Alex Hixon is a certified corporate wellness specialist through the Global Health Network. Prior to his career in corporate wellness, he worked in the health insurance industry for 15 years.
Today, Hixon is the VP of Business Development for The Physicians Weigh-In and the owner of Rural Mobile Health & Wellness. Hixon started Rural Mobile with the goal of teaching individuals how to manage their health numbers through biometric testing, individual assessment, and personalized guidance.
Prevention is Key
After years of looking at health insurance claims, Hixon has come to understand that a significant portion of an employer’s healthcare expenditure goes towards treating diseases that were the result of unhealthy lifestyles.
Harvard Business Review found that “… the chronically ill, who suffer from costly conditions like advanced diabetes, heart conditions …. consume at least 50% of a company’s claims expense.” That’s why investing in prevention rather than treatment of chronic diseases is much more cost-effective.
The key to prevention or early intervention is awareness. Hixon believes that by giving employees access to critical health information, they will have a better understanding of their current health status and will be much more motivated to make a change before it’s too late.
That was his inspiration for starting Rural Mobile Health & Wellness, a corporate wellness company that partners with companies to raise awareness of health and wellness among their employees.
Hixon needed a technological solution to support his wellness program that would enable him to:
- take the device with him from site-to-site
- test employees quickly and accurately
- produce a comprehensive report that identified areas for improvement.
It was during that search for a solution that he found InBody.
Real-Time Data for Real-Life Value
It’s no secret that corporations are looking to make data-driven decisions. When it comes to the health of their employees, that’s no different.
Five years ago, Hixon started using the InBody 270 with his corporate clients, bringing the portable device to the workplace for onsite testing. Both Hixon and his clients loved it. Employees were able to get critical information instantly, and he was able to provide his clients with significant value. He later upgraded to the InBody 570 which allowed him to give employees even more comprehensive information.
Our motto is ‘If you don’t measure it, you can’t track it.’ InBody was able to help us spearhead that effort. We are able to get employees real-time data right there on the spot. To me, the greatest value that you can provide to an employee is to give them access to information that will help them to be even more productive at work and in life…
With every test, Hixon was able to gain more insight into the services that the employees needed. Many of the employees that Hixon deals with have a higher body fat percentage and high blood pressure. It’s not a surprise because there is a growing body of research linking body fat percentage, particularly in the midsection, to hypertension.
When the weight gain is in the abdominal area, there’s a greater risk for high blood pressure because this type of body fat is more likely to cause the arteries to become thick and stiff. The body then has to create more pressure to move the blood, which may lead to a lasting increase in blood pressure.
Hixon wanted to add a professional blood pressure monitoring device he could provide as a service along with body composition analysis.
He tried free-standing blood pressure kiosks, but at 200 pounds it was too difficult to move from location to location and for some workplaces, it took up too much room.
And then InBody released the BPBIO 320S, a fully automated, self-testing blood pressure device.
The BPBIO 320S is a fully automated, non-invasive, easy-to-use blood pressure monitor.
I thought, Wow, another added value piece I can bring to the table. It’s user-friendly, stationary, portable, and it doesn’t take up a bunch of space. I can set it up either in the lounge, lobby, etc. for the convenience of the employees.
Creating ‘Aha!’ Moments
Today, Hixon uses the BPBIO 320S and his InBody 570 as a package. During the initial intake, he will test everyone on the InBody 570 and the BPBIO 320S and then review the results with each individual.
When you tie in the body composition analysis with the blood pressure, it becomes an ‘aha!’ moment…. Now we have an overall picture of ourselves, our blood pressure and our composition. If we can show employees how to alleviate the weight, and get them into a healthy range, guess what? Now they can take preventative steps to control their blood pressure.
After the initial assessment, Hixon provides personalized support between InBody Tests.
He will send employees messages throughout the week that includes: nutrition advice, fitness tips, and personalized recommendations based on specific health conditions.
Next, Hixon leaves the BPBIO 320S at the company in an area that employees can test at their own convenience. This is possible because of the unique design of the BPBIO 320S.
“We don’t have staff onsite 24/7 so the employees like the voice assistance during testing because it provides that extra guidance.”
And then every thirty days he will come back and test them again on the InBody 570 to monitor their progress.
When Hixon comes back to visit his clients, employees will come up to him with their blood pressure results, excited to show him their progress.
We give the employee a body composition analysis and go over that report from top to bottom … then we give them personalized recommendations based on their report on what they need to do.“What we’ve done with the InBody 570 and the BPBIO is bring back the ‘human connection’ element of corporate wellness.
Using InBody as a Tool to Serve and Motivate
What Hixon appreciates about InBody technology is that it helps him do what he does best which is to serve and motivate.
When people see their own body composition and blood pressure reading they can either give the reports to their dog to chew on it…or they can follow a wellness program built around those reports and do better.
Not only is Hixon showing his clients a path to ROI by reducing preventable health care claims, but he’s helping companies build VOI. VOI, or Value on Investment, translates to employees who are more engaged at work because they feel valued by the employer and more in control of their health.
A recent experience with an employee captures this perfectly. Hixon was wiping down the device when a young woman came up to Hixon with a worried expression on her face and asked if he was taking it away.
Hixon said no and she was relieved and told him why. She tested her blood pressure and the results came back extremely high. After a second test showed the same results, she immediately went to her physician. The blood pressure reading she got from the BPBIO 320S was confirmed by her physician, and she found out she was borderline hypertensive.
I took that testimony back to the Risk Manager, and he said, ‘That one claim right there would have potentially cost us $200,000. The BPBIO saved us money. Saved us. And it saved a life.