What are the Benefits of Health and Wellness Apps?

What are the Benefits of Health and Wellness Apps?

Based on the Weight Watchers’ promotions on various elderly-oriented websites such as AARP, Arcatron, Baby Boomer, and other similar sites, the program seems to be popular with senior citizens. Meanwhile, users of these apps can connect with a “health coach and a social platform” to encourage them to continue their self-monitoring habit`s throughout their fitness journey. Other health and fitness apps that can help users modify their behavior to reach their fitness apps include Lose It!® and MyFitnessPal®. These apps were also recommended for use by diabetics.

Noom

  • Noom, Inc. integrates the marvels of technology with the human aspects of expert coaches to enable effective behavior transformation.
  • Coming from the success of its breakthrough health and fitness programs, the company released its new behavior change platform to help those who are suffering from chronic and pre-chronic symptoms. The CDC’s Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) became one of the pioneering programs in the new platform.
  • Noom’s DPP became the pioneering fully mobile diabetes program to be accredited by the CDC. It is also the sole mobile program that is backed by clinical evidence in a peer-reviewed study.
  • The company also provides other programs that touch other areas in the acuity range. Its platform now offers more programs to address hypertension and diabetes management aside from its signature weight reduction and diabetes prevention programs.
  • Using the data from its mobile health platform, Noom was able to “quantify the behavior patterns and attitudes” of individuals who were able to achieve their weight loss targets.
  • This was made possible with the help of artificial intelligence and the inputs of human coaches as the analysis was made on the relevant data from 20 million Americans and the 4 billion data points of behavior patterns that were inputted into Noom’s platform.
  • Noom will then use the quantified data to formulate new guidance for its users to help them achieve their own target weight loss goals.
  • According to Dr. Andreas Michaelides, Noom’s Chief of Psychology, “artificial intelligence and human coaches” will increase their collaboration to enable more users to reach their weight loss targets.
  • Dr. Michaelides further mentioned that understanding a gamut of consumer attitudes and habits can enable Noom to aid more users to go through a weight loss path that increases the probability of hitting their target weight loss goals. He further added that they already understand that historical behaviors and attitudes are good predictors of the future.
  • With the application of big data, Noom can now translate historical data into concrete figures. With this capability, it can enable its consumers to modify certain behavior or attitude patterns that are contributing to their weight loss failure.
  • The data from the analysis can also help in obtaining the types of attitudes and behavior trends that are common among those who reached their target weight loss goals.
  • The analysis was also able to discover some typical success behaviors or habits such as drafting an “SOS Plan” to address past future downfalls. This emergency toolkit allows users to role-play situations when they were about to hit a snag.
  • Based on the analysis, users can also increase their chances of achieving their goals by having an accountability partner to help them reach their goals.
  • It would also help the users succeed by literally writing out what they did that are not historically effective.
  • As per the analysis, successful users can determine and understand their own psychological stimuli.
  • Successful users of the platform also put in place realistic targets that can be achieved. They also set stretch goals that can increase their chances of success.
  • Successful users also take their weight measures every day. Users who check their weights once in the first week were found to have a 13% probability of completing their weight loss resolution. Meanwhile, those who check their weights every day have a 64% success rate.
  • The analysis also revealed that those who succeed with Noom’s weight loss program were able to determine the emotions that lead them to crave for certain food items. They also understand how their surroundings can affect their behavior.
  • Noom also improved its mobile weight loss program by incorporating psychological tricks around the most proven behavioral patterns and attitudes that were manifested by successful users.
  • According to Noom’s Co-founder and President, this update positions Noom as the first mobile platform to capture and consolidate successful behaviors and attitudes of around 45 million of its users globally.
  • He further mentioned that Noom Coach is not a “quick fix or a diet.” Its behavioral program sparks long-term transformations that inspire users to continuously improve their health.
