw health care reform in doubt and caused many of our prospective customers to pause in their buying cycle. and there were some policy decisions that didn’t go the way we hoped. I think the hardest thing about running a small company is to balance all the competing priorities and bumps in the road exacerbate those tough choices.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Canary Health story. Tell us more about the business.
We’re most proud of the lives we’ve impacted and helped improve. Every week at our company all-hands session, we share the story of at least one Canary Health program participant. Each one reminds me (and I think the whole team) of the reason we’re doing this… In particular, just this past week there was a story of a participant in our program with the Veterans Administration. She was describing how her son had returned from Afghanistan a different person – so deeply affected by PTSD – and how she has her caregiver felt isolated, angry and scared.

Our program helped her reflect and interact with a group of other caregivers and coaches who were going through similar struggles. She found ways to improve her health and the health of her son. And he shared how he has now recovered, gotten married and moved on to a happy life.

We’re unique in that we want to help everyone have the health they need for the life they want. We flip the typical healthcare approach and start with our participant’s lives and their journeys at the center and then help them improve health to get what they want from live. Our services combine education with tools to set action plans, track behavior with connected devices such as weight scales and blood glucose meters, along with coaching from health professionals and most uniquely both peer support and peer coaching. Our core approach comes from over three decades of research originally conducted at the Stanford Patient Education Research.

Where do you see your industry going over the next 5-10 years?  Any big shifts, changes, trends, etc?
Healthcare will inevitably begin both more consumer-centric and more technologically enabled. The Digital Therapeutics industry segment is a big part of moving healthcare to feel like other modern industries. I see a huge shift over the next 5-10 years as providers, and pharma and device companies are held accountable for satisfaction and more importantly better health outcomes.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 11500 W. Olympic Blvd LA CA 90064
  • Website: www.canaryhealth.com
  • Phone: 310-444-0636
  • Email: akaufman@canaryhealth.com

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