Michael Stein, CEO & Founder, on how he turned the shocking passing of his dear friend, Dr Satish Keshav, into motivation to build a tool that can improve how we view and manage our health to live our lives to the full.
Founders In Focus
Founders in Focus – Becoming the hero of your own health with Added Health CEO Dr. Michael Stein 
Dr. Michael Stein, Founder & CEO of Added Health. Tells us how turned the death of a dear friend, Dr Satish Keshav, into a mission for health.
Tim Hosking

Founders in Focus looks closely at the people behind startup growth. Founders that have spotted a unique perspective, created something individual or had the sheer determination to drive change when it’s easier to take another path.

We provide a platform to Founders and look to amplify their stories, detailing the individual journey as well as the aspirations for the future.  

talent.ai shares and elevates these stories to create insight and inspire others who are on or considering similar journeys.

We spoke to Dr. Michael Stein, Founder & CEO of Added Health. Discover how he turned the death of a dear friend, Dr Satish Keshav, into a mission for health, building a company that can act as a companion to our lives and give a powerful use to all the health data we collect. 

Added Health is on a mission to transform lives and creator a healthier world. One where each of us is “Our own Luke Skywalker (…) our own hero”. Turning grief into opportunities for improving quality of life and helping others do the same, what an honour to share his story.

Watch or read the full interview below.

Added Health




Health Tech

Head Office:

Oxford, UK


Added Health

TH: So today I’m joined by Michael Stein, the co-founder and CEO of Added Health. An Oxford-based digital platform, on a mission to provide people with the necessary tools to achieve optimal physical and mental health. 

They recently closed £1 million in seed funding.

So firstly, Michael, welcome.

MS: Thank you, Tim, It’s a real pleasure to be with you today.

TH: And I understand there’s an extremely personal background story to the establishment of Added Health. So, I just thought we’d start at the beginning and just understand whether you could provide a little bit more context around the motivation for the establishment of the company, to begin with.

MS: Yes, certainly. Basically, I was the CEO of a biotechnology company, an immune-oncology company, and when one of my best friends, a brilliant physician-scientist,  Dr Satish Keshav, who was one of the really top gastroenterologists at the University Hospital here in Oxford, dropped dead of a heart attack, completely unexpected. And my reaction, I guess a grief reaction, was to sort of how does that happen?

Because he was obviously a brilliant doctor and a scientist was well-read, and really up to speed. 

But, you know, how does that happen that someone like him actually died of a heart attack? And he wasn’t particularly overweight. In fact, he wasn’t much overweight at all. 

And so I started to research and very quickly realized that there was a huge amount of [health] information out there and that just wasn’t seeing the light of day because it didn’t have a particular financial driver behind it.

It wasn’t a drug with a patent that had a life span of 20 years that could then get marketing behind it from a biotechnology or pharmaceutical company. 

So, that became my mission essentially to get that information out there to the benefit of people. And it was very clear to me that it was information related to both the physiology of our bodies, but also related to neuroscience and how our minds worked. So, that’s how I Added Health was born.

I went straight away to within a few weeks of having done the initial readings. You know, realizing there was this information, and [approached] a very close colleague, Professor Chris Butler, who’s one of the professors of primary care here at the University of Oxford. Very well known internationally, well published in the Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine and so on. 

And he’s unusual in the sense that he’s completely dedicated his life to preventive medicine, in one way or another, and essentially runs the University of Oxford Clinical Trials units. So, had done a lot of the early trials and things like probiotics, point-of-care diagnostics and so on.

Was very familiar with the space and also knew Satish. And so the two of us got together to sort of really think about how do we do this? Because it’s a real challenge.

TH: So, we work with and you meet organizations and founders along the way that the mission led in terms of their motivation in that their drivers. Seldom do you come across something that’s so personal. 

At what point does it become, you know, a scenario where, you know, you’re struggling for answers or you’re searching for, you know, a positive outcome from the death of a very good friend.

Like when does that become essentially a business idea, so to speak, if that’s the right expression for that?

MS:  Yeah, it was probably after about six months and when I had sort of felt I’d done enough of the reading around the space. Well, my background, of course, is as a doctor and I also did a degree in medical biochemistry, and then I did a doctorate in physiological sciences specializing in immunology. So I had a very broad background.

So, it felt like everything I’d done in my past life as a medical doctor, academic and then an entrepreneur had brought me to this point.

