Apple’s Health app promised “An entirely new way to use your health and fitness information.” Well, as has been reported elsewhere, not quite.
But it does address a key issue, aggregating the diverse and scattered health and fitness information. In the increasingly information overloaded day-to-day life, we need assistance to make sense of all the data we collect and request, and to get the bigger picture.
Unfortunately the data types available in the Health app neglect the information that make up a significant part of our health, our genes. As I have written before (Retail’s next face is in your genes) we are at a crossroads where consumer genetics will most likely change the way we approach health and fitness.
There are many services where this previously unavailable information can make all the difference. One of the more obvious is the weight loss “industry”. As the number of diets and exercise regimens are legion, we need help to find the right path. Consumer genetic tests are an important part of the puzzle.
Certain people will lose weight with the Mediterranean diet and others will not (PubMed: The Mediterranean diet and PubMed: dietary fat intake). Certain people will lose more weight with exercise than others (PubMed: Physical activity), some people have higher risk of gallstones, typically related to losing weight (PubMed:Gallstone, PubMed: Gallstone and…, PubMed: Cholesterol metabolism). These examples show that incorporating a component of genetic information in the weight coaching, will provide benefits to the consumer.
This counselling is a white space in the Nordic weight loss industry, and a potentially very profitable cross sell/up sell opportunity, as well as empowering the consumer as seen in the Quantified Self movement.
With the trend and demand for aggregated lifestyle information in one place (Manhattan Research, Cybercitizen Health® U.S. 2013), the service provider who manages to incorporate health, fitness and genetic data into a packaged set of advice, will reap great profit.
To be able to stretch their advice to empower customers, the weight coaches need help. The customer wants to be able to go back to the advice from the coach and get motivation and determination at any time. Thus, an approach to only sell the customer a test, will fall short of the customer’s ever rising expectations.
However, few possess the combined skills required to bring together all the relevant information into one user interface, accessible only by the coach and the customer.
Stretch is one, perhaps the only one, who is up for the task. Read more in our White paper ”Digitized Health”.