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Improving Maternal Health Outcomes with Digital Trends

The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate when compared to 10 other developed nations. Up to 60% of pregnancy-related deaths and adverse health outcomes in the U.S. can be prevented by broadening accessibility, having higher quality of care, and improving education and available resources. Proper preventive and continuity of both prenatal and postpartum care is imperative, and health organizations play a foundational role in improving maternal health outcomes for our nation.

Technology’s Role

In an increasingly technology-driven world, organizations continually lean on digital trends to drive growth and business efficiencies. 97% of U.S. adults own a mobile phone, and with generative AI platforms such as ChatGTP and social media AI photo filters becoming mainstream, we’re beginning to see the power and potential of next generation technology.

But how does this tie into health organizations and maternal health? 

A lot more than you may think. mPulse Mobile has harnessed innovative technology and digital trends and applied them to the healthcare landscape to educate and empower health consumers to take action. By borrowing inspiration from the world’s most innovative digital trends, we continually deliver best-in-class health outcomes. Technology’s leading trends, our in-house learning and design experts, and access to rich data and population insights enable us to create highly relevant and engaging digital experiences. Our solution to prenatal and postpartum care leverages this expertise and tackles the challenges associated with our nation’s poor maternal health outcomes, opening doors to accessibility, catering to care preferences, and building knowledge.

Broadening Access

We know 97% of American adults own a mobile phone, so leveraging this communication channel to reach more consumers is a great place to start. Being able to scale this resource requires automation, and to avoid abrasion, we lean on conversational AI and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) to direct consumers to the right tools and resources. 

The ability to send pregnant members a list of ObGyns and clinics closest to where they live, or a phone number to call and schedule removes barriers and makes it easier to set up an appointment in a manner of minutes. If the member replies they don’t have access to reliable transportation, for example, NLU can recognize that barrier, and automatically reply with resources available that provide low or no-cost transportation options.

Care Preferences and Health Equity

The disparities in maternal health outcomes and the lack of representation and consideration for consumers who are disadvantaged by our health system is undoubtable and requires prioritization. mPulse Mobile is committed to helping reduce maternal health disparities and inequities by designing our programs to be relevant, relatable and address the needs and preferences of diverse communities. 

Our pregnancy solution is culturally competent, with multilingual messaging and NLU tailoring, and inclusive replies and opt-outs (miscarriage opt-out, not saying “pregnant women”). For SDoH level data, we factor in zip codes to deliver relevant resource links, and inclusive visual and streaming content representation. To create a personalized and relevant experience throughout, the member’s due date is used to provide timely information, and custom keys (name, provider name, ect.) further enhance personalization.

Building Knowledge

Information sharing and access to news today is more broadly available thanks to smart devices and the internet. With Americans spending an average of 1,300 hours each year on social networking platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, it’s critical to derive inspiration from these platforms to maximize engagement and remove friction. More than 50% of expectant Americans download and use pregnancy-related apps for educational resources and pregnancy-related updates. Health organizations are perfectly positioned to harness these trends and provide a frictionless experience to expectant consumers to not only engage, but to deliver the right education and resources, close care gaps, and gather rich population insights.

mPulse Mobile’s prenatal and postpartum solution uses a combination of expert-led videos from Dr. Christine Noa Sterling, board-certified ObGyn, interactive modules, and short stories and animations to educate, and empower members around key milestones related to theirs and their baby’s health. Content is sent via SMS at key moments based on each consumer’s due date and encourages them to schedule routine appointments and make healthier choices. Our in-house team of behavioral scientists and instructional strategists leverage learning theory and high-quality cinematography and animation to produce content designed to drive action. See for yourself.

mPulse’s Prenatal and Postpartum Solution

mPulse Mobile’s pregnancy solution is a 12+ month interactive SMS program designed to improve quality performance and deliver better health outcomes. The solution specifically targets multiple HEDIS® measures and is proven to engage and deliver outcomes such as a 2X engagement rate with maternity care management services, a 7.1pp increase in the prenatal and postpartum care measure (PPC) owned by NCQA, and 61% engagement across 400,000 Medicaid members. By incorporating our behavior change methodology throughout all conversations and streaming content, our comprehensive approach broadens access, caters to individual preferences, and educates to improve health outcomes at scale.

mPulse Mobile Drives Strong Q1 2023 Growth

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–mPulse Mobile, a leading provider of conversational AI and digital engagement solutions for the healthcare industry, today announced strong, profitable revenue growth for Q1 driven by increases in its market footprint, expanded solutions offerings and consistent improvement in health outcomes for the members and patients of its customers. During the quarter, the company surpassed 200 active customers that have automated over 1 billion conversations to deliver stellar business outcomes over the last 12 months.

