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Healthrageous Launches New h!GO App

Early this month Healthrageous, a personalized health technology company, announced the launch of its new mobile app, h!GO. The iPhone, Droid and Blackberry compatible app extends Healthrageous’ online support to help individuals target unhealthy habits and develop more accountable lifestyles. This is good news given that the point of care for most health related behavior-change isn’t the doctor’s office; it’s a lunch break decision between Foodler.com or a three block walk to Whole Foods. Wellness initiatives armed with such mobile technology are having a great deal of success because they reach users at these critical moments and integrate with the fast-paced data-rich lives we live.

Initially premiered at this year’s Center for Connected Health Symposium, an early version of h!GO attracted substantial attention by allowing conference attendants to track their activity around the venue. Using biometric sensors and individualized coaching, the company’s platform helps users self-manage their daily health habits. h!GO achieves this by integrating activity, blood pressure and other health inputs into digestible graphs and timely advice. However, the most important facet of Healthrageous taking the app approach is their ability to feed these data and wellness strategies into users’ existing mobile phone routines.Critical wellness advice is often disembodied from the very behaviors that have the most impact on our bodies themselves. Instruction on how to change our unhealthy ways usually comes during a rushed doctor’s visit. We hear abstract phrases like, “try get more cardio in your day” or “reduce the amount of sodium in your diet” but struggle to derive their meaning. It’s not that this well-intentioned guidance isn’t pertinent or that we don’t understand; it’s that such suggestions are difficult to map to our own lives.

Like many wellness apps, h!GO is targeting users that are trying to make healthy decisions beyond the walls of the doctors office. CEO and President Rick Lee explained, “h!GO is a manifestation of our innovative approach to providing health information and support in a timely and contextual way that makes it easier for people to achieve their health goals…” Simply put, the app helps you chose the stairs instead of the elevator and the salad instead of the burger by competing with the immediate temptations of the glowing-button and flame-broiled culture we live in.

The efficacy of this well researched approach comes as no surprise given the institutional origins of Healthrageous. The company’s solutions are based on technologies developed at the Center for Connected Health (CCH), a division of Partners HealthCare. Aside from launching the spin-out Healthrageous, CCH maintains an impressive track record in helping providers and patients manage chronic conditions while improving engagement and clinical outcomes. Although it’s uncommon to see start-ups spring from large hospital systems, we’re pleased to see that one of CCH’s most patient-centric projects has made the leap into the commercial arena.

The new mobile app includes easy-to-understand information and graphics of individual health data collected from monitoring devices such as wireless blood pressure cuffs and step counting accelerometers. Based on your own health data and personal goals, the h!GO app will blip you automated coaching tips, award kudos points for good behavior, and customized health questions that help to further tailor your experience.

Although slight!y over punctuated, the slick green icons and visually engaging design make health updates fast and game-like. For the mGeeks in the room, the h!GO app makes the magic happen on the Pyxis Mobile’s Configure Once, Run Anywhere technology. The platform can also port your data out to various social networking sites in the event you want to share health conquests with others. The recently launched Connect2H! enables friends and family members of Healthrageous colleagues to get involved in their wellness goals.

While a free sample of the company’s pared down H! app is available via the iTunes App Store, Healthrageous seems to be taking a “members only”  approach with its latest creation. Keep your fingers crossed for a stand-alone h!GO offered for download in major mobile market places.

Note: Before working with Health 2.0,  Deb Linton was employed by the Center for Connected Health at Partners Healthcare in Boston, MA

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