Harmonizing Technology and Healthy Living

15-May-2017by Alex Miljkovicclicks: 343

 

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Staying healthy has never been easier. Mostly, that’s thanks to technology. As more people search for ways to live healthier lives, app developers are busy engineering tools and applications that can help. And since most of us are tethered to our devices, wearable technologies and mobile phones anyways, these apps have undoubtedly become the easiest and most convenient way of tracking our wellbeing and living healthier lifestyles.

Use of Health Apps on the Rise

According to a PwC's annual Health Research Institute report, use of health-focused apps doubled between 2013 and 2015. In 2013, 16 percent of consumers said they had at least one health app on their device. In 2015, that number rose to 32 percent. And as trends such as deep learning, the internet of things and the personalization of digital healthcare continue to evolve, the connected health industry will gain momentum.

The Future of Connected Health

In fact, health apps are not just for tracking anymore. They are now connecting patients with medical professionals in ways that help experts provide thorough evaluations, better diagnoses and personalized help. This ranges from accurately monitoring a diabetic’s insulin levels to providing one-tap videoconferencing services for patients battling mental illness.

Read more: Harnessing the potential of mobile health apps.

Wearable Tech and Benefits Programs

The apps have also spurred partnerships between health insurance companies and solutions providers. In recent years, this included collaboration between Apple and insurance giant, Humana, in the United States. The goal of the partnership was to develop proprietary app to monitor an employee’s health data, and use the information to accurately determine health costs. While the verdict is still out on whether this trend will go mainstream for employee health benefits, one thing is sure – health apps are here to stay.

3 Health Apps to Try Out This Summer

With health apps on the rise, here are a few clever newcomers to the market that are receiving rave reviews.

1. Pact (formerly GymPact) – Want more incentive to stay healthy? Pact helps you commit to your workouts by letting you place bets on your consistency. Users set diet and exercise goals and then decide how much they are willing to bargain that they will meet those objectives. The app relies on users to input their data, then pays out those who honour their commitment, and debits those who don’t.

2. MyfitnessPal – Want an easy way track calories in versus calories out? MyfitnessPal allows you to quickly input your daily food intake, and also pulls activity from a number of compatible fitness tracking apps. Each day, you’re able to quickly see whether you’re expending more calories than consuming, or vice versa. Bonus: it’s free.

3. FitRadio – Not interested in calorie-counting or tracking activity? Then maybe music will keep you motivated. FitRadio creates music playlists for a variety of workouts such as running or yoga. The music-streaming app also helps premium subscribers find their tempo and offers song suggestions to match their beat. Users can even go as far as to select playlist that match their heart rate in beats-per-minute to help them keep speed. 

Introducing Apps into Wellness Programs

When it come to apps and connected health, there is no slowing down. While the healthcare industry still has a long way to go in adopting these technologies, health apps are making it easier for consumers to take more accountability for their health. For employers, these apps can also become valuable resources for employees to maintain a healthier, happier and more productive workforce. To learn more about how these apps or technologies can be incorporated into your corporate wellness program, contact our team.