Because I had developed something for the NHS that was licensed for a decade across the whole of NHS England and Wales. It was basically a set of clinical algorithms that was being used for both planning and for the real world, so to speak.

And you know, that had a really good result from a commercial perspective where we sold it to a very large American corporation. But I of course then left it, and you know, it didn’t it sort of felt like I hadn’t completed what I was meant to do in a way. 

I ended up going back to Oxford, to the city of Oxford, rather than the University, because it’s a great place to raise kids.

Yeah. And essentially I was helping universities with spinouts. First, the University of Oxford, then the University of Helsinki with that immuno-oncology biotech spinout. Frankly, it was a great experience because it gave me a real insight into the world of biotechnology and the pharmaceutical world.

And I realized, it sort of reaffirmed just how narrow and how siloed things have become. You know, where we’re looking for polls and drugs that target something incredibly specific. Because if you look at something like statins, you know, statins are handed out like Smarties to pretty much everyone, low risk, moderate and high risk, all for cardiovascular risk.

You know, and you realize that that’s a drug that’s hitting one specific enzyme out of thousands of enzymes in the body. The enzymes called HMG Reductase, which is a very important rate-limiting step in the production of cholesterol in your body and your liver, of course. But there are literally thousands and thousands of enzymes that are operating in other gene products that operate in your body every day, even within a given cell, a single cell, let alone a liver cell.

And so my sense was that we are missing the big picture. You know, we’ve got orthopaedic surgeons who just do hip replacements, for example, you know, or they do hands. But when I last looked, you know, the knee bone is looking at the thigh bone and your back. You know, it’s that old song.

And yet, you know, when you’ve worn out your hip, it probably means you’ve worn out other things in your body as well. But no one really bothers to look. Certainly, orthopaedic surgeons don’t worry about it. The anaesthetist worries about it because they want to make sure you’re not a big anaesthetic risk when they do the anaesthetic.

That you’re very unlikely to have a, you know, a full holistic preventive health care check 

Even before you have a hip replacement. So clearly, yes, we’ve become, if you like, specialized in that there are very few generalists left and GPs who are of course the generalists. Are completely swamped. 

Michael Stein, Founder & CEO of Added Health on how he turned the death of a dear friend into a mission for better health
The Added Health App want to be a companion for a better life. Source: Added health

The average time that a GP spends with you on average and I looked at this a couple of years ago, four years ago, it’s 8.2 minutes of consulting time per patient, right?

Yeah, it’s very hard to get into lifestyle and coaching.

TH: Yeah, there’s no personal approach. The personal approach is hard to structure. I imagine given the pressure on the NHS.

MS: That’s right. And it’s effectively, you know, a lot of people you say it’s a national disease, it’s not a health service. 

But you know, when you get into trouble, you know, it’s fantastic for the acute, you know, I myself, for example, even though I have private medical insurance. I chose. We have a family predisposition to something called retinal detachment.

And I went to the Oxford Eye Hospital, the NHS hospital. I chose to go there even though I had private cover. Because I knew that the surgeon doing my operation had no incentive other than to really fix it. And I wasn’t going to get offered some new-fangled fancy thing. But in Harley Street, not to put down my private colleagues, but yeah, fundamentally, and you know, my view is that I’m a huge fan of the NHS, so I don’t want to belittle in any way, shape or form.

But I do think it’s very good at the acute service and that it’s less good at the holistic preventive side. Mainly because it’s only the true sort of owner or CEO, if you like, is appointed by the government and therefore essentially political football. I think we all recognize that. And politicians can be influenced heavily by lobbyists from various interest groups, right?

For example, around sugar taxes or alcohol or, you know, incentives for exercise or the tax code and how the national insurance works, all that kind of stuff. Huge opportunities to do very powerful things if you pull the right levers as a government. But really, really difficult for the government to do so. 

So, my view is that you know, that what we looking to do with Added Health is really thinking about your health and offering the old style old fashioned.

You used to have a GP who really knew you for the long term. We’re a group of docs that have really set up added health as well as preventive health care, where we commit not to prescribe, not to treat you. We don’t want to conflict ourselves in any way and just look after your health and wellness alongside our GP colleagues.

So, you know, obviously, if a GP prescribes a drug, we are not going to change that at all unless the GP says so. Because we’re doctors and because we’re also regulated, unlike much of the health and wellness is, it feels like the Wild West sometimes. 

