Whole Health

Dr. Ravi Komatireddy

Dr. Ravi Komatireddy is a physician and digital health entrepreneur. He is the Founder and CEO of Motiv Health, a startup passionately focused on using human and AI coaching for health, behavior change, and prevention. He is an internal medicine physician who trained at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and the University of California. Additionally, he was the first wireless digital health scholar at the Scripps Translational Science Institute, where he earned a master’s in clinical translational investigation with a focus on digital health innovation.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Dr. Ravi Komatireddy talks about his roots growing up in Missouri
  • Dr. Komatireddy discusses the technology culture in San Diego, where he trained as an internal medicine physician
  • What inspired Dr. Komatireddy to create Motiv Health?
  • Preventing disease through lifestyle changes instead of only treating patients after they are sick
  • Dr. Komatireddy describes the type of clients who excel in his program
  • Are there any clients who seem uncoachable — and can you inspire them to change?
  • The life-changing effect of coaching

In this episode…

Most doctor visits play out like this: you describe your symptoms, and they give you a pill to take. It seems easy. But will it really fix your problem? 

Maybe it will. But maybe you need to get to the root of the problem — your lifestyle choices. Instead of reacting to problems as they crop up, what if you could take small steps every day to prevent disease and health issues? Health coaches, dieticians, and personal trainers often get pushed aside. But these are the people who excel at promoting lifestyle behaviors that have proven to prevent and better manage health conditions and, in some cases, reverse them. Because in the end, it’s not just about treating one problem — it’s about caring for your whole health. 

In this episode of It’s Not Just Business Talks with Sonja, Sonja Anderson sits down with Dr. Ravi Komatireddy, Founder and CEO of Motiv Health, to discuss why paying attention to your lifestyle matters to your overall health. Dr. Komatireddy talks about taking a prevention-focused approach to your health, finding intrinsic motivation for change, and the positive impact of health coaches in the healthcare system.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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Episode Transcript

Introduction 0:04

Welcome to It’s Not Just Business Talks with Sonja, where we get down to the real business of How Great Leaders dug through their own trenches and climbed some epic mountains to get where they are today. Now let’s get started with the show

Sonja Anderson 0:26

I’m here today with Dr. Ravi Komatireddy. I’m going to add your alphabet soup since you have it MD MCTI, and he is a physician and digital health entrepreneur who is currently the founder and CEO of Moiv Health, Inc, a startup passionately focused on using human and AI coaching for health behavior and change prevention change and prevention. I think you could say that either way. He is an internal medicine physician who trained at Dartmouth, Hitchcock Medical Center, Dartmouth, Dartmouth, England, Dartmouth, New Hampshire, Dartmouth, New Hampshire, and the University of California set California San Diego. Additionally, he was the first wireless digital health scholar at the Scripps Translational Science Institute where he earned a master’s in clinical translational investigation with a focus on digital health innovation. Holy macaroni is what I have to say about that. That’s why I had to add the alphabet soup doctor, because it was like Well, there is just a lot in there. Um, wow. So okay, wait, where? Dartmouth, New Hampshire? Is that where you grew up? Is that where you started this long journey? Or did? How did you end up there?

Dr. Ravi Komatireddy 1:35

My journey started and I am I’m from the Midwest, proudly from the Midwest. Excellent. Which part of Missouri, Missouri, a little bit in New York and suburbs of Chicago, but spent most of my time in the West, and not St. Louis or Kansas City, but a smaller town. So Columbia, Missouri, which is the home of the big university there. So it was great. It was it was a little bit of everything. It was like the it was a mix of Walmart and academia, you know, the same three square blocks, right.

Sonja Anderson 2:04

Wow. And entertaining. Interesting. Culturally, the cross section of Walmart and academia. I love it.

Dr. Ravi Komatireddy 2:10

Right? Yeah, exactly. Very interesting. That’s that’s the word for it. For sure.

Sonja Anderson 2:15

And so, big family? Did you grew up there with brothers and sisters? Or were you kind of isolated in in, you know, in that part of the world? Or? I mean, my husband’s from Missouri, so I’m kind of familiar with, you know, that there was a lot of fields and chickens and farms for where he grew up. Is that kind of the life that that you led? Or was it really in town, city

Dr. Ravi Komatireddy 2:37

yields and chickens were, you know, probably 2030 minutes away? Mm hmm. You know, but we never really did that. So it was it was really lucky. I do. I had one sister, and we both grew up in a very supportive family in a really cool community. So it was you have a town, the thing about university towns is that by their very nature, they’re just extremely diverse. You’ve got people from all these different backgrounds, and high level degrees and training. And then they have kids, and so you end up hanging out hanging out with their kids and all the other kids do other stuff in the town. So it’s a pretty mixed group. I remember that, that Friday Night Lights view of the American High School. We didn’t know that like our high school was very different. It was not the Cobra Kai people in little cliques getting into fights. It was everybody was surprisingly just like, Oh, cool. Okay, you’re into whatever your d&d stuff. Cool. All right. That’s cool. We get that. And then you’re like, you’re skateboarding crap. You’re like, Oh, that’s cool. Everyone was just kind of accepted. So it was a very unique situation, 

