Wellbeing Starts With Why The magnitude of change impacting our work and families continues to push organizations and their employees to their limits. Now more than ever we need solutions that get to the root of the problem, not simply treating the symptoms.

Vic Strecher, PhD

Tech Brief

Imagine a world where wellbeing goes beyond ‘eat-move-sleep.’ Beyond incentivized clicks. Beyond wellness portals. Beyond placing all of the obligation for effort (and blame) on employees. It’s time for a new approach to employee wellbeing, fueled by one of the most powerful intrinsic motivator science has ever studied — purpose. Peer-reviewed neuroscientific research reveals that a sense of purpose is shown to raise resilience, catalyze behavior change, build emotional self-regulation skills, and have positive physiological and epigenetic benefits. Courageous and empathetic leaders who invest in helping their workforce become more purposeful, reap benefits like less burnout, stronger loyalty, and lowered mental and physical health risk and cost. Kumanu is the first purpose-centered wellbeing solution that addresses the root causes of wellbeing: Personal, Organizational and Social Determinants of Health. Kumanu’s solution: --Builds daily purposeful mindsets and behaviors --Promotes a culture of wellbeing and inclusion --Helps extinguish burnout --Gives employees a truly personalized wellbeing experience --Uncovers and addresses essential need challenges --Meets people where they are --Incorporates multiple channels of delivery --Bolsters use and relevance of benefits and community-based resources --Serves as the cornerstone of sustainable results Kumanu’s multimodal communications, experiences, and insights offer employers wellbeing beyond the current status quo. Employees engage in many ways, including ecological momentary “check ins,” aided by machine learning to continually tailor habit-based tips. The SDOH assessment and resource navigation address essential needs and health equity issues for struggling employees. For leaders, Kumanu leverages larger data sets to provide unique insights at the individual and organizational level.

Problem Tech Solves

Kumanu helps employers build a better model of employee and organizational wellbeing by addressing the root causes: Personal, Organizational, and Social Determinants of Health. In a world of change fueled by pandemic, social, economic, and environmental stressors, employers need to quickly evolve their approach to employee wellbeing, or remain at increasing risk for higher turnover, disengagement, and health costs. For decades, traditional wellness platforms have focused on the ‘what’ to change, over-indexing on the basic behaviors of diet, exercise, and sleep, followed by suggestions around ‘how to change.’ The typical focus on “fixing” the employee and using financial incentives to induce clicks or taps, while ignoring deeper intrinsic motivations – such as purpose – and social factors such as culture and SDOH – have led to suboptimal results. Global surveys by WTW, found employees gave employer-based programs an average Net Promoter Score of -51. Kumanu, in contrast, helps create deeper and more enduring change by getting to the heart of the matter–starting with ‘why’ (purpose) and addressing context (culture and SDOH). The critical gaps Kumanu’s solution fills are: --Starting with culture over “check-box” employee benefit design --Motivating with purpose and meaning (intrinsic) over pay for clicks (extrinsic) --Addressing essential needs (social determinants of health) ahead of step challenges --Interacting with participants at the speed of life through dynamic on-going “check-ins,” (ecological momentary assessments), as opposed to static once a year wellness assessments --Producing deeper insights, like an “emotional weather map” of the organization that connects wellbeing and business metrics


Kumanu was founded on a robust body of evidence that connects purpose to better physical, mental, social, and organizational health outcomes. Our world-class research team is led by our founder, Dr. Vic Strecher, who served as PI or co-author on over 100 academic studies related to purpose, health communications, and behavior change. A peer-reviewed study using the Kumanu platform in connection with dozens of Ovarian Cancer patients is expected to be published soon. An internally run randomized waitlist control trial completed in 2018, found clinically and statistically significant reduction in depressive symptoms in a cohort of 293 nurses. A few of the many studies that are related to Kumanu’s intervention model, including studies by CEO, Vic Strecher (noted with *) appear below. --*Enhances sleep quality [N=4144; J Behav Med 2015 Jun;38(3):590-7.] --Improves diabetes management [N=312; Prim Care Diabetes. 2013 Oct;7(3):213-21.] --*Increases use of preventive healthcare services [N=7168; Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Nov 18;111(46):16331-6.] --Increases levels of energy and willpower [N=1122; Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2015 Nov;88(8):1077-86.] --Lowers incidence of depression [N=5566; J Affect Disord. 2010 May;122(3):213-7.] Claims Research Critical to our conversations with employers is sharing an independent analysis of claims on a high-risk population using Kumanu’s platform. This independent analysis found a 30% reduction in claims costs over a 12 month period with most savings coming from outpatient pharmacy, outpatient service, and inpatient medical services.