The company increased its market footprint during the quarter with existing and new national payor customers by expanding into new geographies across Medicaid, Medicare, Commercial and Pharmacy lines of business. Additionally, the company increased its customer base through new partnerships with Accountable Care Organizations, Integrated Delivery Networks and other “payvider” networks (hybrid provider/payor healthcare companies). These organizations are using mPulse Mobile’s omnichannel, content-rich digital engagement platform to drive significant value by closing gaps in care, improving the consumer experience, creating retention and, most importantly, improving the health outcomes of their members and patients.

“There is a clear need in the market for leading healthcare organizations to connect with their members and patients digitally,” said Bob Farrell, CEO of mPulse Mobile. “We are partnering with our customers to deploy bespoke digital experiences that connect with individuals across diverse populations. It is exciting to see our customers use the consumer data our programs generate to measure performance against their key business goals and see the positive impact on the lives of tens of millions of individuals.”

Expanded Solutions Offerings

mPulse continues to build strong digital engagement solutions on top of the company’s core platform. These solutions address specific health challenges by addressing the needs of individual consumers and activating behavior change. Today, mPulse announced the launch of new engagement solutions for Pregnancy to its suite of solutions. mPulse’s team of behavioral scientists and engagement strategists designed the new Pregnancy solution with conversational outreach and integrated streaming content to deliver an outcomes-focused digital engagement experience that supports individuals of diverse backgrounds and abilities. Spanning pre-natal and post-partum stages, the Pregnancy solution helps mothers navigate their pregnancy and early stages of their child’s life with a focus on completing key preventive health steps, aligned to quality improvement measures. The 12-month program is available across 7 languages with clinical instruction delivered by Dr. Christine Noa Sterling, board-certified ObGyn.

Improvements in Health Outcomes

mPulse’s solutions focus on improving health outcomes, creating business efficiencies and boosting health engagement rates. Over the last 12 months, mPulse has consistently demonstrated high levels of solution performance with leading healthcare organizations across the country. For example:

  • A large national health plan demonstrated improvements in gap closure across 10 HEDIS measures, with improvements ranging from 2.1 to 18.3 percentage points.
  • A national health services company deployed automated digital engagement with health coaching and achieved a 90.6% engagement rate with the digital component of the solution.
  • An HIV medication refill program saw a 68.7% improvement in refill completion among patients overdue for refills.
  • A national health services company achieved an 8-fold increase in enrollees of its streaming health content, with an average total engagement time of 70 mins per enrollee.

Activate 2023 Conference

mPulse continues to drive innovation in digital experiences for health consumers and is hosting its Activate 2023 conference on September 27-28th, with the theme Designing Consumer Journeys for Health Equity. Dr. Ruha Benjamin will be the keynote speaker. Dr. Benjamin is Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University and an expert on the intersection of race, technology, and data.

“This is our seventh consecutive year of hosting the Activate conference, and the theme this year uncovers the role digital experiences play in healthcare access and quality to address health inequities,” said Brendan McClure, Chief Marketing Officer at mPulse Mobile. “Dr. Benjamin’s perspectives on racial bias in technology systems will guide discussions around optimal design of digital programs and how they can affect consumer experiences for maximum positive impact on health outcomes.”

Digital Engagement Study in JMIR Cancer

mPulse continues to drive activities that further the understanding and drive education on the use of digital engagement to improve health outcomes. In this regard, mPulse published a milestone study in partnership with AltaMed Health Services and evaluators at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute. The study evaluated digital strategies for increasing colorectal cancer screenings among populations facing Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) barriers by using automated, bidirectional texting with Natural Language Understanding (NLU) and tailored cultural content in the form of fotonovelas.

The findings, published in JMIR Cancer, show how digital engagement approaches can effectively address the challenges people face in completing important health actions like routine screenings.

View the press release on Business Wire »

Poor Healthcare Technology Experiences Erode Consumer Trust. AI Can Repair Relationships.

This article was written by Sanjeev Sawai, Chief Product and Technology Officer at mPulse Mobile, and was originally published on on April 14, 2023.

The expansion and specialization of health networks has made it difficult for most consumers to navigate and advocate for themselves within today’s healthcare organizations.

For the average health consumer, simply identifying in-network providers, requesting a cost estimate, or scheduling a medical test presents a major hassle. Add a chronic condition or difficult diagnosis in the mix and the burden of accessing required care only increases. Over time, unsatisfactory healthcare interactions leave consumers frustrated and burned out, eroding their trust in healthcare organizations’ ability to consistently and reliably provide the care they need. 

But there’s a solution that can minimize the strain on consumers and healthcare organizations: AI.