Sonja Anderson 3:37

almost unheard of, actually, for for schools. I mean, maybe maybe it was that generation too. But I would say that maybe it’s that area, because my husband reports the same sort of just everybody just goes outside and they get on their bikes, and they ride around and they do their thing and totally accepting of little kids, older kids all just getting together. Maybe it’s your maybe it’s the culture in that environment in that

Dr. Ravi Komatireddy 4:00

it is, it is and then you know, geography matters a lot, right? So you’re in the middle of these two big cities Kansas City and St. Louis, which means that any awesome band, and we’re talking like 90s, grunge phase, right? All awesome bands, traveling on their tour from St. Louis, Kansas City or back or vice versa, are gonna go through there and hit this university town that’s full of 40,000 students or whatnot. So it’s just you really did get a cross section of what was going on in the country, right. So it wasn’t just like, oh, there’s California doing cool stuff in New York is doing cool stuff like that. You actually got a taste of all that because you were in a college town. I really appreciate that now, more than I did. Back then right back then you’re just like, I can’t wait to get out of here.

Sonja Anderson 4:47

Which is probably that’s every kid everywhere. Right? You always want to get out. We were just talking about your wife. You’re in Ireland right now and it’s gorgeous and charming. And the rest of us listening are thinking this is just so delightful and magical, and yet, having grown up there, she’s saying, I ready to go home. Get out here is that or is she loving it and you’re ready to go home?

Dr. Ravi Komatireddy 5:10

But no, I think I think the once you get a taste, it’s like this is the problem with knowledge. And this is the problem with diversity, right? It’s because you get actually this this, once you open the spice rack, at a taste of what things are, can taste like that aren’t salt and pepper and other things in that rack, you’re like, Oh, where’d that come from, and now your ambition starts to grow. And then you get quickly frustrated, when you match your ambition with where you grow up. And that’s probably true for a lot of places. If you grew up in Manhattan, maybe that’s not true. But in most places, your ambitions quickly outgrow what’s available to you. I think it’s pretty natural. So Ireland is an island. And it’s one of those places where there’s a lot of homogeneity in the culture. And also I think, culturally, it’s very much an island full of really nice people. Yeah, let’s, if we, if we skip the whole Civil War thing, for the most part, you know, it’s like, everyone’s really accepting. And it’s very much like a whole, you know, you don’t want to stand out, do you? Like, why are you showing off, it’s kind of like that, like, there’s a cultural check and balance in place. And in some ways, I think the United States is very much the opposite. It’s like, Go show off be boastful. You know, in some ways, our culture accentuates those traits and those natural tendencies that we have to be different to stand out to go the 110%. And there are real costs to that. We’ve seen those costs. Now, as we’ve been more and more attuned to the mental health problems that we’re all having. We see the real cost of doing that. But it’s just kind of ingrained to the American way. There’s something about like, Go Stake your land, go build a billion dollar business, go for it, go try it stand out, make a name for yourself. That’s not like the Irish way. Now, there’s probably a bunch of Irish people on this podcast, like, that’s not true. you’re mischaracterizing us. Maybe it’s just the feeling my, my wife in that she’s like, I want to go? 

Sonja Anderson 7:06

No, I would agree. I have colleagues in the agency world, actually, that are in Ireland, and we have a couple of clients in Ireland. And I would say that just culturally, I mean, I can’t say that those three represent the entirety of Ireland. But, you know, they, they’re, they’re humble, bash a little bit bashful. And in terms of, they may be excellent at what they do, but they may just just be a little softer about, they’re not brazen, and you identified me. I think that’s the word not scrappy, but brazen. That’s me. We were talking about how I’m a bit of a strong willed, stubborn, scrappy lady. Um, but yeah, the Irish, they are very gentle. And they’re very kind and sweet. Overall, unless they’re in fight, unless they’re fighting the Civil War. And then they’re not sweet.

Dr. Ravi Komatireddy 7:50

That’s like Indians, right? It’s i I’m gonna misquote this by it was either narrower. Gandhi was saying, like, you know, Indians are horrible when they’re violent, because they’re just really bad at it. Like when they do get mad, it gets really bad. And it’s probably something similar to and I think, coming from a family, where my parents are both immigrants from India as well. That was, if you and I’ve had this conversation, it’s a fascinating conversation to have with your immigrant parents, which is something when you’re younger, you’ve never imagined having like, this is weird. When I’m older. Now, let’s have these companies like that. Why don’t you? Why don’t you come over here? You know, I’ll just tell you, he’s like, yeah, there’s stuff happening over here. And I wanted to be part of that stuff that was happening. And over there was there was less opportunity. And that’s, that’s cool. Yeah, all the parts of the United States, especially now, I’m recording this on January 7. So after all the stuff with the with right, January 6. Now this divisive stuff going on. It’s like I looked at those those qualities of what people describe, especially immigrants, they’re like the most fiercely patriotic people, aren’t they?

Sonja Anderson 8:53

Oh, my gosh, you’re nailing that right? Yes. Yeah. 

