In 2013, Jeff Dachis was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and saw firsthand the lack of support, education, and accessibility that can come with a chronic condition. Knowing there had to be a better way, he founded One Drop just two years later with a clear goal in mind: to transform the way people with diabetes and other chronic conditions think about and manage their health. Now, with a team of nearly 200 people, One Drop is working toward that mission and serving more than 1.5 million people with chronic conditions around the globe with a mobile app that features credentialed health coaches and a selection of health tech tools to help you track your blood sugar, weight, and blood pressure. So, who makes One Drop the platform that it is today?
Who Makes One Drop?
Of course, One Drop would be nothing without our members. Since the app uses machine learning technology and behavioral data science to deliver timely health predictions, prompts, and insights, that means One Drop’s platform is literally learning from you and your experiences—plus the experiences of the 1.5 million other members on the app—to help everyone improve their self-care. The more people on the platform, the more One Drop’s algorithm can learn, and the better your experience is as you navigate life with a chronic condition.
But who exactly is behind the scenes creating those machine learning models, applying those behavioral data science techniques, and connecting the science to real-world health outcomes? In order to make One Drop a single integrated experience that’s personalized to each individual member, a diverse team of skilled individuals comes together to collaborate. It’s a complex and layered effort made possible by multiple teams, from technologists and executives to credentialed health coaches.
Below, learn about some of the leaders making a change here at One Drop.
Dan Goldner, PhD, Executive Vice President of Advanced Technologies
As executive vice president of advanced technologies at One Drop, Dan Goldner, PhD, leads a team that studies all of the data that One Drop members enter into the app—blood sugar, blood pressure, weight, food, exercise, medications, etc.—and creates machine learning models that can identify patterns and trends among all that information.
How do the models do this? “They learn from experience,” explains Goldner. “What we’re basically doing is taking our data and organizing it in a certain way so that, as we get more data from One Drop members over time, that new data can be matched up with the old data in a way that allows us to make accurate predictions” about health markers such as blood sugar.
In other words, the goal is to summarize each One Drop member’s data, then compare those summaries with one another, continues Goldner. “These summaries are called features,” he says. “Inventing and testing possible features is a large part of data science. We brainstorm features and test them to see if they help the models make the predictions they’re supposed to make.”
Thanks to his background as a former high school math teacher, Goldner knows how to foster a culture of collaboration and communication so that these complex data science concepts are applied in a way that truly improves the One Drop experience. Whether that means working with the behavior science and brand voice teams to craft the right language in the app’s health insights and prompts, or ensuring that the coaches on our clinical operations team can help One Drop members understand their own health data, everyone shares a common goal: to create something that empowers people with chronic conditions to feel confident about managing their health.
Feeling inspired? Learn more about data science career opportunities at One Drop.
Rachel Sánchez-Madhur, Executive Vice President of Product and Programs
Rachel Sánchez-Madhur joined One Drop when it was a team of just five people. As someone who lives with type 1 diabetes, Sánchez-Madhur says she has “a deep degree of empathy” for people who live with a chronic condition and the challenges that come with it. Much like Dachis, she's long recognized the lack of support and resources that are given to people when they're first diagnosed with diabetes and other chronic conditions, and she joined the One Drop team in its early stages to be part of a better solution for both herself and those in her shoes.
With a background in law, Sánchez-Madhur initially led the charge in anything and everything that involved writing, whether it was copywriting for the website or writing blogs about chronic conditions. She also found herself channeling that innate sense of empathy on the consumer marketing and customer support side of the business in those early days, but eventually shifted her focus to product and brand strategy, including everything from social media and public relations to creative direction and brand voice.
Now, as executive vice president of product and programs at One Drop, Sánchez-Madhur approaches her work from a more holistic perspective, conceptualizing the different collections of features and experiences that One Drop can deliver to improve self-care for people living with chronic conditions. “We’re making something that isn’t just an app for tracking your food; we’re driving real health outcomes,” she says.
As someone who lives with a chronic condition, Sánchez-Madhur has “always tried to maintain a deep understanding of our members and what they need,” she shares. (Learn more about her experience with type 1 diabetes here.)
“When someone downloads an app like One Drop, they’re probably not in the most positive headspace,” she explains. "You might have just gotten diagnosed with a chronic condition, or maybe you’ve gotten some bad news about your health and know that you need to get back on track. I think it’s really important that we’re aware of that fact when we’re building different features in the app, and that we try to create something that helps you see the positive steps you’re taking for yourself.”
"We try to create something that helps you see the positive steps you’re taking for yourself."
Sánchez-Madhur and her team may technically be designing “programs,” she continues, “but as someone who actually lives with a chronic condition, let me tell you: This is not a program. It’s your whole life. And the point isn’t to ‘fix’ anyone; it’s about shifting your mindset about these programs and thinking of them as a utility for your body—something that really enables you and empowers you.”