  • The Scientific Reports and the Journal of Human Hypertension both released peer-reviewed research on how successful is Noom Coach in promoting lasting weight-loss.
  • Based on the findings of Scientific Reports, 80% of Noom coach users were able to reduce their weight using the mobile health program.
  • Meanwhile, the Journal of Human Hypertension’s studies revealed that Noom users with high blood pressure were able to reduce their hypertension risk with the use of the app’s Hypertension Reduction and Prevention Program (HRPP).
  • Furthermore, the British Medical Journal Open Diabetes Research & Care also released a study where it was revealed that 64% of the users who went through Noom’s program experienced a weight loss of more than 5% of their body weight.
  • Based on a study, individuals who regularly record their healthy habits achieve more sustained weight loss. Based on this, Noom users were able to find success with the app as it motivates users to self-track their weight management journey regularly.
  • Noom also understands that users who self-track their weight journey typically lost interest in this activity over time. To counter this, the app has added several features that encourage users to persist in their self-monitoring habit.
  • Users of the app can connect with a “health coach and a social platform” to encourage them to continue their self-monitoring habit. Through the social platform, users can talk about their weight loss concerns and share their journey with each other.
  • Health coaches can also help these users to form new habits that can lead to long-term behavioral transformation.
  • Noom also aims to apply cognitive behavioral therapy concepts to facilitate effective changes in behavior.
  • Aside from monitoring and stopping undesirable habits on its tracks, new users can complete a questionnaire and build general health targets such as shedding some weight or becoming fit.
  • The questions range from general to highly specific, and can include varied topics such as family history of chronic diseases and the typical mealtime of the user.
  • Users can also message their coach or their coaching network through the app to help them accomplish their targets.
  • Aside from their weight, users can also monitor their food intake, physical activities, blood pressure, and blood sugar.
  • The app’s food database contains 3.7 million entries.
  • To further help its users adhere to therapy longer, Noom also collaborated with Eversana. Eversana is a life sciences firm that helps with assessing the price of medications.
  • The company also sought the expertise of Novo Nordisk to educate and support its users using the drug company’s weight-management medications.
  • Noom is also considered as successful for users due to its hyper-personalization approach.
  • The brand emphasizes in its messaging that it is extremely focused on its customers.
  • This is shown on its website where the brand encourages visitors to begin answering questions about their health habits and other relevant personal information.
  • After the questionnaire is submitted, Noom will then send a detailed goal timeline and an action plan to accomplish the goal. The time spent on the questionnaire will also incite a strong “sense of investment.”
  • The brand’s personalization focus extends beyond the planning stage. Noom regularly incorporates the user’s responses into all the interactions with them. The personalized responses can be embedded into the daily questions, conversations with coaches, tips from Noom’s messaging systems, and other communications.
  • Noom’s success was also attributed to its extensive show of expertise and relevant fitness knowledge.
  • The app takes pride in being labeled as “nerdy,” as shown by the “#nerd” hashtag that accompanies its daily science-based messages to its users.
  • This approach is effective as it aligned with the brand’s objective of providing continuous education to its users on the psychological snares and stimuli that hinder most diets.
  • Noom also understands that users are typically steadfast and inspired as they begin their fitness journey. However, it also knows that this enthusiasm will eventually wane when they start experiencing hardships.
  • To address this, the app ensures that the pieces of information that they disseminate are placed strategically. This approach aims to stimulate the curiosity of the users and leave them wanting for more.
  • For people with chronic diseases, Noom provides them with “moderately-paced” learning paths to make them more engaged.
  • The brand also recognizes that users may eventually signify their intent to quit the program based on human frailties and the typical historical habits of users. Given this, Noom ensures to send over various accountability solutions to help its users to remain motivated. This can be in the form of regular catch-up with coaches or linking the user with an online Noom support community.