Dr. Ravi Komatireddy 8:58

I looked at what they see to calm me down about the ISIS. Oh, not that. That’s actually we have lots of good trades. And people actually pretty nice. And I get asked sometimes, like, Oh, is it really racist in Missouri? I’m like, oh, like I’ve never. And I’ve, like, I’ve never experienced that. What I can detect ever good for you in Missouri. So it’s just it’s not a most people I think, are really,

Sonja Anderson 9:22

this country is actually pretty good. My daughter, one of my kids and I had this conversation. And I bless her heart. I mean, I have six kids in college and they’re in that process, you know, asking a lot of questions, thinking things through and they’re and they’re vulnerable. And, you know, through having been through this COVID era, right, it’s a little bit it’s a challenge if you’re in college, and but we have an American flag, but we also but and she she asked us, she said it kind of represents hate now in it to a lot of people and I said no, actually, you know, like I gave her my immigrant story, and why it actually really matters to me. But then we acquiesce We also bought our LG our pride, we got a pride flag, we got a Swedish flag, a German flag, a Scottish flag and a Seahawks flag. So now we have all the flags, but we didn’t take down the American flag, because you know, I, there are a lot of good things about this country.

Dr. Ravi Komatireddy 10:14

There are so it’s like you basically your house looks like an embassy.

Sonja Anderson 10:17

It does is the US Embassy, we have a husband, and we have the poles. And these are not small poles either. And so yeah, but you know, when you’ve got when you’ve got six kids, you kind of try to have to make some compromises and adjustments. 

Dr. Ravi Komatireddy 10:33

With six kids, your house is full of lively discussion for the last 20 years.

Sonja Anderson 10:36

In yelling, and hunger, it feels like we we don’t have they’re all gone. But when COVID happened, we’ve downsized into a little house. And then COVID happened and then they all came home. And so we had them you know, do you know the old days we had to have like a curtain between in a room to like divide who’s half of the room it was and get people on couches and in the garage? And it was nuts. But yeah, we have a very lively, wonderful group of questioning diverse children. And that’s what we want. It’s you know, but so let me ask you a question. Scripts, scripts, California. Is that where you went to your get your master’s degree?

Dr. Ravi Komatireddy 11:15

Scripps Research Institute is right. It’s in San Diego, California.

Sonja Anderson 11:19

Got it. My niece goes there not to the that. She goes to the she’s been the English in language arts, I believe program. I could say I could be saying that wrong. Because if she listens to this, she says, What are you talking about? I’m a science major. I’m going to get that totally wrong. But she says is wonderful. That sounds like a really, really interesting place to migrate from Missouri. Is that the first place you went? Or did you go first Dartmouth?

Dr. Ravi Komatireddy 11:45

Yeah, spend some time in Boston, but also went some spend some time in New Hampshire for Dartmouth. And then came back to California. San Diego’s a really interesting place. I mean, in one hand, when you say to most people, you obviously get the images of beaches, cruise ships, you know, it’s a tourist destination. I think what a lot of people don’t realize is just exactly how many Nobel Prize winners live here. Like it is an insane mecca of technology. No kidding. But you know, research in biology, chemistry, genomic ‘s, digital health it is, you know, it continues to attract all these this top talent, you know, and there are very big companies doing things that are cool in the in the space, everything from like Qualcomm to, you know, genomics companies doing cutting edge stuff with precision medicine. So it’s, it’s a really cool place. It’s just user friendly enough. Yeah, to where you can pick up the phone or send an email to somebody that you don’t really know what you want to know. And probably get a response. So it’s, it’s, it’s I like, you know, it was I didn’t really know that coming in. You know, I thought we all kind of naturally think that Silicon Valley, is kind of the paragon of that kind of environment is on steam it is in some ways, but San Diego’s kind of nice compromise because this weather’s really good. Everyone’s everyone’s happy when it’s kind of chill.

Sonja Anderson 13:11

Yeah, everyone’s Oh, wait, is um, why would you say that? Is it because of the education academia that’s in that area? Or Silicon Valley? Or why do you think there are so there are so many really frontrunners in, in, in technology and science there?

