One of the most frequently asked questions by employers when it comes to wellness is when they can expect to see a return on their investment. To help prove an employee wellness program can show ROI within the first year of initiation, Newtopia, a personalized health company that uses genetic testing and behavioral science to build personalized disease prevention plans, has recently released details on their funding following a successful 2015 pilot with Aetna.

Newtopia announced they would be funding $10 million led by a syndicate of U.S. and Canadian institutional investors including Bloom Burton & Co., an investment banking firm specializing in the health sector, through its affiliated Bloom Burton Healthcare Lending Trust.

Bloomberg/file photo

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“This is a great opportunity to leverage our deep expertise in healthcare innovation, development and commercialization to help accelerate Newtopia’s growth,” says Brian Bloom, co-founder and president of Bloom Burton. “Their unique approach to disease prevention and engagement aligns with our vision in the corporate health space and we’re excited to continue working together.”
The platform is intended to reduce corporate health costs by targeting employees at-risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Pilot program
In the pilot that led to this recently announced funding, the aim was to determine the impact of a targeted, personalized wellness program on reducing employees’ future risk of metabolic syndrome.

Over the course of a year-long program, the pilot included a limited genetic profile, a traditional psychosocial assessment and high-intensity coaching in a randomized controlled study of Aetna employees with an increased risk for metabolic syndrome.

As a result, at least 50% of employee engagement was sustained over the course of the year, 76% of participating employees lost an average of 10 pounds and there were trends in improved clinical outcomes relative to three of five metabolic factors.

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The average healthcare costs were reduced by $122 per participant per month, resulting in a positive return on investment in the program’s first year.

“Our board is sincerely excited to move forward with the oversubscribed Series A round,” says Michael Weintraub, board member for Newtopia. “Now we can shift gears and be completely focused on the business and partnering with our wellness community to exceed their goals.”

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