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Healthy Feedback Loops

Healthy Feedback Loops

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Published by sbepstein

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Published by: sbepstein on Feb 06, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Healthy Feedback Loops
Devices, Apps, and Portals
© Copyright October 2012 Chester Street Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
IntroductionCrowdsourcing FeedbackConnectivity Enables CompetitionPlacing Bets, Fundraising, Real World RewardsBuilding Virtual Worlds, CharactersMetrics or the Already Motivated?Health Outcomes as MotivatorsRegulations Holding Back Feedback Loops?3467891011
Healthy Feedback Loops
Devices, Apps, and Portals
© Copyright October 2012 Chester Street Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
oday’s health and tness devicesare connected. Whether they areBluetooth-enabled, WiFi-ready,ull-on cellular, or easily pluggedinto a mobile, these devices are collectingdata that is much more meaningul andimpactul because it is not locked withinthe device itsel. This mobility o health andtness data is a key enabling actor or themany health behavior change experimentscurrently being led by consumer healthstartups. At the heart o these experiments– these new devices and companion apps– the search is or eective, positive healtheedback loops.At its most basic level, the kind o eedbackloop oten leveraged in these experimentsollows these three steps:Granted the three steps outlined aboveoten occur right rom the same device.Smartphones equipped with motion-sensing accelerometers, location-awareGPS chips, and increasingly better cameras,have helped make the smartphonea standalone health and tness datacollection hub. With their current suite o sensors, however, smartphones are notable to collect data related to all o themajor biometrics.In recent years blood pressure monitormakers, weight scale manuacturers,blood glucose meter developers, pulseoximetry device makers and more haveadded connectivity. As a result thesedevice makers have had the opportunity totransorm themselves – or at least augmenttheir current status – rom hardwarecompanies to sotware companies withcompanion applications or even serviceplans attached to their device oerings.Device collects data.Data moves to application.Application provides device userwith personalized eedback.
O course, not everyone has ully embracedthat opportunity.In early 2011 iHealth Lab, a Mountain View,Caliornia-based subsidiary o China-basedmedical device company Andon Health,became the rst company to have anFDA-cleared medical device sold at AppleStores. As the name implies iHealth’s BloodPressure Dock connects directly to an iOSdevice just like a charging dock or speakerdock accessory. The blood pressure deviceis actually controlled by its companionapp, which the user downloads to the iOSdevice rom iTunes AppStore.The iHealth BPM app’s eedback is sparseand streamlined by design. Apart rom thebig, centered button that the user pusheson their iOS device to make the cu infateand take the blood pressure measurement,the app oers a simple graph that showswhere the BP reading alls on a scale o dark green, green, yellow, orange, darkorange and red. It also oers a historicaltable o past readings and a comparativecolor-coded chart or past BP readings.Like almost every other company thatoers connected health devices, iHealthkeeps eedback to qualitative colors toavoid moving into the more regulatedterritory o diagnosis.“Are we looking to be everything toeveryone?” iHealth’s Senior Vice Presidentand General Manager Adam Lin asked.“No. Forget whether or not we could doit, no one has ever done both hardwareand sotware incredibly well. Apple maybe the exception. Our ocus is still onthe hardware, rst and oremost. We areocused on enabling connectivity andensuring the data is truly mobile, secure,and not restricted. There are a numbero [third party] apps out there that do[sotware] really well.”Considering iHealth’s success with itsApple partnership, Lin’s comments areunderstandable. While many others workingin connected health agree that openingAPIs and enabling third party apps to usedata collected by dedicated devices is animportant trend, most companies buildinghardware also see companion apps andservices as a big opportunity. Some evenbelieve the service and sotware side o the digital health opportunity is the biggerone.This report aims to highlight and illustratesome o the ways digital health companiesare using eedback loops in an attemptto encourage healthy behaviors. Whilethis is not a comprehensive document, itwill provide a broad overview o the mostcommon types o eedback loops andmechanisms used by consumer healthapplications today. It is also worth notingthat many o the digital health servicesmentioned here oer a number o dierentkinds o behavior change mechanismsbeyond the ones highlighted in this report.
iHealth’s Blood Pressure Dock and BPM iPad App

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