Why is Selfcare so effective?
Simply recording data is not enough to have a real impact on preventing disease and improving health. Selfcare therefore does more than merely measuring and visualizing data from smart sensors such as Jawbone, Withings, Fitbit or Medisana. Selfcare starts where these devices end. Selfcare stores the data that the user collects through different devices (Track) and provides medically responsible context for and insights into measurements such as blood pressure, weight, physical activity and glucose (Learn). The following step (Improve) is to help users persevere with the realization of their personal goals. Selfcare knows how to facilitate sustainable positive behaviour change. It is obvious that most of us need to be more physically active, and some of us may well count their steps for a few days, but without the right trigger, incentive or challenge we have great difficulty in achieving sustained behaviour change. Selfcare distinguishes itself by providing users with effective means and tools to support them in the change process.
Sensible application of new technology and behavioural science
Selfcare makes well-considered use of the latest technology by applying smart algorithms to the registered data. These algorithms indicate specific areas for attention that are based not only on individual measurements but also on possible links with other measurements such as blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol. Additionally, Selfcare provides the user with tools that help to interpret and manage the measurements. To do this Selfcare works together with professional behavioural scientists. For instance, an individual coach for sending messages can be chosen from four coaches. Another possibility is for family members to become involved and for a competition to be initiated. In addition, users can create their own customized measurements which they can update, supplement and manage. Last but not least, Selfcare enables users to communicate health data with a team of medical specialists to inquire about health issues, discuss their personal data or share their data with their family doctor. This combination of features is unique in the world and is a Dutch innovation.
Track:Knowledge is power. To map, monitor and improve your health, tracking your health data is the first necessary step. Upon this foundation can be built with insight and improvement. Simply quantifying your behaviour will have an impact and improve your health through increased awareness.
Learn: Exploring and learning. By measuring aspects of both health and lifestyle, a learning process starts. Your coach helps you to interpret the incoming data and make connections between your measurements. This way you will learn more about how different aspects of your health and lifestyle are related.
Improve:motivation and improvement. Based on the insights from measuring and learning about your health, changes and improvement can take place. You can set concrete goals and monitor progress towards these goals together with your digital coach. Taking tiny steps you will walk towards a sustainable improvement of your health and behaviour!
Real world examples:
80% more steps by wearing a pedometer
Users who wear a pedometer 1 in 3 days register an average of 3.441 steps. Users who wear a pedometer 2 in 3 days register an average of 6.195 steps. That is an 80% increase. These users sleep better, have a lower blood pressure and feel healthier. Doing it together with peers increases the step count with about 2.000 steps per day.
Also effective in the long term
Monitoring physical activity with the aid of an objective pedometer combined with feedback leads to an increase in physical activity among the general population, especially the high-risk groups. These effects endure for a protracted period (3 months).
(Journal of medical Internet research, 2015)
Increased physical activity through communication
Research shows that sharing and communicating with others is highly motivational; the step count increased by between 21% (when competing with one peer) and 44% (when competing with five or more peers)
The personal impact of this can be huge – an extra 2000 steps per day causes a reduction of 3.8 mmHg in blood pressure over a period of 18 weeks. ‘This reduces significantly the likeliness of a cardiovascular accident.’ This effect is independent of the BMI of the person in question.
(Preventive Medicine, 2004)
Good news for diabetics and heart patients
Review articles show that active self-management of disease leads to: (1) a reduction in the number of hospitalizations of people with heart failure; (2) reduced medication and improved glucose values among diabetics.