How to Fix the Vision Benefits Industry Through AI Technology

A Q&A with XP Health CEO and Co-Founder Antonio Moraes

The user experience was very inconvenient and not transparent.

STARTUP XP HEALTH is touted as the world’s only artificial intelligence-powered vision benefits platform covering employees and their families. Curious what that means? So were we.

California Broker magazine caught up with XP Health CEO and co-founder Antonio Moraes. Moraes is an international author, speaker, investor, and serial entrepreneur. He previously co-founded Vox Capital, a healthcare innovation fund that became a Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School case study. As a speaker, he has addressed more than 20,000 people at events such as the World Economic Forum, Harvard Business School, Stanford University, MIT and others. We wanted to find out more about XP Health and how it aims to lower costs with vision benefits and provide a better experience with vision care and maintenance.

California Broker: What is the problem you have identified in the vision benefits category that led you to found XP Health?

Antonio Moraes: Before XP Health, my business partner James Wong and I identified a crucial problem in the vision care and benefits space. We saw that the costs for vision care and benefits were going up each year, with people paying more than $300 on average for a pair of glasses, even after using their insurance! Also, the user experience was very inconvenient and not transparent. That’s when we started developing
our AI technology to help people find the perfect pair of glasses for them. Suddenly many large tech companies began to see our solution as a way to enhance their existing vision plans and provide a better employee experience and help them save money.

CB: Could you walk us through how your solution works?

Moraes: At XP Health, we developed the world’s only AI-powered vision benefits platform that is made specifically for companies and their employees and their family members. Through our AI platform, we’ve made it easier and more affordable for all employees to get frames from the world’s leading designers and high-quality lenses from the convenience of their homes or offices.

We created a vertically integrated business model that eliminates intermediaries. This can reduce costs by up to 40% and increase a company’s existing vision benefits coverage by an average of 10X.

Further, because of our AI platform, one key benefit is that you don’t have to go to a physical store to buy glasses. We provide a 100% digital experience for vision care safely from the employees’ home, customized with the company’s brand. We’re proud of our very user-friendly modern interface that makes accessing vision benefits easier and takes the guesswork out of the equation by transparently communicating to the employee their remaining vision care benefits.

Another critical factor with XP Health is that we provide personal stylists assigned and dedicated to each employer. These stylists help the client try-on up to six pairs of frames from some of the world’s leading designers like Tom Ford, Ray-Ban, Armani, Gucci, and Coach, with a prepaid return label included. And because of our proprietary deep learning model that uses facial recognition technology, we can recommend the best frames based on facial dimensions with 98% accuracy.

We also offer onsite care to our clients, bringing a complete vision care experience to their offices. Companies are seeing this service as a tremendous welcome-back-to-the-office gift to their employees.

CB: Who is your typical customer? What size are the businesses that use your solution? 

Moraes: Our typical clients are companies that want to provide the best employee experience and benefits. Most of them are in the tech, biotech, financial services and service industries.

CB: How many customers do you have now? How have you been growing thanks to COVID and the move to virtual care?

Moraes: Between our digital and onsite services, we have over 30 clients, including some very familiar ones in Silicon Valley like Zoom, Chegg and Sequoia Consulting Group. Each of the companies we are honored to work with has noted the benefits of using the XP Health platform.

CB: How have you seen the health tech space evolve in recent years? Where do you see it going, and how will XP Health help it get there?

Moraes: Some of the main trends in the health tech space that I see are:

1) a growing adoption of telemedicine across many different areas
2) consumerization of services and products, with user-centric design becoming more and more a central piece in this process
3) innovations that improve outcomes without leading to higher costs (and ideally reducing costs).
XP Health is working on all these fronts in the vision space, intending to make high-quality vision care accessible to everyone and providing the best experiences in the category.
ANTONIO MORAES is also the co-author of the movie “A
New Capitalism,” a documentary about entrepreneurs who advocate for profitable businesses that tackle social inequality. Check it out on Netflix, Amazon Prime and iTunes.