Higi’s Stations and technology enhance the Y’s efforts to change the trajectory of chronic disease in the Muskegon community through identification and early intervention
Muskegon County, Michigan and Chicago, IL – February 23, 2022 – Higi, a consumer health engagement company and wholly-owned subsidiary of Babylon (NYSE: BBLN), which partners with leading retail and healthcare organizations to provide access to care via an omnichannel platform that includes a connected network of Smart Health Stations, and Michigan’s Muskegon YMCA today announced their partnership. The Muskegon YMCA, a non-profit organization dedicated to building a healthy future for Muskegon through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility, is bringing Higi as a resource to members of the Muskegon community to help them better understand their health risks and access the care and guidance they need to regain or protect their health.
Currently, the Muskegon YMCA is Building a Healthy Future for Muskegon through signature YMCA programs such as Safety Around Water (‘SAW’ – water-safety instruction for area third graders), Healthy Out of School Time (‘HOST’ – physical activity and nutrition education in and out of school hours for area youth), employee wellness programs, and all things camp at YMCA Camp Pendalouan. The YMCA provides nutrition education for children and families through various programs; it also opened a new Muskegon childcare center serving all income levels, the Y Learning Center, in July 2021 in partnership with Goodwill. In addition, it provides evidence-based programs for chronic disease prevention and management including YMCA Diabetes Prevention (‘YDPP’), Livestrong with the YMCA (a cancer survivor’s fitness program), Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring (‘BPSM’ – for those dealing with hypertension), and Healthy Weight and Your Child (‘HWYC’ – a lifestyle change program for the whole family).
The partnership between the Muskegon YMCA and Higi is an ideal fit to complement this work, as the Muskegon YMCA’s evidence-based health intervention programs focus on risk factors the Higi Stations are designed to assess, including risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In the United States, 1 in 3 adults has pre-diabetes, a leading risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes, along with being overweight, being over age 45 and being physically active fewer than 3 times per week, yet 90% are unaware of their status.
The partnership supports the YMCA’s community engagement efforts, with stations now enabling community members to participate in free health screenings at their own convenience. The Higi platform offers body measurement screenings and scored health risk assessments as well as actionable guidance designed to help participants better manage their blood pressure. Two YMCA-sponsored Higi Stations have been deployed so far: one at HealthWest (376 E Apple Ave, Muskegon, MI 49442) and the second at Muskegon Family Care (2201 S Getty, Muskegon, MI 49444). To learn more about HealthWest’s and Muskegon Family Care’s hours of operation, please visit their websites (healthwest.net & mfc-health.org). Plans for a third YMCA Higi Station in the community are in the works. Additionally, community members have access to previously deployed Higi Stations at several local retail locations throughout Muskegon County.
“We love having the Higi Stations as a resource for our community members,” says Bruce Spoelman, Muskegon YMCA’s CEO. “This free resource really helps our constituents understand what’s going on with their health and gives them a new way to learn about and engage in their wellbeing. The information they get is always insightful and educational, adds to their overall experience, and provides an easily accessible resource right here in our community.”
“Making healthcare more accessible is essential to what we believe in,” shares Jeff Bennett, CEO at Higi. “To us, this means finding the places in the community where consumers feel comfortable and confident engaging in their health. In addition to the self-screening tools on our platform, we are excited to continue to build upon this work in the months to come and extend greater healthcare access to members of the Muskegon community in partnership with the YMCA and additional like-minded organizations.”
Higi is a consumer health engagement company making it easier for all people to measure, track and act on their health data by bridging physical and digital touch points of the healthcare ecosystem. In service of health systems, health plans, retailers and consumer healthcare brands, Higi’s omni-channel platform meets consumers in their communities, at home and on the go. Our partners connect with the consumers they care for through our nationwide network of nearly 10,000 FDA-cleared, free-to-use self-screening Smart Health Stations, home health devices, digital and mobile tools. The Higi platform addresses the needs of healthcare consumers across the care continuum through education designed to improve health literacy, disease specific assessments to inform risk stratification and drive digital navigation, and connected care offerings to avoid unscheduled care and improve outcomes. With the ability to move this data into healthcare’s workflows, Higi delivers digital health engagement at scale, creating actionable connections to the healthcare organizations that provide care and support.