Six weeks in and I’m still wearing my activity monitor; go me! Apparently people give up with these things after about three months so let’s see if I’m part of the norm or more persistent than the average Joe. What’s interesting is that it’s not actually the device, the app or the interest of seeing my own activity levels that is keeping me using it, it’s the social and challenge aspect of the app that gets me every time.
“Paul Nash crushed it! That step goal didn’t even see it coming.”
Damn it, that means I’ve got to go out on another walk to beat him!
It’s surprising how much those messages drive me to do more.
A few nights ago, I was out for dinner with some of my colleagues and on the way back to the hotel I realised I hadn’t hit my 10,000 steps for the day, but I'd received a push notification to say they had; another few laps of around the block for me! Everyone else thought I was mad of course, but that’s nothing new...
That brings me on to another point: I have a thing about push notifications and ‘gamification’ – I kind of hate them both. I can’t stand apps that keep sending out push notifications about every little thing throughout the day, even if they could be helpful or interesting little facts. It gets annoying and it has to be engaging and relevant. Most aren’t, most just tell me generic news or tips.
I don’t get the whole ‘gamification’ thing either. Well, I read every single notification that pops up on my phone from my wearable's app because it speaks about my progress against that of my friends; and I get riled every time one of my friends pass me! I get how this simple little game can really drive behavioural change. It’s working for me anyway but only because it’s all about me, not general information or ‘what people should do’.
So what does it actually mean for my health? Well, my overall Quealth score is now 70.07 up from 69.39, with my Cardiovascular Q having benefitted the most. A small change but I’m pretty pleased with that - it’s taken me into the 70s which is a good step in the right direction. I’m moving more, winning badges at the same time and slowly but surely improving my overall health; not bad for just 6 weeks with small changes to my daily routine and lifestyle.
Most importantly though, it has brought one thing home: the information these apps give me or tell me has to be relevant and personal to me. At the moment I have about 20 health apps on my phone, most are activity tracking apps and they include the really big brands in the business. And how many do I use on a regular basis? Three - and one of those is our own. Doesn't that say a lot?
I can’t wait for you all to see what we have in store for Quealth. We’re working to build exactly this part of our app out; to make it relevant, personal and to bring the whole journey into one complete circle. Plus, with the help of some exciting new partnerships we’re also working to make the app as user friendly and easy to use
as we can.
Watch this space, it won't be long - promise!
Alex Kühne - Head of Market Development