Yeah, we’re regulated and can work alongside our colleagues in primary care and offer our services holistically and meet you wherever you are. It’s not about, Yeah, oh, I want to do this or that. It’s really meeting you where you are. It’s not a one size fits all service.

TH: In terms of Added Health as an organization, how do you view this as a platform or as a service which is essentially being delivered by doctors and individuals? 

How much of this is delivered by a digital platform, so to speak?

MS: Right. So it’s all human. Okay. And the way we make it scalable and affordable is because the docs actually can oversee large cohorts of really highly trained behaviour change coaches. 

So it turns out, and you probably won’t be surprised by this, is that behaviour change is hard and that we all have bad habits. We probably know that we have bad habits but sometimes we don’t.

There are lots of things I could tell you, which I won’t bore the audience with the biochemistry or particular types of sugar. But we all know sugar is bad, but if you’re someone who’s got a predisposition to gout, well then a particular sugar called fructose, which is half of tablespoon sugar. The other half in glucose, it’s the fructose that really in excess will drive gout in many people.

That’s one example of nuance, and most people, most docs wouldn’t know that it’s specifically fructose in excess. If you’re eating high fructose corn syrup stuffed in the so-called health bars without knowing it and then eating lots of fruit, again lots of sugar. Well, you’ve got a predisposition to gout. It’s probably going to tip over the edge or could.

TH: Say that even doctors wouldn’t know that.

MS: I think it’s fair to say that most doctors wouldn’t know specifically about the metabolism of fructose as opposed to glucose because it’s fairly straightforward. It drives insulin and in some drives storage of glucose glycogen, etc.

With fructose, we kind of forget we learn about the different enzymes, one called glucagon that takes glucose and puts it into the glycogen pathway. But if you’ve got excess, it actually diverts off into a different set of biochemical pathways that drives the very worst kind of cholesterol, as well as drives the production of something that leads to gout. 

That’s an example of something that most people won’t know, and that we don’t we don’t necessarily tell people in that kind of detail. But I’m just giving you an example of one area where we specifically tell people with gout, look, really read the label of health bars or anything that you’re buying off the shelf to make sure it doesn’t have fructose in it.

As an example. 

TH: It strikes me that Added Health is creating an engagement for people to benefit from a huge amount of expertise from people like yourself. 

On that note, how long have you been associated with the University of Oxford?

MS: That’s absolutely right. That’s exactly what we’re doing. We’re taking the brains, trust and experience of doctors and physiological scientists like myself, then putting that to work and sitting alongside the lifestyle of health coaches who are highly trained, in a particular technique.

And then when they need the tool or a particular technique or particular piece of advice where they’re in the background ready to serve the client through the coach.

One set of docs can look after literally, you know, 100 or more coaches and you know, we’re using our particular platform.
At the moment like a very about it. 

TH: As you say, it’s almost like a route to markets getting your expertise via those coaches in via the platform in the hands of someone who wouldn’t typically be able to receive that level of guidance and insight.

MS: That’s right. And that’s why we’re building a very, very strong editorial board that’s unimpeachable in terms of expertise.

People like Professor Chris Butler and Dr Jonathan Crawshaw, of course, is a brilliant GP trained at Oxford, really interested in preventive health care. Dr Paul Browde, who’s a psychiatrist, a board-certified psychiatrist and a brilliant psychotherapist and storyteller, who’s in New York.

We got two more joining us. I can’t talk about them today, but suffice it to say they are also world-class individuals. You will have that plus, of course, the training. 

And we have Professor Steve Rollnick, who’s the co-founder of Motivational Interviewing, which is a technique that’s been validated in 200 different clinical trials for behaviour change across a range of issues.

It’s one of the most well-validated techniques we took. Steve is our head coach, very unusual. He’s not doing that with anybody else, and basically, we’re working with Steve to create the training of our coaches. 

We’ve had to build a particular piece of software underneath.

Our CTO is Lorenzo Wood, who’s the former CIO Global CIO of Publicis Sapient. He’s the guy actually, the reason I know Lorenzo, he built the map of medicine for that product I told you about for the NHS back in the day and he’s fantastic.

He’s an amazing CTO and product guy. He interrogated 90 different coaching platforms and realized this was something a little bit different. We’re going to have to build this thing from scratch, which we’ve now done.

TH: How long is the process to build the platform from scratch?

MS: It’s taken about a year and a half. Started off with six months of being. We didn’t want to build. We’d much rather have just a license.

