The Virtual
Nudge Unit

We are a behavioral design team for the biopharma, healthcare, insurance and tech organizations. Led by leading experts in the use of nudges to improve health and healthcare.

Our Purpose

Catalyze better health through behavioral science

  • The challenge

    Many organizations fail to make meaningful progress because they lack experts in behavioral science, a structured process to shift from identifying problems to implementing solutions quickly, and because they take a one-size-fits-all approach rather than targeting interventions to meet the needs of individuals.

  • The approach

    Nudge units are behavioral design teams that take a systematic approach to addressing the most challenging behavior change programs. Forming a nudge unit can be expensive, time consuming and require expertise not immediately available.

  • The solution

    The Virtual Nudge Unit fills that gap by providing a team with expertise in behavioral science and data analytics that has real-world experience working in biopharma, healthcare, insurance and technology organizations.

  • The benefits

    We are available on demand and can tailor our expertise to meet the needs of your organization and its target audience. As your business changes, we evolve to meet your needs.

Case studies

Here's a very small sampling of our work. A more comprehensive listing is coming soon.

Wellness

Physical activity

A remotely monitored digital health intervention with loss‐framed financial incentives and personalized goal setting led to significant and sustained increases in physical activity of up to 1,368 more steps per day.

Cost Reduction

Changing EHR defaults

Changing prescription default options in the electronic health record led to a sustained increase in generic prescribing rates from 75% to 98%, saving nearly $32 million in spending over 2 years.

Patient Engagement

Gamification

The gamification intervention significantly increased physical activity. The average increase from baseline for each person in the gamification arm was nearly one mile per day and these increases were sustained.

Wellness

Vaccinations

In a mega trial with nearly a million participants, simple communications that reminded individuals a flu shot was “waiting” or “reserved” for them proved most effective, boosting vaccination rates by up to 11%. The promising results can be adapted to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations.

Cost Reduction

Value-based Care

Setting the electronic health record defaults to no imaging for palliative cancer patients lowered the rate of patients receiving daily imaging from 68% to 32%.

Patient Engagement

Behavioral Phenotyping

Understanding patient and clinician phenotypes and then personalizing interventions for each identified class shows significant promise over the current one-size-fits-all approach.

How We Work

We offer tailored solutions to meet your needs at every stage of your business.

We provide executive level education and coaching to key members of your organization

Up to 3 months

Start

What's included

  • Behavioral science workshop.
  • Focused group meetings.
  • Strategic planning proposal

We partner with you to design and implement behavior change initiatives based on your priorities

Up to 6 months

Engage

What's included

  • Behavioral science workshop
  • Focused group meetings
  • Strategic planning proposal
  • Behavioral roadmapping assessment
  • Content and data evaluation
  • Nudge design and implementation guidance
  • Behavioral phenotyping for personalized nudges

We become an on-demand nudge unit to meet the tailored needs of your organization

Annual engagement

Accelerate

What's included

  • Behavioral science workshop
  • Focused group meetings
  • Strategic planning proposal
  • Behavioral roadmapping assessment
  • Content and data evaluation
  • Nudge design and implementation guidance
  • Behavioral phenotyping for personalized nudges
  • Outcome assessment
  • Structured intake and project delivery process
  • On-demand consultation

The core team

We've launched and grown centers, units, and software companies. A significant achievement is the Penn Medicine Nudge Unit - the world's first behavioral science team embedded within the operations of a health system.

  • Mitesh Patel, MD, MBA

    - Founding Director of the Penn Medicine Nudge Unit (2016-2021), the world's first behavioral design team embedded within the operations of a health system

    - National Lead for Behavioral Insights at Ascension Health.

    - VP, Clinical Transformation, Ascension Health.


  • Mohan Balachandran, MS, MA

    - Corporate Director, Center for Health Care Innovation, Penn Medicine.

    - Chief Operating Officer, Way to Health, Penn Medicine

    - Co-Founder, Datica Inc.


  • Tori Hilbert, MPH

    - Assistant Director, Penn Medicine Nudge Unit (2017-21)

    - Project Manager, Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics

    - Operations Lead, The Virtual Nudge Unit


Let's work together

We’d love to hear from you! Send us a message using the form below.

Optional
Max. 500 characters

© 2021 Catalyst Health Inc. All rights reserved.