Why Dr. Kumar is Changing The Wellness Game
Welcome back once again, see the outcomes, rocket podcasts where we chat with today's most successful and inspiring health care leaders. I really WANNA. Thank you for tuning in again and I welcome you to go to outcomes rocket dot health slash reviews where you could rate and review today's podcast because he is one outstanding individual and healthcare is name is Dr Rajiv Kumar he's the president and chief medical officer at Virgin Pulse during medical school he realized that many of the worst health problems we face as a nation diabetes heart disease cancer hypertension. Et, CETERA. I related to the collective unhealthy lifestyle, and so he has pledged to make a difference in this industry. He's done and as a frontline physician and now through various different companies, some amazing things and so what I WANNA do is open up the microphone to Raji to fill in any of the gaps of the introduction and then a so we could get into the podcast. Reggie welcome to the PODCAST. Think saw glad to be here. So Rajiv, what would you fill in in your intro that I that I left out? I think that was pretty comprehensive. Just, a little bit about virgin pulse. You know what? I think that may not be familiar name to a lot of folks on your that are listening to your podcast. We are an employee wellbeing company. We work with large employers all around the world, and our goal is to help them activate their employees to lead healthier lifestyles which had to kind of go around the healthcare system a little bit, and go direct to the employees and figure out ways to motivate them to inspire them and to help them sustain behavior change over time, and it's not just about healthcare cost reduction. It really is about how do we help people be? Healthier, happier and more productive at work in their personal lives. So that's really what our mission is. That's beautiful and listeners for those of you who haven't connected the DOTS virgin pulse. One of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group companies. So you know with the gentleman like that behind something like this and and Rajiv as part of the executive leadership team, you can imagine some great things are happening. It's an exciting time for us. We definitely are inspired by Sir Richard Branson leadership in his philosophy is if you take care of your employees, they'll take care of your business, and so we're trying to empower employers to take better care of their employees. So strong, and and you know it's really interesting that you guys are tackling this employer perspective of the entire health career equation because costs are soaring and aside from labor costs, it seems like healthcare cost is oftentimes double digits in that front. What are your thoughts on what should be on every medical leaders agenda today? Well, I'm biased but I think it has to be a behavior change remember too often looking for a magic pill or magic device or something to kind of stem the tide of rising obesity, diabetes and heart disease in our country and at the end of the day, there's so much. We can do to actually change people's behavior a lot of what we're facing as a result of our diet, our physical activity or lack thereof the stress that we have in our lives just how we how we treat ourselves and how we don't take care of ourselves, and so I think it's not necessarily a hot topic I. Think it should be and and I wish there was more focus on it is the perennial that if we can change behavior, we can prevent a lot of disease and we can produce significantly greater outcomes and Reggie. What would you say right now at at at Virgin? Pulse. Is an example of how you guys are improving health outcomes. Well, I think we really tried to think outside of the box I think traditional health interventions and and health and wellbeing platforms have largely been ineffective and they've been around for decades. So we sat around and we said what if we took a different approach rather than making people feel like they're failures rather than telling them that they're sick what if we actually make them feel successful what if we make them feel good about themselves right off the bat what would that do for self esteem for their motivation and for their ability to change. Most of what we see in our industry is a heavy focus on screening, and so employers asked their employees to take health risk assessments and do biometric screenings and so forth, and the problem with that is they take a health risk assessment tells them you're sick. You know you have high risk, your unhealthy needs to do more change your lifestyle, get your biometric screening results and you have high blood pressure. You may not like the results that you get back and that can be very demotivating, and so we've said is, is there a scientist out there? Is there a behavior change model that focuses on success? We found a scientist by the name of Dr Bj fog out of Stanford University and Dr Fog is sort of a new guru of behavior change and he's come up with a behavior change model that he caused the fog behavior change model and it's very simple as model is is a formula to it is called B. Equals M. A. T.. Equals motivation times, ability times a trigger, and so what he means by that is to get somebody to do a behavior that we want them to do or they want to do. First of all, they have to have the motivation to do it. Second is they have to have the ability to do it, and a third is you have to trigger them. To trump to do that behavior and too often in the in the kind of behavior change space, we ask people to do things that require either too much motivation or too much ability. So we say something like go to the gym four times a week and exercise for sixty minutes. Each time you go that takes a lot of motivation and some people may not even have the ability a really know how to do that where to get started so forth so Dr Fog says, well, motivation is hard to change. Your motivation waxes and wanes on a daily basis on an hourly basis, we can't really change somebody's motivation that easily what you can do is changed the behavior you're asking them to do to make it easier. You can change the ability to perform the action, and so the idea is if you take a behavior like washing your teeth and you break it down to the smallest tiniest thing that somebody could possibly do like floss one tooth and you ask them to do that they can actually do. That very easily, it doesn't take a lot of motivation is very quick to do, and if they do that and you celebrate the fact that they did it, you can help them build what we call success momentum, and then they're going to feel better about going to the next step and try something harder and so in our entire approach to behavior change, we break behaviors down into their simplest most basic action we ask people to do that would trigger then and then when they do it we. Reward them make them successful. We give them social status. They might get some kind of points or some kind of reward, and then we ask them to do something harder the next time around and stuff feedback loop that builds up momentum, and it changes behavior in a very sustainable way in a very habitual way, which is really the key to behavior changes creating habits.