It’s much faster and more cost-effective most of the time. But he interrogated 90 different products [platforms] and no one could do what we really needed it to do.

Because it’s this combination of the docs and the physiological scientists with the coaches. It was slightly more complex, but we have now built it and we’re now using it in anger. And so far, so good. No major bugs.

TH: Fantastic. If I’m a potential user of the platform, what’s my experience like?

How do I interface with the platform, how often and what would I expect to receive from the platform itself? 

MS: Right? So the first thing is it’s always in your pocket there when you need it. You’ve got these brains’ trust in your pocket. 

What we really seeking to become in terms of the future vision of the company is that health utility, that group of experts in your pocket that they are there with you for life, like the old-style GP.

But this old cell GP doesn’t actually treat you it. Where necessary it will refer you to you go back to your own doctor, or advise you where there’s a non-medical issue, and that’s with you for life.

That’s the concept. And the more data, of course, the richer, the more time we spend, the more we can help you, because the better we know you.

The journey starts with you saying. Usually, there’s some sort of trigger, but if those people don’t want to engage with life coaching or any kind of coaching or any kind of change until there’s some particular trigger.

Whatever the trigger is. I’ve just heard about these guys. I want to try them out to God I have to lose weight or gosh I’ve got a real problem and I’ve been told to do something about it by my doc, and I’m really struggling, or I’ve got something and have heard about these guys.

I might even want just another opinion from these guys and then they get their help with that particular condition over the long term, depending on what it is. And the key is that we’ve got to stay very much on the health and wellness side, not the medical side, but because we talked, we understand the interface between those two worlds.

So, you come on board, you’ve decided, I want to try this thing out and you come on. 

You do a questionnaire and the more information you put in, the more we can, of course, design a program. The intervention, the initial stage of that. And so most people were very surprised. We created a flexible questionnaire, which if you really didn’t detail it, takes you between 20 and 30 minutes.

And we thought, oh, people will just do like a five-minute version or two-minute version years. They’ll skip questions because you don’t have to answer all the stuff. They’re only very certain questions you have to answer because we’ve big believers in safeguarding people. We don’t want to treat you when it’s not appropriate, which is really important to know.

Yeah, So but most people, I’d say 90% of people, if not more, fill out the whole thing in quality and tell us a lot about themselves because they know, number one, it’s completely confidential. 

It’s like being in a medical confidential world. We treat it in exactly the same way. Wwhatever you tell us stays with us, and doesn’t go anywhere else.

It’ll be an actual doctor who reviews that information and will then assign you to a coach. That they feel would be a good fit depending on what the issue is. Whoever the coach is, they are trained in a specific technique based on motivational interviewing, that is designed to help you get to where you want to go to fulfil your goal. We meet wherever you are. 

I’ll give you a good example. A lot of people will fill in the alcohol part of the questionnaire, quite honestly, because they know it’s completely confidential. We are always surprised by how honest people are. They’ll say, I’m drinking way too much, you know, and they’ll put up drinking, say, 21 units, and they know the safe levels are lower than that.

They’ll mark it as do you, and then do you want to address this as an issue? And they’ll go, no, they’re not ready to address it right. 

But we know, it’s really important for us to know it’s in the background. So that when, say, for example, they want to lose some weight.

Of course, alcohol is a potent form of calories. So of course you want to, as part of that, gently evoke from the client where they want to go. So it’s not us as doctors saying, oh, you’re drinking too much, stop drinking. That never works. 

It’s much more evocative about finding the inner hero in yourself. A huge part of what we’re doing is making our clients the Luke Skywalkers or Princess Leia. You are the hero of your own story. No one knows you better than you. 

Essencially, we will guide you and be by your side there to help you through life, through the crossroads, the decisions, and the choices you need to make across all the areas of life that really matter. Which includes relationships, by the way.

It’s having that trusted advisor who’s there to help you optimize your self, body and mind. And so the journey is completely individual. I can give you some examples, but I can’t break confidence in those examples so they’ll be very generic. But the testimonials that we have on our website are all true and they’ve all been consented to by people.

And so those are real, real stories.

TH: There’s no better or more important mission, right? 

Making the person the hero, I think is actually a really nice concept. You’ve obviously been through already a point of tragedy by losing a friend. And I think in times like that, people become more likely to be motivated to change. 

