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OpenAI Startup Fund & Arianna Huffington's Thrive Global Create New Company, Thrive AI Health, To Launch Hyper-Personalized AI Health Coach

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Health and wearables product leader DeCarlos Love leaves Google to serve as CEO

The Alice L. Walton Foundation to be a strategic investor to leverage AI to make a healthier life accessible to all

SAN FRANCISCO, July 8, 2024-- The OpenAI Startup Fund and Thrive Global announced today the creation of a new company, Thrive AI Health, exclusively devoted to building an AI health coach. The company's mission is to use AI to democratize access to expert-level health coaching to improve health outcomes. This will also address growing health inequities by bringing the power of behavior change to the urgent challenge of chronic diseases.

The company will be funded by the OpenAI Startup Fund and Thrive Global as lead investors. The Alice L. Walton Foundation is a strategic investor in the new company, underscoring Thrive AI Health's focus on health equity.

As Sam Altman and Arianna Huffington wrote in an op-ed in TIME, "So much of the conversation around AI has been about how much time it will save us and how productive it will make us. But AI could go well beyond efficiency and optimization to something much more fundamental: improving both our health spans and our lifespans. Because health is also what happens between doctor visits. In the same way the New Deal built out physical infrastructure to transform the country, AI will serve as part of the critical infrastructure of a much more effective health care system that supports everyday people's health in an ongoing way. These are some of the ideas behind Thrive AI Health."

DeCarlos Love, a product leader who was most recently at Google, will be CEO of the new company. At Google, he led sensors, AI & ML algorithms as well as health and fitness experiences across all devices and platforms, including Fitbit by Google Fitness, Pixel Watch and Wear OS. Prior to Google, Love held product roles at Apple and Athos. His passion and experience are further cemented from spending time as a coach for different sports as well as developing a childhood obesity program in his hometown of Minneapolis.

Thrive AI Health will use the power of generative AI to hyper-personalize and scale behavior change across the five key and interconnected daily behaviors that govern our health: sleep, food, fitness, stress management and connection. Given that behavior accounts for a significant share of health outcomes than medical care or our genes, by adopting healthier habits in these five behaviors, people can make dramatic improvements in health outcomes.

The Thrive AI Health Coach will be an essential tool for both prevention and for optimizing the treatment of disease through an AI personal context engine that understands the user and generates personalized AI-driven insights; proactive, multimodal, expert-level coaching as well as nudges and recommendations unique to each user across the five behaviors. They will all be powered by a unified health data platform with robust privacy and security guardrails to deliver a transformative health experience. The Thrive AI Health Coach will be trained on the latest peer-reviewed science, biometric, lab and other medical data, as well as users' personal preferences and goals around the five key daily behaviors.

The new company will leverage resources from OpenAI and Thrive Global, including Thrive Global's leading behavior change methodology, Microsteps and content library. Thrive AI Health will also take advantage of the latest developments in AI, including enhanced long-term memory capabilities and a custom-developed behavioral coaching model with domain-specific customization, to empower individuals to take action across these five daily behaviors and improve health outcomes.

"Recent advancements in artificial intelligence present an unprecedented opportunity to make behavior change much more powerful and sustainable," said DeCarlos Love, Thrive AI Health CEO. "AI has shown a remarkable ability to assimilate large datasets, extract actionable insights, recognize patterns, and deliver personalized recommendations. However, despite these technological advances, the current landscape of large language models (LLMs) still falls short of delivering a truly comprehensive and effective personalized behavior change and coaching experience. Thrive AI Health Coach is the product to solve the limitations of current AI and LLM-based solutions by providing personalized, proactive, and data-driven coaching across the five daily behaviors. This is how it will improve health outcomes, reduce healthcare costs and significantly impact chronic diseases worldwide."

"Through AI, we can make health and wellness opportunities more accessible for all," says Alice Walton, founder of the Alice L. Walton Foundation, Heartland Whole Health Institute, and the Alice L. Walton School of Medicine. "Thrive AI Health offers the potential of increasing access to tools that can change behaviors and ultimately increase quality of life."

The aim for the AI Health Coach is to finally reduce the trendlines on chronic diseases, which are skyrocketing around the world. In the U.S. alone, around 90% of our $4.1 trillion in healthcare spending — 17% of GDP, up from 5% in 1960 — is for the treatment of chronic and mental health conditions. A staggering 129 million Americans have at least one chronic condition, and in 2023, eight chronic conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, depression and diabetes, hit all-time highs. The status quo is unsustainable — a challenge that AI-driven hyper-personalized coaching is uniquely positioned to address.

Given that chronic diseases — like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases — are directly related to daily behaviors but not distributed equally across demographics, the Thrive AI Health Coach will leverage the power of AI to reach underserved communities. Dr. Gbenga Ogedegbe, Professor of Population Health & Medicine and Director, NYU Langone's Institute for Excellence in Health Equity, will serve as Health Equity Advisor to Thrive AI Health.

Thrive AI Health has established research partnerships with leading academic institutions and medical centers which will include bringing the AI Health Coach to their communities. Stanford Medicine, the Alice L. Walton School of Medicine and the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute at West Virginia University are launch partners.

"Working together with Stanford Medicine and Thrive AI Health, we are excited to engage our faculty and future physicians to explore the use of AI Health Coach in ways that reflect our whole health approach," said Dr. Sharmila Makhija, Founding Dean and CEO of the Alice L. Walton School of Medicine. "We strongly believe AI will positively change the future of health care, from medical education to clinical care, and we are committed to leveraging this technology to its full potential."

"At Stanford Health Care, we are committed to delivering transformative digital experiences that enhance patient care, enable cutting-edge research, and help train tomorrow's health leaders," said Dr. Michael Pfeffer, Chief Information and Digital Officer for Stanford Health Care. "We are excited to explore the potential of AI Health Coach to advance these goals for the benefit of patients and providers alike."

"For the last five years, the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute has partnered with Thrive Global, conducting clinical research studies involving over 3,000 participants linking our Human Operating System and AI-driven real time digital health insights with Thrive Global's behavior change methodology, Microsteps and content," said Dr. Ali Rezai, Director of the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute. "We are excited about this next stage collaboration with Thrive AI Health to accelerate the impact of personalized coaching to improve health, especially in rural America."

About Thrive Global

Founded by Arianna Huffington in 2016, Thrive Global is a leading behavior change technology company with the mission to improve productivity and health outcomes – one Microstep at a time. Thrive helps individuals and organizations improve well-being, performance and mental resilience with its AI-powered behavior change technology platform. Thrive's Microsteps – small, science-backed steps to improve health and productivity – have been adopted by employees at more than 200 organizations in over 160 countries, from frontline and call center workers to executives at multinational companies. For more information, visit www.thriveglobal.com.

Contact:
Libby Duke
Head of Communications, Thrive Global
libby@thriveglobal.com
917-698-4993

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