Partners tackles ‘huge void’ in wellness

October 24, 2013 in Medical Technology

Wellocracy, launched Oct. 24 by Partners HealthCare’s Center for Connected Health, aims to help consumers make sense of a fast-growing market — collecting clinically-based, impartial information on widening galaxy of fitness trackers and mobile apps.

[See also: Center for Connected Health touts WiFi ]

The Center for Connected Health was one of the first organizations in the world to use technology to deliver care outside of a hospital or doctor’s office, launching connected health programs at Harvard Medical School-affiliated teaching hospitals, including Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospitals in Boston. It goal with Wellocracy is to empower consumers to self-manage their health, create and maintain individual wellness goals and achieve a greater quality of life, officials say.

Nearly half of Americans (48 percent) say it’s hard to stay motivated and healthy, and only 22 percent are very confident in their ability to keep track of their own health, according to a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Wellocracy. That survey (more findings below) provides new data related to the use of activity trackers, mobile apps and other tools to monitor health and wellness, including physical activity, nutrition and sleep.

[See also: Partners makes big interoperability push]

“There are dozens of activity and health trackers on the market today, and literally thousands of health apps available for consumers,” said Joseph C. Kvedar, MD, founder and director, Center for Connected Health, in a press statement. “Yet, instead of getting people moving towards a healthy lifestyle, most feel paralyzed by all these choices and the technology can be dizzying.”

“Wellocracy is focused on inspiring and empowering individuals to self-manage their health and wellness by providing up-to-date information, expert guidance and innovative ideas to help people get the most out of personal health technologies,” he added.

Wellocracy aims to deliver consumer-friendly information, expert guidance from clinicians and unbiased opinions about personal health technologies, says Partners officials. The site also applies behavioral science to help individuals find their ‘stickiness factor,’ that is the specific motivation that inspires each of us to stay on track to achieve health and wellness goals.

According to the survey, 68 percent agree that encouragement from friends and family is important for them to achieve health goals. 65 percent believe that using a health tracking device, website or app would be beneficial, including helping them stay motivated to meet health and fitness goals (32 percent), and over one-quarter believe it would provide accountability (31 percent) and help them stay in control of their health (27 percent).

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