Managing Population Health With Consumer Health Technology

If you are like most health coaches or managers I have spoken with recently you have probably been scratching your head over the past year wondering how consumer health tracking apps fit into your regiment.

Sure, it’s great that individuals have been empowered to take control of their health, but that shouldn’t replace or devalue the relationship anyone has with their health professional.

The resulting question has become how these two services can coexist to enhance a client or patient’s lifestyle.

More Data = Better Decisions

There is great consumer health technology out there capturing data that can be incredibly useful when prescribing any type of regiment.

Want someone to start with the basics such as tracking simple steps? Try a Fitbit. Interested in someone’s sleeping patterns? Maybe encourage the use of a sleep tracker, such as Sleep As Android.

Regardless of the platform, access to more data or better data can be tremendous when considering new habits to prescribe, providing you with the ability to use hard facts as reasons for change.

Increasing the Number of Touch Points

It is projected that 50% of smartphone owners will be using at least 1 mobile health app by 2017. Some degree of face-to-face interaction is an integral part of any relationship, but completely disregarding the use of complementary emerging technologies can be short-sighted, and possibly limit your long term effectiveness.

Leverage these trends and begin to include apps and wearables into your model. Create a channel of association where app usage reenforces the education you have helped to instill.

Expand Your Reach and Reduce Client Churn

Needless to say, you can’t expect to meet with all your clients each day, but that does’t mean you have to wait for the next scheduled conversation to make sure they are staying on track.

Incorporating technology can provide you with a snapshot of how your group is doing before attrition hits and someone decides to move on.

Leveraging these resources allows you to spend your time where it is most needed, resulting in a more efficient business allowing you to provide care to more people.

Finding the Right Platform

When looking at the gambit of apps on the market it is important to realize that platforms are largely designed for people of certain lifestyles.  

For instance, where Fitbit or Garmin may have great step trackers, Strava and MapMyRide are more appropriate systems for cycling enthusiasts.

Connecting your clients with the appropriate apps will help enhance their likelihood of success and mitigate the risk of churn, so make sure to educate yourself on some of the market leading platforms that cater to people of varying lifestyles.