Connective Care: A New Model for Primary Care

Myoung Cha
January 4, 2023
5 min

When I was at Apple working with the Health team on the Apple Watch, I was amazed at how a simple tap on the wrist could nudge people to take the stairs instead of the elevator or stand up during a meeting.  With more advanced health sensing features on the Watch like ECG and mobility metrics, I wondered what it would be like to have a doctor on your wrist providing active support and guidance relevant to your care. 

The reality is that our experience of healthcare is much more episodic than a daily nudge from the Apple Watch. Too often, care looks something like this: Schedule a checkup with your doctor, get some labs done, fill a prescription, and “see you in a year.” 

Many of us yearn for more from our healthcare. How can I keep myself healthy? How do I know if my health is heading in the wrong direction, and what can I do about it? Where can I get health guidance that is proactive and more connected to how I feel day-to-day? 

This kind of proactive care is typically only available to those who have the means to keep a doctor on speed dial. 

Designing primary care as it should be

At Carbon Health, we believe everyone deserves good health. And, we are making this belief a reality through a model of care that we call Connective Care. Connective Care goes beyond a typical visit to create a more meaningful connection between patients and their care teams through data and personalized insights. 

The core elements of our innovative primary care model include:

1. Goal-setting
We set Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound (SMART) goals with our patients. Whether their goals are related to their lifestyle or condition — or both – partnering with Carbon Health providers to set them is a great way to connect care to everyday health.  

2. Measurement-led care
Capturing data from patients in between visits – such as biometrics from connected blood pressure cuffs or self-reported data from symptom logging and validated instruments like the PHQ-9 – and integrating them into clinical workflows fuel the Carbon Health Connective Care model.

These measurements form the substrate for a more dynamic feedback loop that helps us get our patients to goal faster or help course correct treatments in between visits. Through the Carbon Health app, patients can log symptoms like cough or pain, share PHQ-9 and GAD-7 scores with their primary care and mental health providers, and see how their food and activity choices affect their continuous glucose data.  

3. An integrated team
The engine of Connective Care is our team of providers who work together seamlessly on our patients’ behalf. Armed with data and insights, our primary care providers work with mental health and chronic care specialists as needed to help patients meet their physical and mental health goals.

From urgent care to regular check ups, our proprietary electronic health records system (EHR) keeps care organized around the patient so no one ever has to start a conversation from scratch.

4. In-person and virtual access
We’ve learned that patients need choice and flexibility. In fact, more than 70% of our patients use both virtual care and in-person care. Our hybrid model lets patients experience healthcare on their terms: during visits and in the moments in between.

Driving measurable impact 

The Connective Care model is informed by the success of innovative treatments of chronic conditions, including our program for diabetes care. Some of the extraordinary outcomes from our patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes show the impact of our integrated and measurement-based approach. We’re excited to apply these learnings toward supporting our patients’ overall health goals.

The future of healthcare

Connective Care launched the first week of January 2023 in Massachusetts and will continue to roll out throughout the year. 

To learn more about our innovative primary care model in Massachusetts or try it for yourself, visit

Myoung Cha

Myoung Cha is Carbon Health’s Chief Strategy Officer and President of our Omnichannel Care division. Myoung came to Carbon Health with more than a decade of healthcare experience, most recently as Apple Health’s Head of Strategic Initiatives, where he led the launch of programs like COVID-19 exposure notifications with Google, the Apple Watch–based LumiHealth wellness program in Singapore, and the Heartline Study with Johnson & Johnson.