Core Noom Customers

  • On average, the ages of Noom’s users are scattered quite evenly among the 18 and above age groups. The 40-to-59-year-old age group is the biggest, with 24% of the app’s users belonging to this segment.
  • Based on a new study from the Journal of Medical Internet Research Diabetes, older adults can benefit from Noom’s programs.
  • The study tracked 14,767 users who subscribed to the Noom Healthy Weight (HW) and Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) program within a 52-week period. The age of the participants ranges from 35 to 85 years old.
  • The findings revealed that as age advanced by one year, weight decreased by 0.12 kg.
  • This outcome indicates that those who are older dropped more weight over the course of the 16-week Noom curriculum compared to the younger users.
  • The participants were also able to hit the following Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) healthy weight loss target guideline: people who dropped 5% or more of their body weight can merit from a decreased risk of obesity-related chronic illnesses.
  • The research also revealed that DPP participants shed more pounds (8.1% body weight) versus the HW users (5.2% body weight) in one year. This implies that DPP users may be more driven by the need to manage their health conditions as compared to those who are only aiming to lose weight.
  • According to a clinical research coordinator at Noom, obesity and diabetes in middle-aged and older individuals are becoming more prevalent.
  • Furthermore, as more people reach 60 years old and above, the need for more health programs, like the ones being offered by Noom, is also increasing.

Weight Watchers® Reimagined (WW)

  • Weight Watchers® Reimagined provides a weight loss and wellness program that is backed by scientific concepts. The company offers “digital, studio, and personal coaching solutions” to enable its clients to reach their fitness targets.
  • Its latest program is called myWW™. The program integrates the knowledge and expertise of the company and the scientific principles behind them with the member’s personal needs.
  • The company aims to empower its clients to lose weight and form long-term healthy habits using personalized methods.
  • WW also provides various tools to make it convenient for its clients to lose weight.
  • The company provides an app that features a food tracker, a recipe database, equipment-free exercise videos, live coaching from WW experts, and a rewards program.
  • Users can create an account and choose the pricing plan that they prefer.
  • Once they are subscribed, they can access a personal assessment questionnaire where they can reveal their “eating habits, food preferences, lifestyle, and activity level.”
  • Based on the answers to the questionnaire, a member will be given a color category. Based on the color category, members can access the right food choices that are best suited for their fitness goals.
  • WW also provides its science-backed SmartsPoints system where points are assigned to food items to make it easy for its users to select what they will eat.
  • Users are given a daily SmartPoints® Budget that is customized based on their age, height, weight, and gender. With this system, the users are subtly guided to make the right choice to meet their daily points budget. They are also being encouraged to build healthy behaviors from the comfort of their own homes.
  • The program provides a highly personalized and flexible fitness plan for its users to enable them to be motivated in staying on track to hit their targets.
  • Health coaches and an online fitness community are also available to the members to provide advice and encouragement and keep them motivated along their fitness journey.
  • There are also weekly workshops that are conducted by experts where members can learn about practical and convenient tools and techniques that can help them sustain their journey.
  • Consumers in the U.S. perceive the Weight Watchers brand as a trustworthy firm that is backed by scientific principles, and one that can meet its promised results. However, the company is also viewed as an old-fashioned firm that most people would consider as “their mother’s diet program.”
  • Furthermore, people have now advanced beyond just limiting their calorie intake. During these modern times, the game now revolves around “health, wellness, and $30 yoga classes.”