Advances in AI and machine learning (ML), including ChatGPT, offer key opportunities for healthcare organizations to decrease administrative hurdles, enhance communication, and ultimately build stronger relationships with consumers. However, to deliver frictionless, personalized interactions, these tools require organizations to unify historically siloed technology platforms and data on the backend — factors that are often the root cause of consumers’ ongoing frustrations.

Applied at scale, AI tools ensure consumers can access the care they need — and enable healthcare organizations to provide exceptional service that earns consumers’ long-term trust.

Disparate Data Challenges Faster AI Adoption

To work effectively, AI tools require access to data capable of providing a holistic view of individual healthcare consumers. But centralizing data from core systems (including EHRs, CMSs, patient portals, and billing systems) is a difficult, time-consuming task. These efforts are often underfunded by healthcare organizations, resulting in delays that hamper innovation, including AI adoption.

As a result, interoperability ranks among the top three obstacles to innovation, according to healthcare executives and leaders — with many healthcare organizations still struggling to build infrastructure that enables their technology platforms to easily share information. By 2025, less than 30% of healthcare organizations plan to invest in the infrastructure (specifically data activation platforms and data lakes) necessary to achieve full interoperability.

Until foundational interoperability work is complete, healthcare organizations will settle for individual point solutions rather than comprehensive AI solutions capable of creating cohesive consumer experiences across all touchpoints. 

The good news is many healthcare organizations already recognize the importance of dismantling entrenched digital fragmentation as a first step toward strengthening cybersecurity and exploring emerging cloud opportunities.Tapping into the benefits of consumer-centric AI tools presents another compelling incentive to fast track digital transformation and redirect resources toward more robust data management solutions.

How AI Builds Trust in Healthcare Organizations

When it’s integrated horizontally across your operations, consumers won’t necessarily realize they’re interacting with AI. It simply becomes an unobtrusive tool that improves access to information and services — strengthening consumer trust one frictionless interaction at a time.

Let’s take a closer look at two key benefits of a seamlessly integrated AI solution:

Cohesion Across Touchpoints

The demand for digital healthcare has exploded over the past few years — and consumers’ expectations for frictionless digital interactions have risen alongside it. But it’s difficult to meet every consumer’s desire for instant, personalized support with people-power alone.

AI-assisted chat capabilities help consumers access relevant medical and administrative information and perform simple tasks, like scheduling an appointment or refilling a prescription, around the clock. Likewise, AI tools can unify disparate operations centers by providing your organization with a single command center. Consumers are never left scouring multiple websites and apps for the information or contact point they’re seeking. Instead, they encounter consistent details no matter where they turn — whether online or in person.

Personalized and Positive Consumer Interactions

Nothing feels more impersonal to a consumer than repeatedly providing information to customer service agents who eventually redirect them to yet another siloed department. People want to be treated as humans, not numbers — especially in such a personal and stressful context as healthcare.

Paradoxically, AI can humanize your organization by offering personalized, useful interactions that drive engagement — and ultimately trust. By integrating insights from consumer data analytics and principles of behavioral science, AI tools enhance day-to-day engagements with consumers and better cater to their unique needs. This could go beyond administrative functions to include automated prompts or tailored text communications about preventive health measures or chronic illness management. For example, a two-way SMS messaging tool powered by AI could remind a consumer that it’s flu season, offer an easy prompt for scheduling an upcoming vaccination appointment, and provide educational resources encouraging vaccination based on a patient’s responses.

AI capabilities are poised to revolutionize the healthcare consumer experience, reducing administrative obstacles and improving communication between providers and patients. But to make AI deployments as effective as possible, your organization must first synthesize siloed technology platforms and data sources to establish a holistic, reliable view of all consumers across all operations centers. This reorchestration requires an initial IT investment, but the potential efficiency gains are enormous. And so are the benefits for consumers.

When implemented effectively at scale, AI tools make it easier for consumers to access healthcare — the first step in fostering a relationship of trust between consumers and their healthcare organizations.

About Sanjeev Sawai

Sanjeev Sawai, Chief Product and Technology Officer at mPulse Mobile, has a passion for building innovative software products. For the last decade and a half, he has led product and technology teams to deliver market-leading products. mPulse is a confluence of Sanjeev’s recent experience in healthcare, and a dozen years of past work in conversational AI and speech applications. Sanjeev has brought to market enterprise grade and SaaS-scale software products in a variety of markets, most notably telecommunications, financial services and healthcare. He has led the development of market-leading products in the voice solutions market and built embedded systems for defense applications. Previously, Sanjeev has held leadership positions in product development at HealthEdge, Altisource, Interactions, Envox, and Brooktrout.

