A survey released in August 2012 reported that respondents spend 144 minutes a day surfing on their phones. Our lifestyle is dominated by media consuming habits. Entrepreneurs launching health and wellness Apps would argue that this is terrific news. Even as you read this article, hundreds of mobile Apps claim to enrich people’s lives by making the time we spend online beneficial to our minds and bodies.
Indeed, social and mobile Apps are influential tools that can be utilized for great causes. Some Apps raise breast cancer awareness and others help patients and their families manage Alzheimer’s. For this reason, INCA’s Integrative Nurse Coach Certification Program (INCCP) spends time guiding RNs on how to build their practices and create effective websites and social media networks to promote their values and services.
Yet the rising number of “personalized” Apps makes finding an App that fits as hard as it is to find a good neighborhood gym. Some magazines, like Time Health and Family, try to make the App search easier with “There are 10 Apps for That” lists. Not all innovative Apps make those “Top 10” blog posts. One App that did not make the cut is Higi. Higi entices users to embrace healthy habits so that they can accumulate “wellness scoring”, a type of social credit score that entitles users to awards. Another promising, not-yet viral, community based wellness App is Fig. Fig allows a user’s friends to offer kudos, a virtual nudge to get something done, encouragement or assistance.
What makes the wellness App industry so competitive? Since users share an application when they feel that it has lived up to its promise, wellness Apps have a very difficult goal to achieve- the high, and at times unreasonable, mental and physical health goals we set for ourselves.
That is why Nurse Coaches have a distinct advantage in creating successful wellness Apps. As the heart and brains of the field of holistic care, we addresses the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs of patients. Nurse Coaches are perfectly positioned to use, share, and even create Apps that inspire our patients to make lifestyle changes a reality.
Do you recommend any wellness Apps for keeping up with health related goals? Have you noticed patients using certain Apps more than others? What do you think gives them an edge?
What App would you design to help your patients stick to their treatment goals when they are home? Tak a look at the INCCP curriculum and consider joining us in April to learn more about using online tools such as websites, social media, and Apps effectively to grow your practice.