Matt Scantland Says His AndHealth App Can Reverse Migraine and Other Chronic Illnesses
The CoverMyMeds co-founder has started a new company aimed at helping users become partners in their own health care.
Entrepreneur Matt Scantland, founder of CoverMyMeds, says his new app-based
health program can reverse chronic ailments.
Matt Scantland believes his life was saved by a doctor who insisted he participate in his own health care. Now he wants others to join in their own recoveries.
In 2011, the CoverMyMeds co-founder was mentally overwrought and physically overweight, prediabetic and on a path to a heart attack before his newborn son finished high school. At that fateful moment, his doctor asked him if he would rise to the occasion and do whatever it took to see his son grow up.
Today, the entrepreneur is 50 pounds lighter, mentally and physically healthy, and building a company aimed at helping others follow suit. By putting patients’ health quite literally in the palms of their hands, AndHealth, a program that uses a smartphone interface, aims to reverse the progress of migraines and other chronic, costly and debilitating illnesses.
AndHealth, Scantland says, is “part health care provider and part software company. … We use the science of root cause medicine and behavior change to help the patient identify the behaviors that will have a big impact on their condition and that can easily fit into their lives.”
The company launched earlier this year after securing more than $57 million in financing from leading technology investor Francisco Partners, with participation from the American Medical Association’s venture funding arm, Health2047 Capital Partners, and other investors. Previously, Scantland helped lead CoverMyMeds, a pharmacy benefits software company, to rapid growth and a sale to McKesson for $1.1 billion in 2017. (His twin brother, Pete, has his own success story in Columbus-based outdoor advertising company Orange Barrel Media, which is quickly expanding nationwide.)
Scantland hopes AndHealth will not only reverse disease but help transform health care delivery.
“In our health care system, we’ve tended to ask as little as possible from patients,” Scantland says. “We got really good at treating emergencies and acute illnesses, and what that’s left is chronic disease,” which accounts for 75 to 90 percent of all U.S. health care spending, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Migraine is AndHealth’s first target. It’s one of the most common illnesses in the U.S. An estimated 40 million Americans, the majority of them women, suffer from the condition—yet there is a severe shortage of headache specialists to care for them, according to AndHealth’s website.
A migraine specialist physician is part of AndHealth’s health care delivery system, which also includes one-on-one health coaching, lab work and prescription writing. The app offers secure video and chat communication and allows patients to review their action plans, track behavior and see health outcomes.
Results of a study conducted at the University of Maryland are promising. The trial followed 84 chronic migraine patients who’d suffered symptoms for at least 15 years and found that after using AndHealth’s migraine reversal program for 90 days or more, 60 percent had experienced enough improvement that they no longer met the diagnostic criteria for migraine.
“I was incredibly impressed,” says Chris D’Adamo, director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, who analyzed the study data. D’Adamo referred his sister-in-law, who saw marked improvement after cutting back on caffeine as part of her personalized AndHealth program.
D’Adamo says AndHealth connects the dots between patient empowerment and the science of health and wellness. Nutrition, sleep, stress management and physical activity “contribute a huge part to chronic disease. … We know, scientifically, what it takes to be healthy, and technologies like this can be used to provide real-time feedback.”
AndHealth helps patients identify and address the root cause drivers of their migraines and focuses first on high-priority metrics such as severity and duration of pain, and on realistic behavior changes that will have an impact. “Not everyone is 20,000 steps and not everyone is rice cakes,” Scantland points out.
Scantland says the product is being embraced by a growing number of employers, patients and insurance brokers. This summer, it is expanding to other chronic illnesses, including rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis.
Scantland puts his product to use in his personal life. “I use the exact same approach to my own health that we practice here. … The vast majority of employees at AndHealth are here because they believe in participatory medicine, and use it in their own lives, too.”
This story is from the July 2022 issue of Columbus Monthly.