How We Built a Health & Wellness App in Six Months

Wellsmith Case Study Snapshot


19-27 individuals


30 months


React Native
Fabric Data Analytics


Chronic illnesses like diabetes are on the rise across the United States and around the world, leaving doctors and patients alike struggling to find effective and practical ways to manage care. Prescribed medication schedules recommended exercise techniques, and frequent follow up visits are frequently called for, but are not always sustainable for patients trying to manage their health amid their already busy schedules. Wellsmith partnered with Calavista to improve people’s health by developing a care-tracking application that is user-friendly, responsive to patient needs, and sensitive to the difficulties that patients experience when managing chronic illness in their daily lives.

After pitching their vision to Cone Health, Wellsmith found themselves with an enthusiastic sponsor invested in their ideas, but no development team to bring that vision to fruition. The founders of Wellsmith already knew Calavista had the expertise and business philosophy they were looking for after working with them on a prior project. After going through a rigorous RFP process, Wellsmith confirmed what they had suspected: Calavista was the integral partner they needed to make their idea into a reality.

Our Solution

Calavista worked with Wellsmith to create a fully functional application that integrated with patient portals, medical records, social media, and data from personal devices such as scales, glucometers, and blood pressure monitors. Together, the application could compile data, facilitate communication between patients and their providers, and give both doctors and users insights to users’ health and progress.   

Our Process

Wellsmith started out as a four-person (2 FTE) team working on a Proof of Concept with a powerful vision and a tight deadline. Time was of the essence in the development process to stay on track with the trials scheduled in conjunction with the investor. Wellsmith was already enthusiastic about working with Calavista because they knew that our patented Hyper-Agile® development process aligned well with the Wellsmith continuous innovation philosophy. After completing the initial phase in a few short weeks, Calavista was ramping up team members, growing to nearly 30 people developing project essentials and blending our colleagues with Wellsmiths’ existing talent.

“We wanted to move quickly, and we had no development resources on staff. We needed to come out of the gate running and there just wasn’t time to build a team that was of the same caliber and quality of Calavista. We used every service they offered, from senior engineering to product development to business analysts.”

Jeanne Teshler

CEO at Wellsmith

Sticking to the Schedule

With Calavista’s leadership and fast-moving development process, the blended team moved from contract signing to releasing the Minimal Viable Product (MVP) in just six months, a process that Wellsmith felt would have taken them a year and a half if they had built their own development team from scratch. Everything moved quickly due in part to the fact that Calavista did significant research and planning as part of the RFP process, so that once the contract was signed we were able to move quickly and effectively following the approaches we’d already mapped out. Ensuring that the proposed scope of the work is accurate and realistic is part of Calavista’s philosophy – we don’t overpromise just for the purpose of making a sale.

Hyper-Agile® Methodology

Since hard deadlines for medical trials of the product had already been set, we utilized our Hyper-Agile® development process to rapidly develop an MVP that allowed the trials to run smoothly. Our Solutions Directors worked with Wellsmith on requirements gathering and set the project timelines. The design and delivery was overseen by three Calavista Architects, with development, testing, and DevSecOps support provided by a large remote team. The team kept the project timeline tight and deliverables strong, while adhering to HIPAA and insurance guidelines. The schedule left plenty of bandwidth available to fine-tune the product before, during and after the trials to create the best user experience possible. Meanwhile, the Wellsmith team was freed up to focus on other success factors like marketing and distribution.

“They built us bug-free software that ran like a dream. When they say, 'software development without the drama,' they really mean it.”

Jeanne Teshler

CEO at Wellsmith

Strong Relationships

Instead of being “just a contractor,” Calavista became an integrated part of the Wellsmith organizational structure and culture. As a partner should, Calavista went above and beyond to facilitate unparalleled communications and team building to maximize the quality of the end-product as well as the process of building and maintaining the product. The offshore team leads flew in for on-site development, and the Calavista lead Solutions Director often flew to North Carolina to be present for meetings at Cone Health or the product trials at no additional cost. “The breadth and depth of their talent goes beyond just the core Calavista group,” said Teshler. “Having a friendly working relationship with the team and everyone getting along really well on a project that is meaningful and necessary, makes coming to work so much more fun.”

The Results

Within just nine-months of Calavista developing the new app, Wellsmith had 25 major clients using it.   

Not only did Calavista deliver a functional and sophisticated product on-time, we also participated in building something that has already improved peoples’ health and saving lives. The clinical trial proceeded as planned with 50 participants with Type II diabetes. Of those 50 participants:

  • The average trial participant improved their A1C blood sugar levels by 1.3 points
  • 3 of the 50 were considered to be in remission by the end of the trial
  • Trial participants lost an average of 12 pounds
  • Participants increased their activity level by 75%
  • Medication compliance rates increased in participants from 50% to 75% over the course of the trial

“There aren't often opportunities in software where you're saving people's lives, Calavista really felt the impact of what we were doing, and it translated into a fantastic product.”

Jeanne Teshler

CEO at Wellsmith

The trials ran without software errors, and Calavista was able to respond quickly to system updates as they became needed. We did not just develop an application, but created an experience that transformed patients’ health by improving and extending their quality of life. Our dedication to delivering on time and defining realistic expectations for an MVP enabled Wellsmith to run successful trials and begin work on more functionality, addressing other chronic illnesses.

We are proud of our partnership with Wellsmith to reliably and collaboratively develop software that could change people’s lives. If you have a revolutionary idea or are looking for a Development Group in a Box™ like Calavista, email us at info@calavista.com.

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