Dr. Ravi Komatireddy 13:27

They tolerate weirdos. How can we explain these weirdos? So Silicon Valley that probably needs an explanation? What? If you see and I mean, weirdo in the nicest way, in the way? Okay, I would say I’m a little bit of a weird, I’ll go with that. If you want to really push the needle on things in any field, right? So obviously, you need to come from a foundation of strong confidence. When you don’t you start making things up. We’re seeing that now with Elizabeth Holmes, yes. Oh my god, you had that strong foundation, a lot of made up things and then lots of people get hurt and blah, blah, blah, we know how that story ended. But um, and there’s, there’s good lessons to be learned there. But what I mean is, if you’re really trying to push the needle in, in some place, like you need people who are going to think a little bit differently, like to them, they just see the world differently. They’re kind of in their own world, I think, you know, we what I’m saying this, probably your listeners in already think of a few people they know like, they just wear different clothes and they don’t care. Like you don’t care what you think about that. They think it’s cool. And that’s enough for them. That kind of attitude, in in a lot of ways translates to pushing ways of thought in certain fields, whether it’s genomics or digital health, or it’s like, Hey, why are we Why do we have to go to a hospital to get care while we’re in the hospital people’s homes, horrible centers. That’s a different way of thinking and you need people who are comfortable thinking in those different ways to get things done or to lead organizations and convince people that’s the right way to think and we should try it. Some geographical places, when those people are welcome. Right so like, this is Were like the limitations of some places like, I don’t know, Missouri, it’s not the best place for that it is a place for that. But it’s like San Francisco is a much better place for that. Look at Valley, there’s a lot of crosstalk amongst people who are pushing the needle thinking differently. And those conversations are welcome. You can go to a made up group on 3d depth cameras or whatever. Next thing, you know, companies are coming out of these, these things with people just met up like, oh, we co founded this startup to see if we can, this could work. And we could do motion tracking for physical therapy, you know, whatever. It’s, that’s where these things start. And so there are these pockets of innovation like that. And I think that’s really the key. It’s not that there’s like, cool co working space, or there’s a beach nearby or whatever that stuff is a bonus. Yeah, really need to welcome different

Sonja Anderson 15:48

minds and think, yeah, different ways of thinking. Absolutely. I mean, and I would say that you I mean, I, you moved. And I know, I know, this is a more recent development over the last few years, but you actually became really involved in and founded Motiv Health, which I’d love you to tell us about. Because it is a different way of thinking it is it we’ve gone through a few dialogues around it, and I have learned a great deal about it. But tell tell me how you can’t Where did that, you know, Wellspring or that idea come from?

Dr. Ravi Komatireddy 16:17

Yeah, the interesting thing about Motiv, I think the problem is very familiar to all of us. And I’m just taking a different approach and how to solve it. I want to focus my time and energy to solving this problem prevention. The thing is, Sonja, when I look at the landscape of diseases that are affecting not just like, our the date of our death, or longevity, but just how we live like, well or not, so these cluster of things that are affecting us, cardio metabolic diseases, our makeup, the biggest cluster in that list, right, so things like stroke, heart disease, vascular disease, problems, your metabolism, insulin, handling glucose, these are all driven by inflammation like this, this, this chronic systemic inflammation. And this inflammation is not just inflammation, but it’s it’s there’s other factors as well. But this is coming from lifestyle. So one thing we know, as a medical community, I think people intuitively know this too, and 2022. It’s like how you eat and sleep and exercise and control your stress, and control anxiety, your attitude towards these stressors in your life. And these sorts of things, these mindset stuff is super important. When you develop these diseases can manage them, if you already have them, or even in some cases, reverse them. So we’re looking at this fact that we know we’ve known for a while that most of the stuff we’re dying from is preventable, not all of it, right? Have it and you guys certainly delay it, we know that we have really good evidence for that. So I don’t, then you take that fact. And then you look at how we’re doing health care in United States. And there’s just a humongous gap. Sure. So the health care experience for most people is humiliating, horrible, and you’re subjected to something like 12 minute visits with a physician who has no training in the foundational therapy for these diseases, the foundational therapy for these diseases lifestyle, yet, our healthcare system has been completely unable to deliver the most impactful types of therapy that treated the most impactful types of diseases. This is insane to me,

Sonja Anderson 18:21

right? So they’re, they’re designed to treat once you’ve already gotten incredibly sick, right? And not even necessarily treat I’m sorry, that’s not the right word. What would you call it? Suppress? Or how would you describe just take medicine and manage ambassadors

Dr. Ravi Komatireddy 18:39

manage it, which management means Hey, you’re stuck with this, take some pills and figure it out. And yes, we should tell you something about eating better, or whatever. So when I see that, and it really bothers me, and I think, Okay, this is a problem. And it’s most of these decisions around these lifestyle, things are not happening in the hospital or in your clinic visit, I don’t know, 5000 minutes in a year, most of these decisions are happening at home and at work. That’s where health actually happens. And that’s exactly where we as physicians have not been traditionally good at getting. The good news about and the good news about this is that we don’t you know, I think that health is a team sport. And keeping people healthy is something that should be done in a collaborative way with the patient at the center. And the other members of that team, who we can pass the ball to are some people that we’ve just ignored or been siloed off from and those are health coaches, dieticians, personal trainers, people who are really good at promoting the types of lifestyle behaviors that we know can prevent and better manage these conditions that people are getting, and delay them from happening to a much later date in life. So a better model instead of being instead of treating these things reactively not how do we apply and bring this kind of health care team to people where they needed the most at home? In a way that’s persuasive, that people have tried that,

Sonja Anderson 20:04

in a way that’s persuasive I have, I’m going to flag that because I have a question about that carry on.

