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A new iPhone app is targeting the ever-growing health and wellness field by helping users track their energy levels and connecting them with relevant experts and resources.
The JUICE app, rolled out by Mindbloom, a Seattle-based digital media company, is the first of what the company expects to be a series of consumer mHealth apps that take advantage of behavioral science and gaming mechanics. They're being developed in a partnership with Vivacity, a Mountlake Terrace, Wash.-based developer of wellness solutions.
“Vivacity’s collaboration with a mobile health technology leader like Mindbloom speaks to our commitment to empowering and enabling consumers to live their healthiest lives.” said Marcia Ridley, chief executive officer of Vivacity, in a press release. “Vivacity is committed to meeting individuals wherever they are on their wellness journey and this series of apps will make healthy lifestyle choices as accessible to consumers as the smartphone in their pockets.”
JUICE targets one of the fastest growing segments of the app industry, which is expected to account for more than $400 million in business by 2016. Of the more than 500,000 apps in the Apple App Store now, 13,700 focus on health and wellness, with 11 percent devoted to stress and relaxation.
The market is particularly appealing to health plans, insurers and self-insured businesses looking to connect with their members or employees to improve health and wellness, cut down on avoidable medical costs and improve productivity.
“JUICE is not an application for the ultra-marathoner or the traditional Nike+ ‘tracker’ crowd. Instead, it is an energy tracker for the rest of us,” said Mindbloom's founder, Chris Hewett, in a separate press release. “Today’s $31.9 billion market for energy drinks reflects the fact that many of us lack the energy we want, but most people don’t know why and don’t have the time to begin to learn how to address the issue. JUICE offers the average person the perfect place to start.”
The JUICE app enables users to record daily behaviors like nutrition, sleep and exercise and track them over time, highlighting behaviors that might negatively affect their energy level. The app also connects the user to a network of experts and authors, offering personalized advice based on user input – for example, advice on better nutrition or sleeping habits.
“We tend to live in a sleep-deprived, overstretched, high-speed world, yet very few of us truly understand how our day-to-day pace depletes our energy levels,” said Patricia Bannan, MS, RD, a dietitian and author of Eat Right When Time is Tight, one of the experts included in the Mindbloom network, in the press release. “While a second afternoon caffeine-loaded beverage might be part of someone’s daily repertoire to boost their energy, it’s a Band-Aid fix that doesn’t address why that person might be feeling drained by potential unhealthy behaviors. With JUICE, people get to the bottom of identifying what is zapping their energy so they can start taking actions to get their real energy to an optimal level.”
“Often you need a mental map to know where you’re going or recognize that you’re lost,” added Shawn Achor, founder and CEO of Good Think and a noted author and wellness expert, in the release. “With JUICE, people get an easy navigational tool for checking in with oneself when energy levels are an issue and they’ll get to see a map of their habits in a fun and non-invasive way. It’s a wonderful opportunity to identify areas where potential small steps could make a huge difference in enabling positive behaviors that lead to more energy. Used effectively, JUICE is the perfect gateway app to better health, well-being and happiness.”
Officials at Minbloom and Vivacity expect to launch more apps soon on their new Life Improvement platform.
“As consumers’ appetites for mHealth apps increase, Mindbloom and Vivacity have come together to offer the perfect combination of art, technology and science to engage them to actively participate in their own well-being,” said Hewett. “It’s an exciting time to see smartphones shift into health and wellness devices and we look forward to collaborating with Vivacity on applications that inspire people to define what’s important, discover what motivates them, and take meaningful daily actions in all areas of their life.”
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