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HIStalk Innovator Showcase – Health Nuts Media

April 27, 2012 News 1 Comment

4-27-2012 12-18-42 PM

Company Name: Health Nuts Media
Address: 949 Concha St., Altadena, CA 91003
Web Address: www.healthnutsmedia.com
Telephone: 818.802.5222
Year Founded: 2010
FTEs: 6

Elevator Pitch

Health Nuts Media is attacking one of the primary causes of skyrocketing healthcare costs, poor health literacy, with a complete platform of easy-to-use assessment tools and a full suite of consumer-friendly educational resources, including animation, games and apps.

Business and Product Summary

Low health literacy costs the U.S. health system up to $236B annually and leads to higher health care utilization, problems understanding instructions and taking medications, inappropriate self medication, and reduced life expectancy. Costs are four times higher for individuals with low health literacy than for those with proficient health literacy. Only 12% of Americans have proficient health literacy, and that number has not changed over the last 40 years. 

Health Nuts Media will dramatically improve the health literacy of Americans by providing easy-to-use online assessment tools and a suite of consumer-friendly educational resources. These include easy-to-understand animated videos for both adults and kids in multiple languages. We deliver technology in a software-as-a-service model with a wide range of customization options from hospital rooms to medical homes improving healthcare literacy one patient at a time. Our clients are managed care organizations, hospitals, doctors, schools, government agencies, accountable care organizations, disease management companies, insurers, and consumers. 

Target Customer

Managed care organizations, hospitals, physicians, health educators, schools.

Customer Problem Solved

Low health literacy leads to dramatically higher costs and poorer outcomes. Health Nuts Media increases health literacy through consumer-friendly assessment tools and easy-to-understand educational resources.


KidsHealth, Krames Staywell, Milner-Fenwick.

Advantages Over Competitors

Health Nuts Media produces health education content that is more engaging and more interactive than other offerings in the marketplace. Our Emmy Award-winning production team delivers highly engaging, branded experiences that create true market differentiation for our clients.

Fast Facts

  • Complete suite of health literacy assessment and education tools with a unique combination of quality health education, premium animation, and enjoyable storytelling
  • Emmy Award-winning production team
  • Kids Education Advisory Panel (KEAP) enhances our child-friendly focus
  • Diverse medical expert review panel – doctors, nurses, health educators, homeschooling parents
  • Customization and made-to-order content creation services available

Pitch Video

Customer Interview (a physician who runs a pediatric medical content site)

What Health Nuts products and services do you use and what difference have they made?

As a content provider for primary care practices for the past 10 years, I’ve seen a lot of medical content come my way. The animated information from Health Nuts Media is fresh, engaging, creative, and effective. We have chosen to add it to our library of medical content to distribute to many of the websites that we host and service.

How would you describe your experience in working with Health Nuts?

Tim Jones of Health Nuts Media is passionate about bringing the message of Good Health to all children. I admire his vision. He will teach many children about the importance of caring for their own bodies.

How would you complete this sentence: "I would recommend talking to Health Nuts as a potential customer if you are …"

A children’s hospital, a pediatrician or family physician, or an advocate for kids.

An Interview with Tim Jones, CEO, Health Nuts Media

4-27-2012 12-43-06 PM

Medical people seem to be challenged to provide patient education that’s both understandable and engaging. What problem does that cause and how do you turn that into a compelling return on investment for your product?

Some of the studies that we’ve seen show that low health literacy costs up to $236 billion every year, if we’re just talking about dollars and cents. Our basic thesis is people don’t want to be sick, they don’t not want to follow their doctor’s instructions or not take the medication they’re told to take. There’s just a basic misunderstanding, where individuals will overestimate their ability to understand and healthcare professionals and clinicians will overestimate what people did understand by saying, “Well, they didn’t ask any questions, so I assume they understood everything.” Therein lies this big black hole of information.

What we’re trying to do is bridge that gap and make non-written forms of communication available so that those with health literacy or innumeracy problems can understand what it is that they’re supposed to do.

Do you think the expectations have changed with online video services like YouTube and video-friendly devices like the iPad?