  • Because of this, the legendary brand has transitioned to a more cross-cutting approach. At the same time, it is also reconditioning the minds of the consumers, especially the younger ones, to witness their modern transformation.
  • The brand’s evolution will encompass its various offerings such as sessions, events, and content.
  • The irony though is that the company has banked on its biggest selling positioning that has made it successful in all those past years. It is known for its “nonrestrictive, flexible approach” to food consumption.
  • Subscribers are not restricted to eat only certain types of healthy dishes. Instead, they can eat whatever they want as long as they select the healthier or lower calorie options that are based on the brand’s suggested menu.
  • This approach is a proven success in the past as it does not disrupt its member’s lifestyle compared to other types of diets. People can freely go to social eating events anytime.
  • However, the brand felt that consumers nowadays are associating diet with being reactive instead of proactive. The word is also associated with failure if people fall of the wagon.
  • The youth of today is geared more toward preventative health measures that focus on holistic healthy approaches.
  • Consumers also prefer a flexible lifestyle brand instead of a restrictive brand.
  • Weight Watchers mentioned that their customers are already happy with their program as it can easily integrate into their way of living. The concern is more of how the brand position this offering.
  • To address this, Weight Watchers unveiled its Beyond the Scale program. The program aims to bring the brand’s “new livable” belief into the fitness and mindset segment.
  • The program focuses on an integrated strategy that combines a balance of “movement, happiness, and meditation” to a member’s weight loss objective.
  • As part of the program, members receive encouraging messages to go for healthier eating options with the new SmartPoints system. With this new system, the focus is not anymore just counting calories.
  • To cater to its millennial customers, the brand also established the Connect digital community.
  • Members of the community can share healthy living advice, recipes, and inspirational messages to encourage each other.
  • The community members are grouped by life stages instead of age or location.
  • Each member can put in place custom goals that they are planning to achieve by monitoring food intake and physical activity levels.
  • According to the Chief Scientific Officer of the company, the brand is transforming its offerings based on the marriage between science and consumer insights.
  • The brand also transformed its sessions to enable the members to set their own weight loss goals. They were also enticed to share other goals that they hope to achieve to keep them motivated to achieve their fitness objectives.
  • WW also made some improvements in its original Smartpoints program by introducing a more flexible option that is branded as WW Freestyle.
  • The new option is similar to the previous version but has assigned zero points to 200 more food items that do not pose an overconsumption risk. The brand touted this new program as “livability on steroids.”
  • To keep its members motivated to reach their goals, the brand is also launching several series of experiences such as “wellness festivals, cruises, and other community-centered events.”
  • The brand also adapted to its new approach by shortening its brand name to WW. The new name is a throwback to its founding mission without specifically telling consumers of its original diet focus.
  • Based on the testimonies of several members such as Kate Hudson, the program is effective for them as it enables them to find the right balance when consuming their favorite food.
  • According to various experts, lifestyle transformations are considered as a major strategy when trying to lose weight. The experts also emphasized that community support and the help of trained professionals are crucial success drivers, elements that are present in the WW program.
  • Based on the results of the WW program test on prediabetes patients, they were able to achieve noticeable weight loss and maintain the right level of blood sugar within 6 months. The patients were also able to maintain those good results after one year.

