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Featured12.19.14

The Business Deal That Democratized Going to the Gym

EXOS just struck a deal to buy MediFit, a company that regularly sees over half a million people come through its corporate wellness programs and community fitness centers.

Mid-size EXOS, a company that provides proactive health and performance solutions, announced it’s acquiring MediFit, provider of management and staffing services in health, fitness, and wellness centers for an undisclosed amount.

The deal will help Phoenix-based EXOS further a growth strategy that will potentially impact more than half a million people in MediFit’s corporate wellness sites and community fitness centers.

You might not have heard of EXOS, but their training facilities have become a locus for elite athletes such as the German World Cup soccer champions and eleven first round selections in the 2014 NFL Draft as well as eighty-seven of the 335 players invited to the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, among others.

EXOS had taken the strategies it developed for athletes and brought them to the average consumer in 2009 with clients such as Walgreens and Adidas.

The way EXOS began expanding operations, CEO Dan Burns tells Mid-MarketPulse, is that the company centered around human performance, not just those of career athletes. “We focus on delivering highly personalized game plans to individuals around the key elements of mindset, nutrition, movement, and recovery,” he says. “We passionately believe that everyone engaged in the rigors of work and life deserves the same personalized breadth and depth of services, inside and outside the fitness center, as the elite athletes and military operators we support receive.”

The acquisition of MediFit “provides a very conducive environment to layer on our services to deepen engagement and outcomes,” he maintains.

Besides working to gain more Fortune 500 companies as wellness program clients, jointly EXOS and MediFit will be targeting underserved populations. He tells us that EXOS has developed integrated software and hardware to deliver its methodology to fitness center users on a highly personalized basis.

Nearly every major employer has a wellness initiative in place, according to a recent report by the Wall Street Journal. Some such as CVS Health Corp. charges staff $600 more per year for their health insurance if they don’t complete an annual health risk assessment. JetBlue offers employees $400 per year in their health savings account if they take part in health boosting activities such as sign up for smoking cessation programs or complete an Ironman marathon.

The problem is often that employees fail to do what they are supposed to in order to stay healthy, hence the carrot and stick approach. EXOS attacks this problem through other means. “Through intelligence integrated into cardio and other equipment, and prescriptive algorithms based upon an individual’s evaluative metrics, health data and goals, EXOS can tailor programming that is highly precise for an individual, reducing pain and accelerating health and performance improvement in the process,” he says, much like a personal trainer.

For its part, MediFit provides the management and staffing services surrounded by facility design, equipment procurement, and software licensing to an employer or community organization.

“That organization then sets the pricing to the individual members,” Burns points out. But he notes that a big selling point is the fact that EXOS programs have a greater rate of engagement among those who use them. This compared to what is typically measured in such fitness centers, according to Burns. He says it increases the opportunity for the organization to drive usage and satisfaction from its members.

The benefit? “Optimizing your mindset, nutrition, movement and recovery has been proven to significantly reduce health risk factors,” says Burns, such as decreased pain and long-term health problems.

As an example, he says, EXOS trains athletes to move in ways that minimize their risk of injury, caused by muscular imbalance and inefficiencies stemming from the demands of their sport. “Similarly, training consumers’ movement patterns to peak efficiency significantly reduces the effect of sitting hunched over at your desk much of the day, and can reduce much of the chronic pain that many people experience, among other benefits,” he says.

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