Statin therapy has been used for decades to lower cholesterol with the goal of reducing mortality and preventing cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks and strokes. Hims & Hers announced a new service offering for health consumers and clinicians concerned about heart health called Heart Health by Hims.
This is Hims & Hers’ first foray into cardiovascular health, working in collaboration with the American College of Cardiology (ACC). ACC clinical guidelines will inform the Hims’ provider platform for the program.
“Prevention is the ideal mechanism to decrease cardiovascular events and ensure optimal heart health and requires an infrastructure for screening individuals and empowering them to actively reduce risk factors like cholesterol levels before heart disease develops,” Dr. Ami Bhatt, Chief Innovation Office for the ACC is quoted in the press release.
Hims & Hers will also ally with Labcorp to be the patient channel/front door to lab-based heart health testing, the results of which will flow into Hims & Hers’ electronic medical record.
Hims started its life first as a destination for men’s health, and in particular, as a direct-to-consumer offering for erectile dysfunction. Focusing on that condition required developing trusted relationships with men across generations — as Hims wanted to reach, in their words, “millions of fathers, sons, grandfathers and husbands” to address multiple health issues. Heart disease is the #1 cause of death for men worldwide, so Hims seeks this heart-health mission as core to its growth and mission.
ED symptoms can precede cardiovascular disease by two to three years in advance, and with that in mind, this strategy for Heart Health by Hims was born.
The approach will build on patient research into medication adherence which has found that simplifying drug regimens can improve adherence — such as offering a single-pill combination therapy addressing both ED and high cholesterol.
Here’s a video where Co-founder and CEO Andrew Dudum talks about the program.
Health Populi’s Hot Points: The drivers of heart health (aka Social Determinants of Health, or SDoH) are numerous and most modifiable at the individual and community level. The profound impacts that nutrition, fitness and exercise, and education have on a person’s well-being bolster cardiovascular health.
These factors are influenced and shaped by public policy at local, state, and national/Federal levels.
Access to health insurance/care coverage, too, is a key driver of health. Increasingly, and accelerated in the pandemic, more patients as health consumers have taken on self-care seeking services and products to consume at home and in the community. More people seek healthy food to bolster various aspects of their well-being and/or to address medical conditions (like heart disease, or preventing it).
Consider this ecosystem diagram from the World Heart Federation, roadmap for digital health in cardiology.
It’s a circular, iterative process of empowering patients and providers, improving long-term patient outcomes and patient experience, promoting universal health services coverage, and ultimately reducing health care costs.
More patients as consumers are adopting and sticking with digital health devices — in the case of heart health, blood pressure monitors and smartwatches that have incorporated sensors for heart rate and other CV metrics — along with tracking food, exercise, and mood, all important components for holistic health. U.S. consumers’ purchases of wearable tech and tech for health will persist in 2023, according to the latest read from the Consumer Technology Association — but would be bolstered through more clinical prescribing-recommending and subsidizing by health plans and employers.
The Heart Health by Hims program, in partnership with ACC, is an example of the growing ecosystem for retail health where homes are re-imagined as personal sites for health. In this case, bolstering two aspects of health at once, ED and heart health, helps the consumer bring together and streamline care in terms of health information, medication, lab testing, and professional/clinical advice and intervention through a trusted professional organization (the ACC).
One can imagine incorporating food and recipes, a grocery store or food ecommerce partner, and fitness collaborator (say, gym chain or digital fitness/wearable vendor) in this mix.