Dr. Ravi Komatireddy 20:09

Yeah. And not to, not to poopoo, the entire healthcare system. You know, if you look, if you look at what we’re we’re amazingly good at some things absolutely miraculous in 100 years, if you 100 years ago, if you told people, you know, when you have a heart attack, most places United States, how rural you are, or whatever, you can get your heart artery open in the cath lab table by a trained expert in 90 minutes, and they can save your life. That is an incredible achievement in the same way that the vaccines that we have now for COVID incredible achievements. This is really, the we should celebrate these as the products of 1000s of people that we don’t have the names of over the years, who brought cutting edge science, technology, and translate that to the health. But we’re really good at those things. But we’re not good at preventing disease and treating these. And that’s why we have to work with to think about this problem differently. And when I look at what’s been happening over the last couple of years, I’m actually really excited. Because there’s a cultural shift. People are waking up to knowing like they’re sick and tired of being sick. Mm hmm. And they already this whether their physicians don’t understand this, or health care insurance, understand, they understand that a lot of how they feel and their disease processes have a lot to do with how they sleep and exercise. I have to convince physicians, this is true. When I talk to normal people, they’re like, yeah, obviously, they look at me, like, why are you even telling me something? I’m already looking for guidance on this, right? So you have a culture now that’s moving toward this thing, like I need to take care of this stuff. And I really care about it. They’re investing in things by themselves, that help them feel better. They want to see not they don’t care about the silly, just the weight on the scale, or their LDL numbers. These are kind of esoteric things that we care about his position. They care about, like what can help do for me, what how am I better work, or my relationships, or my energy level or pursuing hobbies. And so like making health relevant in those ways, is what they care about. And then they also care about like, what’s my heart attack risk? And I’ve had one already, I don’t want to have one again, I

Sonja Anderson 22:10

hate Well, this is okay. So let me jump in with the persuasive thing here, okay, because like we all know, or I’ve been told, and quote, unquote, we all know we should take vitamins or you know, he take vitamin D or something like that, right? And I believe it, because somebody that I trust told me, you should take vitamin D. And if I can’t feel anything from the vitamin D, and I’m not really sure what it’s doing, but I just heard that it’s good. It’s very hard to persuade me to continue to do that indefinitely. Because I can’t I mean, I’m just spending money on vitamin D. And I don’t really know if it’s doing anything good for me, unless I can feel it right. And so how do you persuade people to make change they can’t feel at first, such that they stay with that thought until they do start feeling change. And then once they, I mean, obviously, once you do feel better after you’ve lost 15 pounds, and you can just get up the stairs easier. You get beat out, you’re persuaded to continue, but how do you persuade people to start?

Dr. Ravi Komatireddy 23:07

Yeah, there’s several ways to think about this. But I think one way to start is to think about extrinsic and intrinsic motivators. But basically, when you keep let’s look at people who are really healthy and sustain, so we’ve all we all know, we all have friends like this, we think they’re probably crazy, a little bit like they’re so adamant about their time in general. And the time they put toward their eating, they’re strict about their diets. They’re the ones who don’t want to have the dessert when we do and we’re out. How the heck are you doing this? And we’re, you know, it’s easy to make fun of them, but they’re actually living, they’re really happy with how they’re living. They live very intentionally. Yeah. So you know, when I think about it is help staying healthy, like this is a skill. And what they’ve done is built a system for themselves that gives them results. And they’ve made health something that’s not something they have to go do. But it’s part of their core values. Mm hmm. This is this is trainable. This is not all habits. And this is what and when I say that, I mean, to a larger point. There’s kind of a first generation of thought around this sustained how do we keep people so you don’t have to You’re the the weight doesn’t come back. So that after six months of intensive therapy, that you’re on a good track now and that you don’t refer to your own self, that your past self? Well, what we do know is that for most people, just giving them information doesn’t help. So this is the I think, one of the things we’ve learned that we intuitively know, but one things we’ve learned through research as well, especially when it comes to digital health devices that we all have access to now. So we live in a world where Pinterest has 4 billion recipes. There’s, you know, Apple, when Apple comes out with a fitness regimen like well, great, how is that different from the other 30 million exercise videos that are on YouTube that are for free? So we live in a world where we have access to information, how to do things. We have all this stuff available to us. We kind of know what to do, but how do we actually Like execute and get it done? Like, how do you stay motivated enough to do it. And that’s where I think it’s really hard to do alone. I don’t think it can be done alone, except for a very small percentage of people. That small percentage of people are like those people have already figured it out. They’ve sustained. They have an athlete mentality. Like they, they figured out the mental models. What they’re looking for is tactics. And those are the ones that have the peloton at home. But they also are on like, the real race bikes as well. They got a couple of those in the garage, right? They’re pretty disciplined on it. They’re looking for like, I have a body fat at 10%. Get me to eight, Mm hmm. And they’re like, just tell me exactly what to do. I will follow it. And I’ll do it. And we all know these people, they’re like, they’re people who feel like they don’t understand how other people aren’t doing. So like, you know what to do. Just do it. What’s the big deal? Exactly? I’m struggling here, right? And there’s not that I would say that’s like 5% of people, then there’s the other 5%. The 5% are just not in the contemplative phase of change. If you think about the stages of change, transtheoretical model, it’s like, they’re pre contemplative. They’re just not ready for the smokers who don’t want to quit yet. And yep, to force them to do that. It’s gonna make them double down most likely. And if they’re not, right, and when they are ready, like, you know, so there’s this big 90% shot. Yeah, yeah. And this 90% chunk, they need a couple things. First, they need a support structure. That’s not just that, yeah, like code. There’s something about coaching, that’s like an intrinsic thing about the human condition, right? Like you can’t, it’s really hard to coach yourself that 5% seems to figure it out with everyone else, too. So don’t try get help to do it. Yeah. When that help, when you do get that help, what we found in our approach to providing that support, is we’ve noticed that these functional outcomes are important. So we take a lot of time to figure out what those relevant things are to you. So when you’re taking that vitamin D, why are you taking it? What did you want from it? Like why? Why did you take it when you were told to we would actually drill down so deep into that, into that your thought process, when you do that you come out with what we call them activators activating motivators, it’s like these captivating reasons that people want to change. And when you take the time to figure out with somebody to get to know them well enough, they you can extract these through structured conversations, like motivational interviewing, so on so forth, it takes some training to get this. But it’s fascinating what people say. And these are reasons that just are different for everybody was a good example, as a parent, and you want to have your kids eat well, and you feel bad. As a mom, we’ve had that as one of our clients. Other people, they want to learn a new hobby, other people like they want to be able to travel and they’re just embarrassed, they don’t want to travel when they’re looking or feeling a certain way, these things are all different for the second set of information we get is what their starting points are. And like what their barriers are so thick, we’ll meet you where you are, like, we get that if you’re 300 pounds or 400 pounds, you’re not looking to run a marathon tomorrow, that’s helping you do for you, maybe the goal needs to be just to walk for five minutes. Right. So people where they are figure out what it is that are the logistical barriers, and then the in their end their thought process barriers. The third thing we get, and this is the tricky piece is that we try to match based on their profile, what behavior change techniques work for them. And there are a number of these different persuasive methodologies that you can use. That can work and everyone’s a little different. Some people are more for example, competitive. People don’t want anything to do with that. They’re like, I’m not competitive, that makes me feel more anxious. My well actually more collaborative, I like to collaborate with people to do group things together. And it’s more supportive for me, like me, personally, I hate that I’m more competitive. Yeah, I’m with you around. Figuring figuring you can imagine that I’ve said the word taking up the time, you can imagine already have described things that take a lot of time. And that like is outside with the current healthcare system can do right in the clinic. But we takes a week, it takes a month to figure this out. And once we figure out those three kind of core principles, now we have a fingerprint, a unique set of information that describes what’s driving you. What, what, what, why do you want to do these changes? Really deep down? What kind of techniques work on you? And where are you starting from? And what are your barriers, then that’s when we we start doing kind of our structured, coaching. And what makes things persuasive, is that we incorporate those captivating years into our messaging and into our plan, so that we’re linking things that you care about something as small as taking that vitamin D. And so you’re like, oh, there’s a meaning behind this. Right? It’s intentional, you’re doing it for a reason. And once you start training your mind in that way, we’ve seen results.

