Mighty Health and ADF Team Up to Deliver a New Twist on Personalized Health Care

By Mark Ogilbee posted 06-23-2022 06:50 AM


Mighty Health, an AgeTech Collaborative™ (ATC) startup participant, is a digital exercise, nutrition and wellness platform designed specifically for older adults. Mighty Health is embarking on a pilot program in collaboration with Knollwood, a life plan community operated by ADF, whose mission is to provide housing and innovative health and wellness programs to older people who served our nation in uniform. ADF is also an ATC participant.  

We wanted to learn more about the plans and goals for the pilot program, so we sat down with James Li, CEO and co-founder of Mighty Health, and James Michels, ADF’s vice president of development and strategic partnerships, to learn more. 

This interview has been edited for clarity and length. 


ATC: This question is for James Li: What is the pilot program you’ll be running with ADF? 

James Li (Mighty Health): We're excited to be partnering with ADF in providing the residents of Knollwood an opportunity to start using a digital app for their day-to-day health. There’s a preconception that older adults, especially those who might be living at a senior residence facility, aren’t likely to turn to digital technology as a way of improving their own health. In the pilot, we’ll be introducing an app that Knollwood residents can download to their phone or tablet to help with their health care. We hope to prove that this population will be able to not just use the app, but actually enjoy it and find it an engaging way to monitor and manage their day-to-day mental and physical health. 


ATC: James Michels, what makes this pilot from Mighty Health a good fit for ADF? 

James Michels (ADF): This pilot with Mighty Health is critical for us. Each of our communities has, for example, a nutritionist on staff, but they are in more of a coordinator role. So often there’s no easy way for a resident to get individualized help with nutrition, exercise and so forth. This pilot will help us solve this problem and help us honor our commitment to the residents, which is to give them a community that provides a better quality of living, nutrition, diet, and exercise plans — all direct and personalized to them. It will also benefit their family members, who are adult children.  


ATC: How did you learn that Mighty Health wanted to run this pilot? 

James Michels: The AgeTech Collaborative™ has been an important partner for us. One of the challenges a community like ours faces is sifting through the potential solutions that might be available. And a lot of communities experience a “firewall of access” to these great initiatives. When I joined ADF, I realized I needed a way to sort through these new types of solutions. That’s when we began talking with the Collaborative about what new technologies and innovations they could point us to. 


ATC: Down to brass tacks: If I’m a resident of Knollwood, I download the app… then what happens? 

James Li: When you install the app, there are two main things you’ll have access to. The first is an app that gives you access to daily workouts and nutrition guidance, along with all kinds of live events, such as cooking classes and meditation sessions. All of this content is designed specifically for people who are 50-plus, and there’s also a community of other users in the app doing these things with you. 

Second, you get matched with your own dedicated health coach. The coach will reach out to you on a near-daily basis, constantly encouraging you and asking if you’re doing all right and answering any questions you might have. They can also help bridge the technology gap, if there is one — helping people use the app itself. 


ATC: What credentials do the health coaches have? 

James Li: All our coaches are board-certified with a background in either nutrition or exercise science. In their work with Mighty Health, they’re interacting with hundreds of adults over the age of 50, so they really know the needs, goals and concerns of people in this age group. 


ATC: James Michels, you mentioned family members also benefiting from this pilot. Can you elaborate?  

James Michels: One way is that they might just use the app for themselves. Another is that it gives them a tool to help their parent or loved one take care of things they might not otherwise be doing for themselves — it gives them a way to provide a little gentle coaxing and encouragement. And when family members are visiting their loved one in person, it gives them something to coalesce around and work on together. 

ATC: What’s the time frame for the pilot, and how will it unfold? 

James Li: We're planning for this initial phase to be about three months. We’ll be keeping in close touch with Jim and his team to stay informed on what’s happening on the ground. And we’ll be getting feedback on a near-daily basis from our coaches and the residents themselves, and their family members. We hope to continue working with the community and extend our relationship after the pilot. 

James Michels: We have around 150 residents that will be in the initial target group. Then there are family members, which extend the group by another hundred-plus participants. 


ATC: How are you going to measure success for the pilot? 

James Li: There are both qualitative and quantitative measures, but ultimately, one of the biggest things we'll be measuring is whether or not this is something that the residents find useful and that they're excited to be a part of. We’ll work with Jim and the ADF team to collect qualitative feedback to find out what people are thinking about the program — like a focus group. And we’ll be able to incorporate that feedback into the experience so we can iterate. 

ATC: Obviously, you want the app to succeed. But in a larger sense, what’s your goal? 

James Li: Health care is an area that’s full of confusion and myths, and people tend to get a lot of information and advice from the internet and TV. It’s hard to take all that advice and apply it to yourself in a safe and meaningful way. 

Our goal for Mighty Health is to provide the ADF community with a go-to, reliable source for their health information. We want to be in their corner. Ultimately, that’s what we’re solving for — just to be by their side when it comes to their health. 


1 comment



06-24-2022 04:32 PM

Thank you for featuring us, @Mark Ogilbee! Excited for this collaboration. ​