Ahead of his speaking role at Future Food-Tech, San Francisco, we spoke to Rodrigo Oliveira, Chief Technology Officer at WW, formerly Weight Watchers, about digital technology and using data for personalization and supporting consumer goals.
How is WW approaching innovation and leveraging new technologies to strengthen its position as a company that helps consumers build healthier habits and improve their lifestyle?
Technology delivers the WW experience for millions of WW members and is the foundation of our wellness ecosystem. We are continuously innovating and have made several enhancements to our digital experience. We launched a partnership with Aaptiv to support members’ activity, a partnership with Headspace to aid in a helpful mindset, launched our first-ever rewards program, WellnessWins, that rewards healthy behaviors to provide motivation, and launched Connect Groups to facilitate even more personalized communities on our Connect platform. Our latest food program innovation called my WW leverages technology to match new WW members with a plan (Green, Blue or Purple) that fits their lives based on a personal assessment they take about their behavior and lifestyle.
What are the opportunities for food and data to work closer together? Are there any success stories that you’d like to share?
The intersection of food and data is exactly what we work in at WW. When our members use the WW app to enter the food they eat throughout the day, we are better able to personalize a program that works for them and their lifestyle as seen in my WW. There is tremendous opportunity to create an even more personalized experience for our members, which is a huge focus of ours currently.
What is the most exciting new piece of technology, which you see being implemented in the next decade, that has the potential to transform the health sector?
It’s exciting to see the amount of work being done in health tech since it has such potential to transform our world for the better. The main thing I see being implemented is how the world is becoming more and more personalized via data science and machine learning. These things can help expand our offerings and cater to individuals though it’s critical to not lose sight of the human factor and community that is core to who we are.
As a leader in health tech, what one piece of advice would you give to someone wanted to get started in the space?
It is incredibly gratifying to help others and tech is at the forefront of being able to expand your offerings. Throughout my career, my gratification often came from simply solving technical problems. When I joined WW in 2015, I quickly realized that here, our technical solutions had greater meaning and impact than I could have ever imagined. At WW, we have the opportunity to leverage technology to truly change people’s lives, a responsibility that I am incredibly grateful to play a role in.
What developments are a priority for WW over the next 12 months? What partnerships and collaborations are of interest, and who will you be looking to meet at Future Food-Tech San Francisco?
We have a lot of initiatives in the works. Next year we will launch Virtual Group Coaching which will allow for some of the magic that happens in the Studio to be experienced virtually. We are also continuing to serve up customized content for members on different plans through the my WW Beyond that, we have lots more going on and we will be continuing to invest in both our people and our platforms over the coming years.
Rodrigo will be speaking on the panel Nutrition and Tech: Enabling Digital to Drive Lifestyle Changes on Day 1 of the Future Food-Tech, San Francisco Summit.