Whether Added Health is a force for good or it’s an opportunity to kind of drive change in people’s thought processes in terms of the way that they engage with their own personal health.

That’s got to be a good thing. Right? That’s pretty front and centre to be the most important thing that you can be focused on.

MS: Yeah. Then lots of wonderful techniques based in cognitive sciences, in the neurosciences that are, you know, just been published in the last couple of years. Which are fantastic, but the vast majority of people don’t know about them. 

And so again, a big part of our job is to help you optimize yourself with techniques that you probably won’t come across for the next sort of five years.

In terms of the health care professionals just to give you an idea of how long it takes for a new medication, which of course has risks. Here we’re not dealing with someone with a medication that can have terrible side effects.

It’s a different thing. We treat people with food and with movement and exercise, but that’s all it takes.

TH: That’s really interesting. What would be a typical kind of delivery or, what’s the outcome?

What is it that you would be looking to advise someone to do? 

We’re talking here about exercise, diet, and health. It certainly is not medication based on what you’ve you’ve described. It’s a lifestyle what you’re focusing on.

MS: Its lifestyle and wellness history where we think it’s necessary, where there should be a medical intervention will refer you back to your GP. 

Well, we’ve done that a number of times with clients. Where there has been something that we believe is important to get medically sorted and then we’ll refer you back to your GP. Because we are referring back and because we’re medical doctors referring back, we’ve found it’s always taken seriously by the GP or by the specialist.

That’s very much the case, it’s lifestyle, but it’s got that medical rigour behind it and it’s evident. Whatever we suggest, there’s a real science behind that suggestion.

TH: I mean that’s powerful. 

So, if you think about Added Health, you guys have just gone through a seed round. So, how straightforward is that process?

MS: Actually, very straightforward, you know, because of the success of my previous startups. So, I’ve had two. Outside of healthcare, you know, I’ve learned some expensive lessons. Don’t go outside of your area of expertise when you’re trying to do business. 

But in healthcare, I’ve been very fortunate to have two successes, one with the NHS, I talked about mathematics and clinical algorithms, and the second one was with a telemedicine company which I set up and started.

It’s called Doctor Care Anywhere, and I set that up back in 2012, 2013, then sold it. We were taken over by another company and then it floated on the Australian stock market in December 2020, then I left and I have no association with the company anymore.

Floated that market cap of about $200 million, something. So, a significant company. Sorry, I lost my train of thought.

Doctor Care Anywhere was funded by the people that have funded me now through the private equity group called Traditum. They knew us, huge amounts of due diligence, but very unusual for Traditum, is that they’re a private equity company that normally would not do an early seed round.

We are very fortunate to have them, and in fact, the person who has joined our board, as a result, is Sean Riddell, the former CEO and founder of EMIS. The Primary Care Electronic Medical Record Company. You’ve probably got a 50/50 chance of your records being on that system.

Sean built that company up with a brilliant doctor, David Stables, back in the day and then sold it and he’s now investing. He’s very passionate. He and his wife Jenny are very, very passionate about health care. And so they are still very much engaged. We’re very fortunate there was a track record to look at.

They knew us. We worked with them for years. In fact, EMIS funded. It even goes further back. Anyway, EMIS and David Stables wrote us the first check for mapping medicines, which by which they motivated UCL. He wrote, literally wrote us a check for £45,000 back in 2002, and that, of course, got a lot of interest going from UCL and so on.

I met Sean, you know, probably around 2003 when we are part of the modernization of the NHS IT program. There’s a long history going back. So we feel very, very fortunate to have them as backers because of course, they will stay with us as we grow and go forward.

TH: What is the growth plan? How are you expecting to scale added health and what sort of channels will you use in order to do it cheaper?

MS: We’re going B2B. It was very clear that the direct-to-consumer [was not ideal], because of the living cost of living crisis at the moment people don’t have any spare cash. 

Even if you’ve got very little without your health. People find it difficult to pay things forward too far in advance. One of the challenges we’ve got, in fact, is people don’t pay it forward and wait for something to go wrong, and then you’ve got to fix it.

Of course, that’s not optimal. We do MOTs in our cars every year. Most of us unfortunately don’t do MOTs on ourselves. I mean, we are far more sophisticated than our cars, I can tell you. Yeah, there are more than a million moving parts in each eyeball. It’s the way it works. The ciliary muscles inside your pupil, are literally more than a million moving parts.