How to Overcome Flu Vaccination Inequities This Flu Season

Flu vaccines prevent nearly 7.5 million illnesses, 3.7 million doctor visits, 105,000 hospitalizations, and 6,300 deaths annually. For the 2022-23 flu season, 173.37 million Americans received the flu vaccine, with an average savings of $13.66 per vaccine, meaning nearly $2.4 billion was saved from flu vaccinations last season. Conversely, 46% of eligible Americans weren’t vaccinated. Understanding who isn’t getting their flu vaccine and why are fundamental to improve vaccination rates for the 2023-24 season.

When taking a closer look at the 46% of Americans not getting vaccinated, Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) factors such as age, race, and income become evident. Less than 43% of Black, Hispanic, and American Indian/ Alaskan Native adults were vaccinated during the 2021-22 flu season. Flu hospitalization rates were nearly 80% higher among Black adults than White adults from 2009-2022. Adults with incomes less than $35,000 annually had 21% decreased odds of receiving the flu vaccine. Additionally, people aged 18-49 years are nearly 37% less likely to get vaccinated than those aged 65 and older. Understanding why these inequities exist is crucial when designing programs to help overcome them.

Designing Flu Outreach for All

According to a report from the CDC, some of the leading reasons for flu vaccine inequities include lack of accessibility, misinformation, and distrust of the medical system as a whole. Program design that directly targets overcoming these barriers is essential in improving vaccination rates across member populations.  

Lack of Accessibility 

The structures and solutions put in place today primarily serve those who have the upper hand. Many members face accessibility barriers including lack of reliable transportation, disabilities that inhibit access, lack of internet, inflexible work schedules, and language and translation barriers, to name a few. Through no fault of their own, the ability for members facing these challenges to receive vaccinations is nearly impossible due to systems that haven’t been designed in consideration of diverse needs and preferences.

The good news is that health plans can play a huge role in overcoming these barriers. By deploying programs designed with accessibility at the forefront, plans can identify individual barriers, and deliver tailored resources to create access. This begins with a solid understanding of the target audience.

mPulse leverages a combination of both internal and external data sets, which enables a holistic view of member insights and gives plans the ability to craft the most relevant digital touchpoints. By connecting with members through their preferred communication channel, whether it be SMS, email, or IVR, plans can quickly and efficiently identify and overcome individual barriers. With the right message, sent through the right channel, in the right language, with the right resource, plans can begin meeting members where they are to improve flu vaccination rates.

Watch our on-demand webinar to Double Flu Vaccination Rates for Your Health Population »

Misinformation and Knowledge Gaps

While the internet and social networking platforms are a great way to discover and share news and information, they aren’t always reliable. Post-pandemic, perceptions about vaccinations and flu have garnered even more skepticism. It’s more important now than ever to provide members with reliable and relevant information about vaccines.  

By borrowing inspiration from preferred methods of content consumption, i.e. popular social platforms, mPulse educates members in a frictionless, relatable format. Short-form content that is both entertaining and educational is a great way to provide relevant information. In addition to ensuring the content is frictionless and engaging, we also ensure its accessible. Relatable characters that portray diverse populations, and multilingual capabilities are essential to resonating with broader member groups and gaining credibility. Content is sent through each member’s preferred communication channel, making it easy to receive the information they need.

Like the fotonovelas? View another one included in the mPulse Mobile Flu Vaccination Solution here »


Lack of representation in the medical field, in addition to a longstanding history of structural racism and discrimination contribute to the lack of trust many members have toward the medical system. While health plans are a small piece of this larger puzzle, gaining the trust of the members they serve is imperative. Leaning on digital trends for inspiration and support in building trust can allow plans to scale effectively.  

Several positive and meaningful touchpoints over time helps create and sustain member relationships. mPulse works with health plans to deliver empathic messaging that includes relevant and accessible information in each member’s preferred language, through the right channel. When members feel they can rely on their health plan for the care and resources they need most, they’re more likely to trust their plan and feel empowered to act. Simply informing a member they are due for a flu vaccine may come across as abrasive. Our sensitive, culturally relevant messaging incorporates behavioral science techniques, cinematic educational content, and tailored resources, letting the member know their plan understands their needs, and cares about their health. When members feel valued, they’re more likely to trust their plan, and adopt healthier behaviors.

In Conclusion 

Technology has an imperative role in helping overcome health disparities and barriers to flu vaccinations. By leveraging innovative digital trends designed to serve vulnerable populations, health plans can begin broadening accessibility, educating and empowering members, and building trust at scale to improve vaccination rates and inspire healthier outcomes for the populations they serve.

mPulse Mobile designs solutions that identify and overcome barriers to action. Our behavior change model incorporates health equity, behavioral science, and instructional strategy to deliver best-in-class outcomes. To learn more about how our flu vaccination solution can help overcome vaccine hesitancy for your members, contact us.