Sonja Anderson 29:41

Oh, sure. I mean, I the approach that you have developed is stunning and and everyone should have it. In fact, I just think that that Western medicine for the most part should just switch gears and start back at the beginning and start working with everybody who’s sick and some health insurances do that or try to do that where they give you a they assign you a Health Coach and and they you know, if you get points of view, lose a few pounds or quit smoking? And you know, they try to a little bit of that. But my curiosity is is there any? Is there any type of clientele that you find are virtually uncoachable or like it when you get when you get this group of people, all the red flags come up and you go, Oh, my gosh, this is gonna be a tough one.

Dr. Ravi Komatireddy 30:22

I think you have to be in the right phase of change, too, because now, behavior change for healthcare is a very skewed dataset. A lot of people who are behavior change scientists were trying very well intentioned, trying this for a long time, when you look at studies that have been done, that show that show likes either some success, marginal success, not sustained versus sustained success in it when you’re looking at outcomes, like weight loss, blood pressure, feel their self efficacy, you look, they’re pretty, they’re pretty sparse, because they’re kind of still sticking it into the traditional health care model. If they can’t leave that model of like, you will have a couple phone calls with them every week, or once one phone call every two weeks or three weeks. And because when you’re doing a clinical trial, it’s like that’s what you can kind of afford to do. Right? That seems like seems reasonable. And they’re like, well, people didn’t sustain more than five pounds weight. I’m like, I’m thinking when we were looking at these studies, I was thinking, hold on, if you had Oprah’s bank account, those people live with you. Yeah, you’re damn sure you’d be in the best shape your life in six months, right? So like, a celebrity. And you’re, if you’re Chris Hemsworth, you’re trying to get to play Thor and The next Thor movie. It’s like he’s in shape. Right? Right. And he’s got all those things working for him. He set up a system where you can afford a system for success, if that means like a personal trainer living with you. And that’s what you do. So are we are any of us doubting that 95% of us if we had access to those types of resources, we would be in better shape three months ago, we started from 100%. We would agree with that. So I think there is some group that just isn’t ready for that yet. It I wouldn’t say they’re not coachable. They’re just not ready for that level of behavior change. And that’s okay. I think that they the people transition through these changes in their lives. And I don’t think anyone’s not coachable. I think that we have the right way to reach them. It this is what bothers me a lot about like, this current conversation just to shift gears a little bit on topics, but something similar on the vaccination campaign. It’s like, I see a lot of making fun of people who aren’t vaccinated and what I think is a physician, I’m like, hold on, we as a healthcare community need to own our failure here. It’s like, no, we need to reach those people. And then calling them dumb is not going to be the answer, right? So it’s like, in the same way that people who are like 400 pounds or 300 pounds, they’re not just lazy and dumb. Like, no, they have real barriers, challenges they need, they need help. And like, at our company at Motiv, like one of the things we we always like to say is I fundamentally believe in the power of people collaborating together. I fundamentally believe in history. That is like the reason that’s like the thing that humans can do. The other other species can’t do right like Yuval Harare talks about this and Sapiens, right. He’s like, you know, do a lot of fancies creating, yet. Dolphins are smart, but they’re not weaving together nets, creating a tuna company and trading, NASDAQ and Barbary, like the fishermen, right, that they can’t seem to mount that kind of collaboration. Yeah, humans can. When you start collaborating with people in an intimate way like this, it’s you do get to see results.

