Mobile Technology for Health Behavior Change

Weight loss and healthier eating habits are nearly universal New Year’s resolutions and keeping a daily journal is an excellent way to manage our weight. Nowadays mobile apps make it easy to keep a diet journal and manage our weight. For example:

PhotoCalorie is both a visual food journal and nutrition search engine that simplifies the tedious task of nutrient enumeration and calorie counting. PhotoCalorie provides a new “right brain” visual approach to diet management in addition to the traditional “left brain” calorie-counting approach of other diet diaries. Also, its’ search engine technology allows users to search for their entire meal in one step,

Lose it! is an impressive iPhone weight loss journals and offers a number of features to track your diet, exercise and weight changes over time. Lose it! also provides a way for users to join discussion forums of people with similar goals. The app’s motivators section lets you set reminders to enter your foods right before your meal, and receive daily or weekly emails summarizing your progress.

LIVESTRONG Foundation provides a calorie-tracker and workout log. LIVESTRONG is similar to Lose it!; in addition, the platform offers access to health tools for managing diabetes, quitting smoking or learning new exercises, and more. It also offers online educational material about nutrition, fitness and health.

For more information about these platforms, CLICK HERE.

Source: Medpage Today by Michele R. Berman, MD; December 27, 2010

Benchmarks of Successful Wellness Programs

What does it take to become one of America’s healthiest companies? How can companies with both large and small employers link health and well-being to business outcomes?

Achieving Well Workplace status requires making the switch from activity-centered to results-oriented programming which takes hard work and extreme attention to detail. Results-oriented programs are those programs which are carefully researched, thoughtfully designed, and diligently executed. These programs are focused on impacting the organization’s bottom line through improved employee health.

According to recent benchmarking studies, there are a number of common elements inherent in successful health promotion initiatives that can attain measurable results. Companies with successful wellness programs have:

  • the strong support of the senior level leadership that can be measured
  • an integrated diverse and well-functioning Wellness team
  • a process for collecting data to drive the Wellness initiative
  • an annual operating plan that serves as the communication vehicle as to what the program will accomplish
  • appropriate health promotion interventions for their employees
  • supportive health-promoting environment and policies to support participation
  • a carefully planned evaluation strategy that would evaluate the outcome of the above benchmarks and holds them accountable

Source: Absolute Advantage

Personalized Health Solutions

According to Dr. Kvedar of Healthrageous, Inc. “given the right tools and the right information, individuals can be their own best care providers.”

Launched in 2010, Healthrageous, Inc. designs and delivers highly effective, personalized, interactive, motivational self-management solutions that help individuals shed unhealthy habits, improve their adherence to medical advice, and embrace healthy lifestyles.

Healthrageous’ solutions can be packaged as workplace benefit for large employers, health plans and insurers, specialty care and disease management companies, provider health systems, pharmaceutical makers and clinical trial sponsors, pharmacy benefit managers, device makers, and consumer wellness retail and fitness brands.

Healthrageous’ technology platform is designed to interface with most major manufacturers of biometric sensors and telemedicine devices, smart phone operating systems, popular social network media, leading direct-to-consumer outbound telephonic call systems, and emerging Web-based personal health record (PHR) systems.

The company’s solutions are based on technologies developed at the Center for Connected Health, a division of Partners HealthCare, founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, teaching affiliates of Harvard Medical School. Healthrageous, Inc. is headquartered in Massachusetts.

Source: PR NewsWire, June 2010

Benefits Of Wellness Programs

A study by researchers with Emory University Rollins School of Public Health concludes that at least one large-scale work site wellness program actually fostered meaningful changes, including a drop in employee absenteeism.

To measure the benefits of wellness programs, researchers put in place at 12 Dow Chemical work sites between 2006 and 2007. At five of the sites, employees received intensive interventions; four site received moderate interventions, and three sites implemented the company’s standard programs.

Employee absenteeism fell from 3.9 days in 2006 to 3.4 days in 2007, researchers found. Meanwhile, between 2006 and 2007, average absenteeism at moderate/intense sites was 1.5 days lower than at standard sites. Dow saved about $414.90 per employee per year.

Source: FierceHealthcare Nov. 2009