Yet we don’t pay for it. We don’t pay for that annual checkup, even if necessary, let alone a quarterly checkup. 

So, we’re going to businesses who really want to look after their employees. We’re selling to HR Directors to say, if you’re serious about looking after your staff and you really want them to stay healthy, then we are the service for you.

We differentiate ourselves by being a regulated, medically led service. Whereas almost everybody else in health and wellness is not applying the same sort of rigour and is not regulated. Some are, but the vast majority are not. And certainly and that’s been a big differentiator for us.

TH: So, I can see the benefit of going B2B. I think that’s obviously a smart strategy. 

From the point of view of competitors who are, you know, names like Bupa immediately and Nuffield and some of these other guys that would be offering a similar level of kind of private health care. I like how closely [is Added Health] is a competitor of those that say established brands? 

MS: Great question. We don’t think they’ll be competitive at all. In fact, we think they’ll be partners in the end. We don’t ever want to be a health insurance company or a life insurance company. 

That creates its own conflicts in many ways. Right? You’re always trying to keep the costs down and it’s difficult. So, we would like to be the independent care layer and really focus on health, wellness and the coaching aspect.

We are also at a completely different price point. If you’re looking for medical and life insurance and all the critical care stuff, you talking hundreds of pounds a month. Just the medical insurance piece you’re looking at something that’s at least five times more expensive than what we are offering. We’re doing something different, which we think differentiates us in that we’re really looking after to care for your employees.

And we really don’t worry that if something goes wrong, what it’s going to cost, we’ll just advise them. In our opinion, you know, speak to your doctor. But in our opinion, this is what I would do right? It’s a second opinion based on information that we have, you know, learned from our clients.

And we’ll only the other key things will only ever interface with the insurer or with the company if they ask us to. Because it’s completely confidential. That’s really an important point for us.

TH: So if you think about the scale opportunity, although we’re obviously talking with you as a Co-Founder and CEO of an Oxford-based organization, there’s really no limit or where I’m guessing you could deliver your service. 

This could, in theory, be global. It’s just limited by scope and scale. 

So, I guess the internationalization of an organization and the idea there’s where you could deliver the value of what you’re creating.

MS: Correct. One of my favourite things is that you know, a heart in Oxford is the same as a heart in Henley. The same as a heart in Bangladesh, in Sydney, or wherever you are in the world.

What’s different about that heart is the cultural story that wraps around that heart. Look how you live your life in terms of a cultural, and societal context. But the physiology, is the same.

TH: it’s a good point. 

So, what’s your kind of short-term plan over the course of the next, say the next let’s go 6 to 12 months? 

What is next for Added Health or how does the organization scale over the course of the next 12 months? What’s a priority for you today?

Our priority is, as you would expect, sales and getting as many clients as we can on board, as many companies engaged. So, that we can help as many people as we possibly can. 

We’re seeing extraordinary results, and it’s borne of you know. We’ve just come out of COVID and there are huge amounts of anxiety, and mental stress out there, still. 

People were isolated for a long time. About more than 40% of people have not yet reestablished the relationships they had before COVID. 

We are gregarious primates, Homo sapiens, right? We like to sniff one another and now we’re all doing Zoom. It’s great. We get visual stimulation and sound stimulation, but we also need the touch and the hugs and the smells, you know?

Basically we gregarious primates, and so we’re seeing a lot of that playing out with the kind of information, help and advice, people are seeking. And the kinds of issues they’re trying to address around mental and well-being peace. 

But there are also things [like] people are being sedentary because we using zoom we sit on our bottoms for too long.

We need to be jumping up every hour. I hope Tim you’ll jump after this and jog on the spot. That’s good. That’s good for you. We know that, right? It’s essential we want to get out to as many people as quickly as we can. You know, and really be to the benefit of people so they can live a more vital life.

TH: And is there any kind from a sales strategy perspective, any kind of focus that you’ll have on maybe different B2B sectors? 

Or is there a kind of a potential higher uptake from companies that have like headcount and employees with, you know, non-sedentary roles, you know, like scenarios that are in some way physical in that in their output?

Or can it be could in theory be any organization? 

MS: Any organization that really interested in looking after their staff, for the long term. This is not about about a quick fix to do this program and you’re going to lose 15 kilos of weight and then what would we do? 

It is much more around sustainability and making sure that whatever changes you make are coming from inside yourself and you then sustain them.