Sonja Anderson 33:22

How do you think that you make can make is is from your company’s perspective? Do you just have to wait until somebody is coachable? Or is there anything that you can do to inspire the desire to change?

Dr. Ravi Komatireddy 33:35

Right? I think one of our things that we do to inspire is to talk about what health means to you. It’s like, what are you actually trying to get after and that seems to resonate with people because some people and we actually try to actively discourage just the I think there’s almost an unhealthy it’s getting to this unhealthy obsession with weight loss. And I think that could actually in some cases lead to more eating disorders, right? I’m trying to shift the focus and our company’s fresh with a focus with like, let’s focus on overall health. What would your life life look like if you spent the next week more days than not doing better health behaviors and sleep exercise nutrition mindset, and it’s like overall health the weight loss will come along for the ride what we’re really talking about, say weight loss is what they’re usually referring to as fat loss they want that loss. Yeah, in the fat loss comes from better insulin dynamics and handling and all the your metabolism getting up to speed and the way it should. And that it’s like those things will come so when I see like some of our competitors have some really weird you know, they’re trying to get like the click Beatty titles like lose 10 pounds, the next whatever. I’m like, worries me and I’m like, hey, 10 minutes a day, don’t exercise and like I don’t, I think what I look at people’s lives, I think like everyone listening to your podcast, every single person is really good at something, something that I’m not good at or you’re got something to do for working with the department. Yeah, and I’m sure they would admit to getting to that level. There’s more than 10 Min. That’s a day or a took focused practice and some guidance and,

Sonja Anderson 35:03

and desire. It took a drive and desire, right? I mean, you obviously got to where you are because because I, I could never get to the academia. Nor do I want to level that you are because it’s just to me that was just not strong enough of a desire, and it was so hard. It was really hard. Could I do it? I probably could do it. I mean, I am not unintelligent, it’s just, that’s not where my drive was. And so but my question is, if you have a 400 pound person, and they’re just, they in the back of their mind, they know they want change, but they just can’t What’s the what’s the where’s that switch flip? Where they go, You know what? I’m ready? How do we how do we motivate that person from just feeling generally unsatisfied with life, but not, you know, making that decision to change it.

Dr. Ravi Komatireddy 35:55

They’re basically in a vicious cycle, we need to reboot them into a virtuous cycle of behaviors. But they’ve usually, like hit rock bottom with it, they, they’ll come to this point where they know, they’re like, I’ve just had enough. Yeah, not hitting my goals. I don’t I can’t sit here Netflix and chill every day is not, you know? And when they do, it’s like, well, what is it you really want? And they’ll be like, well, one was wait, I’m like, no, no, what is it you really want, right? And it’s, it’s that it’s, it’s, if we, if we inspire or push in any way, it’s only to get functional outcomes out of people. Once I get those from you, I have a much better idea of how to drive you to click, you know, we can, there’s this big goal at the end, we’re gonna you’re when you’re like our first program, our coaching program called detail. Now, what we do is we unwind work backwards from getting to this big goal, or the non overwhelming steps you have to take, right, so it’s like, the next month, we’re just gonna focus on these small changes, we’re going to nudge you using the information you gave us. And we’ll start creating mastery, and it just takes small incremental steps over time. And that’s frustrating for most people in their health. And I will always just remind them like, Well, how did you get good at being a lawyer, small, incremental steps of mastery over time, looks like a lot of people that you know, this is a behavioral issue, we call it strength highlighting, it’s a lot of people really good at something. And so they already know that this is true. It just they haven’t been able to, to to apply this, this system of values to their health. And once and to me, I’m like, that’s, that’s teachable. When you’re born, like you’re not automatically supposed to know how to be healthy. It’s like a skill. It’s like you want to play piano, you get a coach. And when you look at like, really high performers, like NBA, or Olympians, or whatever, those people are in that 5%. Like the athlete mentality, but like, it’s interesting, they get more coaching, the better they get, right? Like, we would never like LeBron would never go Oh, yeah, I’m done. Now. I’m good enough. Like, give me more coaching, I need more coaching. Yeah, it’s like, we don’t treat our health that way. And I think we should start treating it that way.

