Health tracking is here to stay. Consumers are intrigued by the potential these apps and devices can provide, but unfortunately most of them struggle to understand what the data actually means.
As a result, an incredible opportunity has been presented to the health and wellness professionals ready to embrace this technology.
Here are some of the reasons you need an effective mobile health strategy ...
"58% of surveyed mobile phone users have downloaded at least one mobile health app onto their device."
"86% of clinicians say mobile apps central to patient health by 2020."
If you haven’t started using these tools, or are early on exploring what’s out there, just know that there is HUGE potential that can strengthen your business.
Below are some top reasons why you need to be incorporating health tracking apps into your client or patient care model.
Better Understand Who Needs Your Attention
Traditional care comes in the form of meeting or speaking regularly with clients or patients to set up a game plan and review their progress. The thing is, you are generally only with these individuals 1% of the time, AND most of the data presented to you is done so after the fact.
You've probably heard this before.
"Yes, I think I ate pretty well over the past month, and I've been working out a couple times a week".
...but what does that really mean?
We've spoken to hundred of professionals in the space and it's clear that there is REAL frustration with the lack of data that is accessible and/or usable.
The Car Analogy
You've probably seen commercials on TV for products, like TrueCAR, designed to help you become the expert and remove the anxiety that usually comes with overpaying for a vehicle. It can be an intimidating process because the last thing you want to do is drive away from the dealership with a sense of buyer's remorse, feeling like you didn't make the right decision.
All of that is to say that we ALWAYS want to have that sense of being perfectly informed when making any significant decisions.
THIS is the reason more and more practitioners are starting to adopt and promote health tracking tools. The information collected from these devices can provide a additional layer of feedback to you, helping remove the guesswork of who really needs a timely touchpoint, or who may be on the fast track to some type of significant episode.
As a result, this can help you free up some of your time and avoid blindly following up with your entire client list.
A Quick Example ...
Let's say you are currently working with 30 clients, all of which who are following some type of similar protocol.
Rather than relying solely on the traditional approach of regular touchpoints (meetings or calls), consider equipping clients with a health trackers, like Fitbit, which will passively collect hard data on activity and sleep.
This data can provide you with insights into a person's lifestyle you may not have uncovered until your next meeting, or even worse, not at all.
Imagine what you would you do if you happened to notice one of your client's activity had decreased dramatically over the past week? Seeing that information early would allow you to step in and address any issues before it became worse.
Do you see where I'm going here? This data can help you be PROACTIVE about client or patient management leveraging tools that consumers already enjoy using.
It's a win-win scenario.
Increase Your Value, Increase Your Price
Through our time building Nudge Coach we've been able to build relationships with a wide gambit of health and wellness professionals (health coaches, concierge doctors, personal trainers, osteopaths, etc) and one thing that has stood out has been how many have been looking for ways to enhance the value of their offering to create a more premium service.
The idea of perceived value is something relevant to all businesses, but essentially the idea is that a consumer is willing to pay a certain amount for your service because they see the value of your service being greater than the monetary cost.
Being able to include some type of digital monitoring or coaching service along side your current offering can be a great way to include these health tracking tools in a way that sets the stage for a more premium offering.
While creating a better service for your customers is great, ultimately you want to make sure your efforts can result in a higher ROI (return on your investment).
Consider this. A few months ago while I was onboarding a client he happened to share with me a bit about how he saw health tracking fitting within his patient lifestyle program within his practice (he is a chiropractor who also runs a lifestyle program).
He was excited to incorporate a new technology because it would finally be the differentiator he needed to raise his prices. Apparently he knew he had been undercharging for some time but needed an obvious reason to raise the price to the point he felt would be more appropriate for the service.
How The Pros Have Incorporated These Tools
Why He Began Incorporating Health Tracking Apps
“Being a good health coach means giving feedback on real information every couple of weeks... More importantly, with clients and patients living life away for me 99.9% of the time, I need to help them learn how to live life in a more positive way that leads to the life they want. Therefore, giving them feedback periodically that is real to them is what they need and what I must provide...I need a real-world solution to partner with clients and patients to gain info and give touches with actionable feedback that is secure, time efficient, cost sensitive, accurate, safe and easy for me and those I work with.”
How He’s Incorporated Health Tracking Into His Client Model
“The wearable technology is outstanding right now and as a health coach I have been trying to take advantage of this data for the last five or so years. And without a health pro involved, people give up with these wearables, just like physical activity research shows people stop exercise in 3 to 6 months.
When I work with a new patient or client I make sure they have a wearable device, even give or sell them one. This is so important because I need to get unbiased, accurate information. How the heck can I rely on recall when after 24 to 48 hours it's literally impossible for someone to remember the details?
Or better yet how accurate do you think information is if I am meeting or calling them to talk every week or two or even longer? And journaling for a patient or client is a nightmare. It doesn't matter how revved up or excited they are about starting the program, we need ongoing information to help with behavior changes over the long term, that's the goal that really matters.
Take nutrition for example, I don't need to know every milligram or ounce or nano-type of food or nutrient, the doctor doesn't even want that. And besides, 99% of the people I work with don't have the time or interest to do this. Although they want help, and see the value of health coaching by the fact they reach in their pockets and pull out money to pay me, they don't have 10 to 60 min per day to input data.
What I want, what I need, is accurate basics so I can give them effective, real world feedback that is specific to them…”
Why He Began Incorporating Health Tracking Apps
"As a fitness and wellness professional training in gyms for over 10 years, I eventually became frustrated and burnt out with my clients not getting the results they deserved to have. After stretching my coaching practice to include Group Training, Corrective Exercise, Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, Metabolic Typing, and getting certified in handfuls of other fitness and wellness courses, I still intuitively felt that something was missing from my toolset:
Increased client accountability.
One powerful thing that coaching and training for over a decade has taught me, is that to have knowledge is one thing, but to execute on that knowledge is another. An uncomfortable truth in the wellness and fitness industry today is that there is a massive gap between knowing what to do and having the system in place to actually do it.
After seeing the power of digital health applications and devices in 2014 during a screening of the film 'Personal Gold,' I drove home with the seed planted for an ultimate coaching 'ahha' moment. On the way home that night, I thought about how the 2012 USA Olympic Women's Cycling team had won a silver medal using quantified self, digital health and mHealth."
How He’s Incorporated Health Tracking into his Client Model
"Initial testing of the various devices and apps were put through a three month test drive by integrating messaging, notifications, data measurements and best practices personally. In creating the systems and specialized curriculum for use with my clientele, I provided my first Digital Health Coaching group in Q4 of 2015.
Working with clients one-on-one is the keystone of my business... This has been an extremely powerful rapport and trust builder. Upsells for clients in to small groups running 60 days have proven to be beneficial not only for scaling my time, services, and price points, but also in my ability to deliver higher value to my clients.
Moving forward in 2016, I will continue to focus on running 60 day sprints with small groups in my Digital Health Transformation groups.
This has allowed me to increase prices by over 25% in just the first round alone."
These stories are compelling but we want to hear for you!
Have any other stories or thoughts on how you've incorporated health tracking into your business? Please share below!