Rachel Yap-Martens, Executive Vice President of Commercial Solutions and Corporate Strategy
Rachel Yap-Martens came to One Drop with about a decade of experience in integrated diabetes care solutions, during which time she got a “front-row seat” to how the industry works, as she describes it.
Now, as One Drop’s executive vice president of commercial solutions and corporate strategy, Yap-Martens is dedicated to building a multifaceted, human-centered product for people living with chronic conditions. Her role encompasses a wide range of responsibilities, including One Drop’s cardiometabolic solutions team, brand partnerships, marketing operations, communications team, and customer care team.
“Together, we work in concert to maximize the overall value of One Drop both in the near and long-term,” explains Yap-Martens. “For us, building a human-centered product is about prioritizing the needs of our members first and foremost in what and how we choose to build. This goes beyond the features of our solution and into the choices that we must make to ensure that our offerings are accessible and affordable to the people we want to serve.”
That means partnering with brands such as Withings and Bayer that not only share our human-centered vision but also acknowledge “the reality of comorbidities” among people who live with chronic conditions, says Yap-Martens. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 27% of U.S adults live with not just one, but multiple chronic conditions.
“It’s critical that we treat our members as humans first, and not as a series of conditions,” continues Yap-Martens. One Drop’s platform not only recognizes the complexity of comorbid chronic conditions, she explains, but also provides “a single integrated experience personalized to the individual member regardless of the number of conditions they manage.”
Brian Kemper, Executive Vice President of Commercial Execution
Brian Kemper joined One Drop more than three years ago, leaving a successful career at Roche to accelerate the growth of One Drop’s enterprise offering. Now, as executive vice president of commercial execution, he leads a team of people across sales, marketing, and customer success that support One Drop’s employer program. Through the program, self-insured employers can support the needs of employees who live with chronic conditions and help bring down their organization’s healthcare costs.
“We’re here to provide solutions that help employees and their families lead healthier lives,” shares Kemper. Whether that means improvements in blood sugar, blood pressure, or weight, “the goal is for our program to deliver clinical outcomes that lead to a reduction in total healthcare costs for the employers.” Considering the total estimated medical cost of diabetes care alone was around $327 billion in 2017, it’s crucial that we work to bring these costs down and make self-care more accessible to people living with chronic conditions.
In order for our employer program to succeed, Kemper says cross-team collaboration is “extremely important.”
“We rely heavily on support from our creative services team, cardiometabolic team, product team, clinical operations team, and so many others,” explains Kemper. “We come together to do joint planning, prioritize deliverables, and, overall, ensure timely and high-quality execution to deliver on our business objectives.”
Brian Huddleston, Senior Vice President of Data Security and Compliance
Being a One Drop member inherently means sharing quite a lot of health data with the app in order to gain access to deeper insights, recommendations, prompts, and more. Using his 25 years of experience in cybersecurity, Brian Huddleston, executive vice president of data security and compliance at One Drop, is in charge of keeping all of that data safe.
“Our members are extending a tremendous amount of trust by providing us with their health data,” shares Huddleston. “Our job is to make sure that data is safe and secure.”
How do he and his team accomplish this? “We use technical safeguards to make sure that the data is encrypted in storage and in transit,” explains Huddleston. “We also make sure everyone at One Drop has security training and understands the controls and policies that are in place.”
In other words, it’s not enough just to have those technical data security safeguards in place. “You need both people and technology,” stresses Huddleston, which is why cross-team collaboration is crucial, he adds.
“Security is definitely one of the most collaboration-heavy disciplines out there,” he explains. “We have to work with the product team to make sure that security is baked into everything we do. We work with the engineering team to share the latest techniques and threats, and to evolve our controls. We work with the enterprise team and our enterprise members to provide safe ways for us to receive data and ensure that our members’ security commitments and standards are met.”
Luc Gregoire, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at One Drop
In 2020, One Drop was a company of just 40 people. Fast-forward one year, and we’ve reached nearly 200 employees—growth that would not have been possible without Luc Gregoire, chief financial officer (CFO) at One Drop.
Since joining the team in early 2020, Gregoire has been focused on setting up the company for financial success by implementing internal controls and processes that support One Drop’s rapid growth. (In case you missed it, One Drop recently ranked 287 on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500™, a ranking of the 500 fastest-growing tech companies in North America.)
“In addition to addressing fundamental processes for the business, I’ve also been deeply involved with the rest of the leadership team in formulating a business strategy that fulfills our mission,” shares Gregoire. “To do our job well on the finance side, we have to be centrally connected in our business, helping everyone budget, resource, and measure their various strategies and progress.”
Budgets and profits aside, Gregoire knows that being a true leader in the healthtech space isn’t just about dollars and cents; it’s about keeping individual health and well-being as a primary focus.
“There are many unmet population health needs today, and there’s a lot of room for value creation both for health conditions and the economic value that comes from that,” explains Gregoire. “If we keep those priorities in that order, I’m confident we’ll be both successful at and fulfilled by the work that we do.”