Anyone with an HR Director that truly cares about the long-term health, body and mind of their staff. And so it really doesn’t matter [the industry]. What we finding is that where we’re having the most traction so far and we’ve very early days, we’ve only just launched last month, but we’ve got our first three corporate clients on board and their staff.

And what we’re finding is it’s of course it’s everything from lawyers to the accountancy world, but it’s also people in engineering firms and different kinds of firms that are showing a lot of interest in it. 

We think, literally it’s anybody. We think that anybody serious about health and who agrees that if we MOTs our cars once a year we should probably have a holistic health check and not just a blood test. 

I’m not just doing my blood tests. I’m talking about a full service like that. That, you know, so that when something does go wrong, you know, you can always go back, rather than to the mechanic, to your expert coach. That really knows you, and has got all the information that is needed to really help you live a great life.

TH: Let’s imagine I’m an employee of an organization whose director has got the best interests of the employees at heart and signs me up for Added Health as a platform. 

Once I filled out my questionnaire what do I then expect? What do I do as the recipient of your advice?

How is that delivered and what would I expect to be able to then achieve with that?

MS: It, of course, is highly individual and the HR Director won’t know which of the 31 staff have opted in. 

But basically, the way it works is that we don’t ever want anyone who doesn’t want to do it, you can always opt-out. You got to opt-in essentially, and we’re getting a very high opt-in rate. Much higher than I would have ever imagined.

But what’s fascinating is that each person is truly individual. Now, we already started to see certain groupings, but overall, there’s no one size fits all. The process is you can expect to fill in the questionnaire. It will be reviewed by doc to make sure that they’re safeguarding, and that make sure we assign you the right kind of coach you have had.

All the coaches are experts in motivational interviewing and in behaviour change, which it’s not just motivational interviewing. It’s actually all about explaining behaviour change, the patterns, and all the different habits that we regarded as bad that we want to help with. And so it’s truly individual. Some will be weight loss, some will be, oh, I want I’ve heard about that gout.

There are some lifestyle things you can do around gout and food. There’ll be things that people that high blood pressure. 25% of the UK have got high blood pressure, whether they know it or not. 

TH: Probably most of them don’t.

MS: So 31%, according to the UK stats. The stats from I think it was 2019, it’s probably gotten worse, not better. 31% of the UK workforce has got a long-term chronic condition. And the HR Person won’t know what that is, whether it’s pre-diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, or whatever it is. That’s where we see great diversity and the kinds of people that we’re engaging with on the platform.

TH:  As you said at the top of the call, it’s a mission-driven enterprise and one that I think is got a hugely impactful opportunity to change down to an individual level. 

So, you know, for those reasons, I wish you every success with the venture and creating change in a world that perhaps needs as much help as it can get. In a country where NHS is probably been honest, underfunded and under stress and pressure.

MS:  Yeah, I think it’s the fact that the NHS is brilliant at managing acute issues. It just was never designed for health, wellness and coaching service. They are trying to address it. But as I mentioned before, I think government policy is always subject to lobbying by industry interests, whereas we are not.

Our sole interest is that you as our client, we’re going to do whatever we can that’s good for you.

TH: Great stuff. So the final question, in terms of funding and investment in the future, is how big this could get? 

How much ambition do you have for Added Health and what will you need along the way in order to get you to the end goals at stake?

MS: Yeah. So we are hugely ambitious in the sense that, you know, you spoke about earlier that this could go global. There’s no reason why it couldn’t. 

Yeah. So we want to really start here in the UK, make it a real success story for the UK health and wellness market. Globally the health and wellness market is enormous. It’s a $1.5 trillion market, according to McKinsey.

We think that there are huge numbers of people that could benefit from what we doing. Because it’s scalable, it’s the brain’s trust. And of course, as we go, we’d get more brain trust from other cultures and societies. To make sure that we are putting the messaging and the coaching across in the right kind of way, in the right kind of language.

But it’s the same basic information we talked about physiology, the common body and the common mind. We are Homo sapiens, we are gregarious primates that love to get together, chat, talk and interact with one another. Yeah, we think that it’s totally global. 

The potential is enormous.

TH: Fantastic. So pleased to be able to share your story and learn about it. I appreciate it’s a pretty early stage for you guys, but I can really see the opportunity and believe in the mission. 

Congratulations on getting off the ground. I wish you all the best in scaling!

MS: Thank you. It’s a real pleasure to get to know you.

Looking to diversify and grow your scaling company?