behavior change

By Jonah Comstock October 17, 2017
Google briefly tested, but has either removed or planned to remove, a feature in Google Maps that automatically added calorie counts to walking routes, and even expressed the number of calories as an equivalent number of "mini-cupcakes." The feature was rolled out on a test basis to some iOS users, but was rapidly panned on Twitter. In addition to a general feeling that the app was shaming or...
By Brian Dolan May 27, 2015
One of the longest-running employee wellness platform companies, Virgin Pulse, announced its first outside investment, $92 million led by venture capital firm Insight Venture Partners with participation from existing investor, Virgin Group. Virgin Pulse rebranded from Virgin HealthMiles in late 2013 and announced a new, broader focus on employee engagement, not just health. A few weeks ago Virgin...
By Aditi Pai January 26, 2015
San Francisco-based health texting program developer CareMessage has received $6 million in grants in the past few months from several organizations including Google and The Pershing Foundation. Google awarded the group $2.3 million as part of Google.org's Impact Awards in December. The Pershing Foundation led a $3.7 million grant in November with $1.5 million. The organization's existing backers...
By Brian Dolan September 29, 2014
Thanks to a $100,000 grant from the philanthropic arm of insurance company Florida Blue, researchers with affiliations to Johns Hopkins Medicine, are launching a study on how tracking devices and apps can help obese teenagers make healthier decisions, according to a Reuters report. The researchers recently visited a high school in Florida to begin recruiting the 50 teenagers it plans to sign up...
By Brian Dolan September 23, 2014
The opportunity for healthcare organizations to leverage text messaging as a channel for health education, behavior change, and patient engagement has been widely discussed over the past decade. But unlike other health technology solutions, the body of data supporting text messaging-based mobile health programs is substantial and growing. During our next MobiHealthNews webinar -- October 16th at...
By Jonah Comstock September 16, 2014
Time Magazine's post-Apple Watch cover story suggests that Apple might finally bring wearables into the mainstream in a way they've never been before -- and that this might not be a good thing. "Nobody anticipated the way iPhones exert a constant gravitational tug on our attention," Time's Lev Grossman and Matt Vela write. "Do I have e-mail? What’s happening on Twitter? Could I get away with...
By Brian Dolan July 22, 2014
Fogg speaking at SXSW last year Retail pharmacy company Walgreens is bolstering its rewards program by training some of its pharmacists and online customer reps in Stanford psychologist and mobile health expert Dr. BJ Fogg's behavior change methodology, called Tiny Habits. Over the years Fogg has had considerable influence in mobile health through his advisory services to industry, published...
By Jonah Comstock July 2, 2014
Wheaties might be the only cereal where the box is more famous than the food inside. Since the 1930s, the front of the "breakfast of champions" box has been dedicated to a sports star of the day, including the likes of Lou Gehrig, Michael Jordan, and Tiger Woods. Now mobile health is finding its way onto the cover of the box -- or at least, helping determine its fate. General Mills, which makes...
By Jonah Comstock May 28, 2014
A new randomized control trial of Text4Baby in military families returned mixed results -- women who engaged in the intervention were more aware and knowledgable about healthy pregnancy strategies, but, at least during the four-week study period, this was not reflected by any significant change in behavior. Study author Douglas Evans thinks a follow-up study to be published later this year will...
By Aditi Pai March 26, 2014
MomentStrong offers people who want to quit smoking, lose weight or fix another health-related behavior a way to remind themselves to stay strong during those moments they are usually weakest. The app, which is only available through employee wellness programs, uses geofencing technologies to send helpful message to the user when they are in a specific place that user has previously designated as...