Healthtech Leader of the Month: Ade Adesanya

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For the July installment of the Healthtech Leader of the Month series, we spoke to Ade Adesanya, Co-founder and President of Movn Health. Ade is a Rosenman Founder and ADAPT awardee recipient in 2022. 

Movn Health is a leading national telehealth provider of remote cardiac rehab and cardiovascular prevention programs. Developed in partnership with Stanford University, Movn Health aims to increase access to cardiac rehab nationwide. 

Heartfelt Challenges: Navigating the Landscape of Cardiac Rehab

From his roots in Lagos, Nigeria, to a flourishing career in the healthcare industry in the United States, Ade’s journey to leading Movn Health is inspiring. Arriving in the US in 2007 to study electrical engineering at the University of Houston, Ade’s educational pursuits led him to a Master’s in engineering management from the University of Southern California, where he met co-founders Shuo Qiao and Harsh Vathsangam. Ade describes the founding of Movn Health as a “mission to find opportunity in healthcare where we could make a difference.” Through several clinician interviews and a pivotal meeting with the American Heart Association, Ade and his team saw the opportunity in cardiac rehab and got to work. Shortly after, Movn Health was born. 

Movn Health has emerged as the leading national telehealth provider of remote cardiac rehab and cardiovascular prevention programs. Movn Health’s programs are based on over 30 years of published research, addressing the stark reality that 80% of Americans do not have access to cardiac rehab. Without proper rebab, patients face a 40% chance of getting a second heart attack or getting readmitted in that year, along with increased anxiety. “Patients who’ve had a traumatic cardiac event need support right after the event, but the biggest challenge is accessibility,” Ade comments.

Whether it be limited locations, transportation challenges, high out-of-pocket costs, or long waitlists, Ade’s mission is to eliminate barriers to cardiac rehab through Movn’s virtual care model. The virtual care model incorporates digital tools and platforms that enable patients to engage in rehab exercises, monitor vital signs, and communicate with healthcare professionals seamlessly. Patients can chat with their health team anytime through a specialized app, and special monitoring tools provide continuous oversight of vitals and symptoms. Insurance often covers the program entirely, reducing financial burdens. “We aim to make healthcare accessible and personalized,” Ade states.

Movn’s success lies in its collaboration with Stanford University School of Medicine, basing its approach on MULTIFIT, an evidence-based system for chronic care management. Proven to improve outcomes and reduce readmissions for various cardiac-related conditions, MULTIFIT’s impact has surfaced, having already positively affected 70,000 patients at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California. “The clinicians who designed the program have also joined us. Together, we’ve taken that to a whole new level,” Ade adds.  

Leader to Leader: 3 Lessons Learned 

1. Lead With Empathy

Ade emphasizes the importance of leading with empathy in the health-tech space. “It is easy to want to push your ideas, but it is integral to understand other people’s views before jumping to solutions,” Ade says. Movn Health uses the phrase “Empathy guides expertise” as a reminder of this sentiment.

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions 

You will never have all the answers,” Ade states clearly. “Be honest about what you don’t know, and find the right experts to help you fill in the gaps,” Ade advises. He believes this principle drives collaboration and innovation.  

3. Keep an Open Mind & Put Yourself Out There 

“I grew up in Nigeria, I am an engineer by training, but now I’m a founder of a leading cardiac rehabilitation company,” With a unique and non-linear career journey, he encourages others to embrace unexpected opportunities, believing they might lead to discovering a niche where they excel. 

New Avenues for Research

The next step for Movn Health is to continue to validate its programs and push the boundaries of care. Research with Movn has shown impressive results, including a 60% enrollment rate, an 80% graduation rate at 90 days, and a 76% improvement in functional capacity. Further, expanding into heart failure and rehab for pulmonary disease patients are new applications Movn hopes to tackle in future years. 

Ade Adesanya’s leadership at Movn Health is a testament to innovation, empathy, and the pursuit of improving cardiac care accessibility. Through technology, evidence-based practices, and an unwavering commitment to patient needs, Ade and his team are shaping the future of cardiac rehab. 

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