Digital Health’s Secret Weapon: Behavioral Science
By Aline Holzwarth
Article originally appeared in HealthTech magazine. Read the full article here.
With the ubiquity of smartphones, and the fact that everyone (including your grandma) carries their devices with them everywhere, we also carry with us the perfect opportunities for health management. With mobile devices in the right place — that’s everywhere — behavioral science can help make sure interventions are reaching us at the right times.
Technology can be used to reach out with timely interventions, and behavioral science demonstrates how to do so effectively. Your smartphone can help you precommit to your health goals. Your phone can remind you to exercise, or call you out if you don’t. It can let your friends know when you skip the gym if you are brave enough to ask it to. Your phone can even dole out punishments if you fail to meet your health goals. It can keep track of your progress, and that data can be used to inform an evolving weight loss plan. And since your phone can keep you on track toward losing those pounds, you don’t need to rely on fallible human devices, like memory or motivation.