WW Core Demographic

  • Weight Watchers’ core demographic consists of 90% women. The average age of its members is around 38 years old for the past few years.
  • In the previous year, the brand is seeing a surge of younger women in their 20s and 30s enrolling in its programs.
  • However, the brand is also focused on ensuring that their new branding approach will not alienate their older customers such as middle-aged mothers.
  • According to the Director of Preventive Cardiology at the University of Chicago Medical Center, the Weight Watchers diet plan and other diet programs with identical structures got high ratings when considered for senior citizens. These diet programs were deemed suitable for seniors due to their simplicity. Senior citizens do not need to exert a lot of effort in planning for healthy meals as these programs already provide this information based on their personal health goals, gender, weight, height, and age.
  • There were no available statistics or insights that fully describe the extent to which older people or seniors are also accessing the WW programs.
  • Based on the Weight Watchers’ promotions on various elderly-oriented websites such as AARP, Arcatron, Baby Boomer, and other similar sites, the program seems to be popular for senior citizens.
  • In terms of income, WW’s members’ income levels range from high-net-worth groups to lower-income groups.

Health Apps General User Demographics

  • As only a limited number of data sets can be found on the demographic profiles of the users of Noom and Weight Watchers, the following graph from a Gallup survey was presented to show the demographic profile of health app users in general:
U.S. Health App Users' Demographic Profile

Lose It!®

  • Lose It!® provides health and wellness solutions that aim to enable its users to change their habits and achieve their fitness goals. Some of its features include “motivation and challenges, coaching, overall health management,” and the insights that were derived from calories, exercise, and nutrition tracking data.
  • The program is recommended for diabetics.
  • The brand also aims to modify people’s perception of weight loss. It has built an innovative technology solution to enable its subscribers to arrive at the best fitness decisions.
  • The app features a weight loss plan that is customized for the user based on their individual body statistics and activity level. Users can also monitor their calorie intake and activity level on the app. They can then check their progress under the goals area.
  • Users can also refer to the app’s database containing 32 million food items and exercise content to record their food intake and activity for the day.
  • The program does not have a list of banned food items.
  • Instead, it allows users to select food that they prefer for the day as long as they will follow the recommended food intake quantity for the day.
  • The app also features a smart camera for scanning food package barcodes for quick logs.
  • The app can also be connected to Apple Health and Google Fit to make activity logging more convenient.
  • Users can also add their friends and join communities in the app to keep them motivated in their fitness journey.
  • The app also offers a premium plan that has additional features such as DNA Insights. The feature allows users to input their DNA results from third-party providers into the app to get a nutrigenomics report.
  • To maintain the user’s motivation, they can also create their own groups and formulate fitness-related challenges for the group.
  • The app also helps in keeping up the motivation levels of its users by providing a way to celebrate milestones and quick wins.
  • Lose It!® also analyzed its data in the app to determine the habits exhibited by users who met their fitness goals. The company then collaborated with Microsoft Band to develop a program that can enable the other users to emulate those behaviors and form new habits.
  • The “New Year Solution, brought to you by Microsoft Band” aims to empower Lose It! users to transform their behaviors based on the successful habits that were obtained from the analysis.
  • According to the CEO of the company, its programs aim to change the behaviors of the users to enable them to reach their fitness targets. It will not just be about pursuing an end result.
  • Lose It!® has already enabled over 40 million users to lose over 90 million pounds.
  • The program is recommended by physicians. It has also received recognition from the Surgeon General as the number one program in its Healthy App Challenge.
  • Lose It!® is also backed by tested nutrition science concepts, rich behavioral data, and customer-focused software development.
  • Based also on the testimonies of successful users, the app worked for them because of the food intake tracking feature that lets them control their calorie intake.
  • The personalized daily calorie budget also helped a successful user to reach his fitness goal.
  • Users also mentioned that the tracking feature in the app-enabled them to view their progress. The app also provided a personalized estimated timeline for achieving the goal. This feature helped in maintaining the excitement of a user throughout his fitness journey.

MyFitnessPal®

  • MyFitnessPal® provides a platform that helps its users to track their food intake and physical activity levels.
  • The app features gamification techniques to motivate its members.
  • The app is also one of the recommended tools that can help diabetic patients to monitor their health.
  • Diabetics can also use the app to put in place their macronutrient goals, monitor their physical activity levels, and track their food intake.
  • MyFitnessPal®’s platform allows users to maintain a food diary that can help them know more about their behaviors and increase their chances of reaching their fitness targets.
  • Users can also track their food intake easily by scanning food packaging barcodes, inputting their meals and recipes, and using the platform’s Quick Tools.
  • The app also ensures that users stay motivated throughout their journey by allowing them to be part of the MyFitnessPal®’s community. As a community member, users can receive advice, instructions, and support all day.
  • The platform can also be linked to other apps and devices such as with Under Armour app, Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung Health, Apple Health Kit, MapMyRun, and others.
  • Based on the testimonies of users who were successful in hitting their target goals, the platform enabled them to change their unhealthy eating behaviors through education. One successful user also transformed from being a food addict to being a mindful eater.
  • One user also mentioned that some friends who faltered in their fitness journey were able to regain their motivation with the help of the fitness community.
  • Another successful user also mentioned in a testimony that the app notification feature is very useful as it warns her if she is going over the recommended daily food limit.
  • The user also mentioned that the positive messages received from the app whenever a milestone is reached helped her maintain her motivation level.

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