behavior change

By Dave Muoio 01:31 pm June 4, 2020
Handwashing may be a routine habit for some, but for everyone else who struggles to sanitize there's now a smartwatch app from Samsung that encourages regular, thorough handwashing. Available for a free download on a range Samsung smartwatches (all of them waterproof), the app's alarm reminds users to wash their hands at pre-scheduled intervals throughout the course of a day. A dashboard screen...
By Dave Muoio 02:49 pm January 29, 2020
Update: HIMSS20 has been canceled due to the coronavirus. Read more here. While many would agree that healthcare is turning a corner with increasing focus on patient-friendly experiences and the consumerization of healthcare services, not every attempt in this area has been a home run. These shortcomings have been particularly disappointing in the realm of digital, where a successful, well-...

Dr. Judson Brewer (left) and Dr. Kyra Bobinet (right) each gave a keynote presentation at the World Trade Center in Boston this morning (Photos by Donis Perkins).

By Jonah Comstock 11:41 am October 18, 2019
Many a digital health intervention has been stymied by the same problem, one that’s familiar to anyone who’s ever tried to quit smoking or lose weight by changing their diet: the extreme difficulty of behavior change. On the final morning of the Connected Health Conference in Boston today, two experts presented their science-based solutions to the problem of behavior change. These solutions orbit...
By Dave Muoio 03:49 pm October 14, 2019
A new Stanford University-led study has found behavioral interventions such as activity reminders and education prompts delivered through a mobile app led to a significant increase in daily steps taken. “The results of this study show that minimal interventions delivered in a digital format can have a significant effect on physical activity,” the researchers wrote in The Lancet Digital Health. “...
By Jonah Comstock 12:48 pm 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 07:55 am 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 09:12 am 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 09:00 am 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 08:24 am 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 07:14 am 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...