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Beam toothbrush — dental health less painful via app

Posted in Technology

Beam is a service that helps connect its users with a network of dentists, and provide best practices for care along the way. You can get everything from brushes to floss down, and even schedule dental exams — all via an app.

Right now, Beam says dentists make money via a ‘fee for services’ model, wherein they’re paid by you and/or your insurance company for work they do. Beam’s goal is to offer outcome-based payments to the dentist, who would be rewarded for having patients who are actively engaged in healthy dental care habits via the app. The company tells me it wants to “align the intents” of patients and dentists; less dental work for us, and incentives for dentists who have healthy patients.

To that, the company believes the current dental care model is reactive. Dentists are incentivized by fixing problems rather than preventing them. Beam is changing that, and tells me it wants to give dentists more for encouraging and promoting preventative care.

Beam is also an insurance broker, with services provided through Renaissance. Depending on your region, Beam costs anywhere from $15 to $55 per month (which also gets you the brush, floss and toothpaste), and works with over 100,000 dentists nationwide. It sells individual as well as plans for businesses.

As a broker, Beam says its model is beneficial for insurers it works with, as well as more traditional dental insurance brokers. Insurance companies can use Beam as a direct broker to consumers, while existing brokers can offer Beam as a package to companies. Beam makes a percentage of the fees paid for coverage.

Beam enrollment video:

How does it work?

The crux of Beam is its app, where you can do everything from find a dentist to order toothbrush heads. It’s also where you can sign up for an insurance plan.

As you brush, you earn stars. Those stars act like rewards points, where Beam says it may give you anything from Amazon gift cards to discounts on insurance premiums.

Your brushing habits are learned via Beam’s own toothbrush, or by self-reporting your brushing habits in-app. The more you brush, the more stars you earn.

The more stars you earn, the more Beam starts to benefit you — and the healthier your teeth will be. The healthier your teeth are, the less your dentist has to do, which Beam sees as beneficial.

The app

Dead simple to use, the Beam app does little more than chart your progress and provide you with access to your dental plan and dentists.It also has challenges to help you earn stars, which range from adding a picture to your profile to adjusting the brush speed to fit your preference.

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Beam toothbrush review:

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