Mango Health uses Google Fit to add activity, blood pressure, weight tracking

By Jonah Comstock
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Mango HealthGamified medication adherence app maker Mango Health is moving beyond medications, using a new Google Fit integration to add tracking of blood pressure and weight, as well as activity tracking, into its app, the company announced today.

"From a patient or consumer’s perspective in the app, it leverages the existing paradigm around reminders, which we think is a very effective way to begin encouraging patient populations in other forms of even more proactive health," CEO Jason Oberfest told MobiHealthNews. "So whether it’s recording blood pressure regularly, or moving regularly, monitoring glucose regularly, whatever the case may be, it was a very logical extension for the app."

Oberfest says that Mango isn't looking to compete with or replace dedicated fitness or health trackers. Instead, Mango Health wants to be the first step into other types of health tracking for users who already track and schedule medications.

"[Our demographic] looks very similar to the casual mobile game demographic," Oberfest said. "Fifty-five to 64-year-old consumer, skews a little bit female, very similar to the Candy Crush demographic. Our hope is we provide an experience that’s very familiar and inspiring to that audience and we get them thinking about some of this for the first time. And then if we can provide a really simple and frictionless experience to begin thinking about tracking steps, that’s a good plan."

Similarly, Oberfest hopes the product will help set up patients to deal with a more serious medical condition that might require them to monitor their vital signs in the future.

"Over time, it would be unfortunate if one of our users had to start monitoring glucose as their condition deteriorates, but if they do we can be there for them and we can provide those integrations and present that to them in a concise way along with all their other medication determinations," he said.

Oberfest says the company is considering integrating with Apple Health as well, but for now the features will launch on the Android version of Mango only.

In addition, the company announced some preliminary results from a one-year clinical study with a major United States integrated managed care system. Since the study is pending publication, Mango declined to share too many details about methodology, but Oberfest said the study was notable in a few ways.

"We were integrated into clinical workflows," he said. "The app was recommended to patients directly through a provider we worked with. We measured the efficacy of the program, not through the self-reported data in the app but through pharmacy dispense data, which is really the gold standard for measuring adherence."

The study showed a 20 percent increase in on-time prescription refills for the most at-risk patients in the program, a group of patients with hypertension taking five or more medications. It also showed that patients used the Mango Health app an average of 17 times per week.

In March, Mango Health told TechCrunch the company had plans to launch an Apple Watch app, and would eventually expand tracking to include hydration and blood glucose.