Press release

New Study Demonstrates Virgin Pulse Moves the Needle on Obesity, Hypertension, and Diabetes


Full-year analysis shows Homebase for Health® platform drives critical behavior change that results in biometric improvement for members and 3:1 value-on-investment for their employers  

Providence, R.I., July 19, 2023 – Obesity, hypertension, and high blood sugar levels are major health problems made worse by delayed care and unhealthy lifestyle choices, affecting millions of Americans and resulting in high costs. Today, Virgin Pulse, the leading global digital-first health, wellbeing, and navigation company, unveiled the results of a one-year, 90,000+ member analysis that demonstrates that its Homebase for Health® platform is effective in driving biometric improvement for members with obesity, hypertension, or high blood sugar. The study also showed financial benefits for their employers, including 3:1 value-on-investment (VOI). 

Obesity, hypertension, and high blood sugar (glucose) are some of the most common indicators of metabolic syndrome – a group of conditions that, together, increase risk of serious health problems. These include heart disease, diabetes, and stroke – top causes of death in the United States. According to the National Institutes of Health, metabolic syndrome affects approximately 1 in 3 adults and takes a high economic toll as well. For example, heart disease and stroke cost the U.S. healthcare system $216 billion per year and result in $147 billion in lost productivity. Knowing risk factors and making healthy lifestyle changes can help people lower their chances of developing metabolic syndrome or the health problems it can cause.  

Virgin Pulse data scientists conducted a one-year study of anonymized member data to evaluate the impact of the company’s Homebase for Health platform and its approach to creating behavior change and driving meaningful outcomes for select members. Virgin Pulse combines the best of technology and human connection, ensuring that members are just one click away from digital or live expert support. Throughout the year, researchers screened, analyzed, and validated biometric data from more than 90,000 members to determine the impact its platform has on active members with BMI, blood pressure, or blood glucose risk factors. Researchers found that the Homebase for Health platform drove statistically significant reductions in key health indicators for metabolic syndrome: 

The study also found notable VOI for clients offering Virgin Pulse to their employees. VOI is comprised of estimated medical cost savings resulting from reduced disease prevalence or progression, plus indirect cost savings. Companies using Virgin Pulse saw meaningful annual indirect cost savings of 8-15% fewer work absences, 10-25% less turnover, and 5-10% reduction in workers’ compensation. Companies with active study participants saw $3.17 of VOI per $1 investment per year.  

“Delayed care and preventative screenings continue to affect health outcomes, with 35% of adults aged 18 to 49, and 25% of those aged 50 to 64 postponing care last year. People need help in not only getting back into the doctor, but in adopting healthier habits – that’s where Virgin Pulse steps in,” said Jeffrey Jacques, MD, chief medical officer for Virgin Pulse. “The study results clearly show the efficacy of Homebase for Health and our approach to creating healthier habits. Our platform – in combination with human expertise – is driving a sea change in shifting members away from the precursors to heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. We are moving the needle for major causes of morbidity and mortality in this country.”  

Virgin Pulse’s Homebase for Health platform provides a single destination for people to access the resources and guidance needed to make better decisions, improve outcomes, and build lasting behaviors throughout their health and wellbeing journey. Virgin Pulse connects with people on a personal level, predicting and providing the support they need with easy-to-use digital tools and a one-click connection to coaches or advocates. A smart combination of AI-powered technology, behavior change science, and incentives empowers individuals to develop healthy routines, manage chronic conditions, and navigate complex care needs.  

“Like many school districts around the country, our educators and staff have been under a tremendous amount of stress over the past several years, which causes significant physical and mental strain. They’re so focused on taking care of others that they sometimes lose themselves, so having a holistic, guided program is essential for these essential workers,” said Dr. Wayne Guidry, assistant superintendent of business finance, Longview Independent School District, Longview, Texas. “Our Longview Health and Wellness program, featuring Virgin Pulse’s Homebase for Health platform, helps alleviate some of those pressures and motivates employees to get healthier and happier. The program is making a big impact, with employees getting more active, losing weight, and experiencing a better state of mind. It’s a life changer for many of our staff members, helping prevent and reverse risks that could impact their ability to do what they love.” 

Study Methodology 

The Virgin Pulse study sample size of more than 90,000 individuals included evenly matched intervention and control groups of 45,802 members each: 

Members were matched on the following for a balanced cohort analysis: age, sex at birth, health characteristics (obesity, hypertension, or diabetes), socio-economic characteristics (household income, education level), and work industries (different circadian cycles can have an impact on metabolic syndrome). Researchers used validated biometric measures at the study’s start and end points to measure the impact of the intervention.