Sonja Anderson 37:59

So hopefully, it was an underlying sense of shame that you should know how to do this, right? Like, I certainly look at people around me who are healthy, like my husband, naturally, just never, I don’t think he’s changed a pound since he was 18. Except for when he was training for marathons, he lost a little weight, and you know, that kind of feedback. And you look at it and go, they’re just born that way. They’re just naturally healthy. And there are certainly some people, a very small group of people who aren’t working that hard, and they just naturally like, are, you know, sleep well, and eat well and do that sort of thing. And I think there’s some shame in the sense that, you know, I should be able to do that I should naturally be that way. There’s something wrong with me and then coming to the table and asking for coaching implies, or includes admitting guilt, like I, I can’t do this on my own. That’s very hard. For me. My hubris on that front is actually can be quite hard. Once I learned that coaching is awesome, that I have a life coach and a business coach and a leadership coach, and for my stat, you know, uh, yeah, it’s absolutely life changing. Coaching is absolutely life changing. And it’s, there’s no shame in it.

Dr. Ravi Komatireddy 39:02

I think you’re absolutely right. I think, you know, framing things is really important for people, how they, how they, they view a factor or idea in context of their other framework of ideas. So we reframe that, it makes me different. So it’s like, some people it’s like, you take that shame waiver saying, we’re not like fixing, we’re leveling you up. Like, you’re, you’re already good, you’re worth it. This is like, you know, when people are worried about obesity and fat shame, and like, you know, I’m like, when I see somebody who’s really frustrated with their weight, and I used to be as well, so I’m, I’m I, I’m in this group as well. I know what it’s like, and it’s, it’s like, I’m not dumb. Why can I figure this out? Like I’m a physician. I’ve gotten some accolades in my life. Why can’t I get this part to work? And I think it’s like I stopped seeing it like I’m broken need to be fixed. I’m like, Oh, it’s just like anything else. I just need to level my skill set up the next level. Well, how would I do that? If I was a physician or I was trying to learn a new procedure or how to use new, you know, I would go to a conference talk to take a class, whatever those things are, I would do in the same way. It’s like, let’s level you up like you’re getting some results in life comes to work and these things, let’s get to the next results. And let’s, let’s make sure we measure the things correctly. So now we’re not just measuring weight. Right? Yep. It’s the whole. Yeah,

Dr. Ravi Komatireddy 40:26

we don’t we don’t like to talk about this part of weight loss and fitness. But I think we need to talk about it. It’s like self efficacy matter. Like what you really want to do. It’s not just about food islands, and portable can’t afford health. It’s like, no, it’s those are policy issues that we definitely address like no one solution, like modal health, could be the end all be all solution for people’s prevention, for sure. It has to be in concert with a number of other things working together. But I would say, if we had to choose one thing, as an outcome, it’s self efficacy, when you feel like you have some more agency and you can make a difference and have some control over your health destiny and how you feel that is a very empowering feeling. That is something that you can continue to use and feed off of, even when your coaching is done or you don’t want any more that’s like something that’s

Sonja Anderson 41:14

cool. You You got a magic wand, it’s in your pocket, and you can use it for the rest of your life. Well, this has been a fantastic conversation. You’re brilliant, beyond all reason. And I’ve really enjoyed talking with you. And I’m definitely gonna, just me and my team. Well, and and actually speaking of which, where can people find you? Where Where can people look you up if they want to learn more about this, get in touch with your team, what you’re,

Dr. Ravi Komatireddy 41:40

what we do, we have, we’re kind of a little bit in stealth, semi stealth motivhealth.io is a website, we have a waiting list that we can sign up on. Also happy to take you know, feel free to reach out to me, I’m on Twitter @rkomatireddy. And I am Ravi@motivhealth.io Happy to take emails directly, you know, we’re starting currently have a very private beta. Yes. And you know, it’s not for everybody just yet. But we’re really trying to bring together everything I talked about into one cohesive package to help people on their health journeys over the course of months, using some of the principles I talked about, and some some others as well. So if people are interested, we’d love to have a conversation on

Sonja Anderson 42:21

that waiting list, get on that list to learn more. And you know what, I’ll put all that information into our podcast page as well. So people can actually link to you and, and do and learn more. I am thrilled. I know that I’m going to be one of those people that’s going to get get to work with you down the road here. And thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today. Actually, you’re I could I could probably talk to you for like two to three hours. Easily.

Dr. Ravi Komatireddy 42:46

It’s I’m we’re we’re no thank you for the opportunity to share the vision. I love talking about this because we’re really passionate about it. Not just me, but all of our team members are really passionate. We care. We think this is the future of what healthcare should be. It’s like something we want for our kids and our grandkids. 

Sonja Anderson 43:04

Yeah, cheers. Thanks, Ravi.

Speaker 1 43:09

Thanks for listening to It’s Not Just Business Talks With Sonja, a real life podcast to inspire you. We’ll see you again next time. And if this is your jam, click Subscribe to get future episodes.

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