Absolutely. One of our advisors, Dr. Pion, is an OB-GYN doc who just turned 80 years old last summer. I don’t think any of these things are necessarily like, “Oh my gosh, we never thought of this in the ’60s or the ‘70s.” We’re just at this point in time where it’s actually possible with our technology now that even 10 years ago really didn’t exist. There was not real way to reach the masses the way that we have the ability to do today.

You have a standard library of resources. What are some of your more popular titles or topics?

Diabetes is by far the most popular. Asthma has also been very popular with us –  we know there are nine million kids in the U.S. with asthma that are dealing with it. But we also do a lot of things like gastroenteritis and vaccinations and broken bones. A lot of the topics that we deal with are common with pediatrics.

You do custom work. What kind of things have people asked for?

We’ve done breast cancer. We just finished a series on clinical research in both English and Spanish. Some of our clients like our library, but they have their own corporate mascot or brand identity, so we’ve taken their characters and wrapped them around our content as well.

When you draw the box around what you do versus what you might want to do down the road, where do you see things going? Right now you focus primarily on pediatrics. Do you see a different focus or moving into games or anything like that?

Absolutely. Every age demographic here and all around the world responds to this. Gaming is so important to our long-term objectives. We realize that it’s very popular format. It’s a great way to get information out to people without pounding them over the head with, “This is education.” We know that it works.

There’s lots of research that shows that gaming and gamification can work and deliver better clinical outcomes. That’s definitely part of the path. We see storytelling and gaming fitting together very well.

How do you make a business case that your videos are not only good for patient outcomes, but are something that customers should invest in?

We know that someone with low health literacy will end up costing something like four times more than those with proficient health literacy. Take away all the outcomes and the lower life expectancy, but if you’re just looking at a business case to say those folks that don’t understand what it is that you need to have them understand, those folks that don’t understand how to take their medication properly, how to follow your instruction will cost you four times more than those who do understand.

When you look at it in those terms and understand that that is a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars to the healthcare system every year, it’s fairly easy to make a business case to those healthcare organizations that mare managing large populations of patients, especially under a capitated basis where there’s a fixed fee or accountable care organization. It makes a pretty simple bottom line case for return on investment.

Prior to that when providers were paid for episodes and not outcomes, the only business model would have been to get drug or insurance companies to pay for your videos. The change to managing health must give you more organizations to sell to.

It does, right. We believe at the end of the day that individuals are very concerned. Nobody wants to be sick. Ideally education happens at the hospital, at the doctor’s office, at the clinic, but we also realize that when a parent has a child that’s sick and they want that information, more often than not they’re going to the Internet. They’re trying to find good resources.

For instance, we know in research that for every day a child has an asthma attack and has to miss a day of school, that will cost those parents an average of $172 per day. We know that in the average poorly controlled case of asthma, they will miss somewhere between 12 and 18 days of school per year. The real cost, not even the medication cost, not even the long-term cost on academic achievement in lifelong earnings, but just that simple mom or dad has to miss a day of work to take care of that child, it makes a pretty compelling case even at a consumer level that good information is worthwhile and will end up saving them money and help them to be more healthy.

What do you hope to gain from the exposure?

I really think we’ve got a great idea. We’ve got a great company. We’re fairly new and not a lot of people know about us yet. We also say that we like to collaborate. We like to be part of larger systems. My sense is there are so many people out there who are working in the technology space and the HIT space that really don’t know about us and they think of ways that we fit into their systems that we haven’t even thought of yet.

To me, that’s what becomes very exciting. We know where we’ve started and where we’re going and where we’re headed. We don’t ultimately know where we’ll end up. I think some of this exposure could start conversations, could start relationships that take us to places that we haven’t even yet imagined.

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Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. All of us at Health Nuts Media would like to thanks Mr. H (and the HIStalk Innovation Showcase applicants review panel) for the opportunity to get some love here on HIStalk. It was greatly appreciated!

    Dr. Gregg

    PS – Full disclosure: I had nothing to do with the review process and was told that the review panel did not take my associations with HIStalk/HiStalk Practice into their considerations of the Health Nuts Media application.

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