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Innovation & Job News

DC-based Audax Health to hire additional staff, open third office

Audax Health, a health and wellness technology company, is hiring about ten employees and opening a third office in Reston, Va. The company, which was founded in 2010 by Grant Verstandig, currently has locations in D.C. and San Francisco and has a staff of approximately 90. "We will easily be in the low 100s by the end of the year," says Tom Perrault, chief people officer for Audax.

According to Perrault, Audax provides a "point of differentiation" for health insurance companies. "So much of what [providers and health care companies] offer is commoditized," he explains. "We provide a way—a tool—for employees to stay healthy and well."

The additional office and staff will support the rollout of that tool--Zensey; it's currently in beta and is only available through providers and health care companies. Zensey is a web-based and soon-to-be mobile service that gives people access to health guidance and counseling. Perrault likens it to financial management website Mint.com; just as a user of that service platform uploads their financial data to receive guidance and advice about their financial health, Zensey uses data to help users manage their physical health and wellbeing.

"People don't like scolding, or being told to eat their beans," Perrault says, "so you have to incentivize them." One way Zensey motivates users is through the Battle by the Bay, a "healthy competition" that pits users or teams against one another to see who can complete a virtual racecourse first.

Currently Audax has partnered with Cigna to roll Zensey out to a select user group. According to Perrault, the company is talking with other health care organizations.

Perrault calls Zensey a "win-win-win. It's a win for employees, employers and health insurance companies." The tool fits into what Perrault sees as a larger movement of people taking control of their health, as evidenced by an explosion of wearable measurement devices such as FitBit and Jawbone's UP. JawBone recently announced its purchase of BodyMediaFit, which Perrault did not find surprising.

"[The acquisition] is a nice validation of the space we're in," he explains. "Between health savings accounts and the Affordable Care Act…the system is set up to incentivize people, to create savings for [both] people and the system. It's one more validation that this is the right space to be in."

Read more articles by Allyson Jacob.

Allyson Jacob is a writer originally hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is the Innovation and Job News editor for Elevation DC. Her work has been featured in The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati CityBeat. Have a tip about a small business or start-up making waves inside the Beltway? Tell her here.
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