During my panel at the World Congress mHealth Summit in July, Bud Flagstad, VP Strategic Initiatives at UnitedHealth Group mentioned their upcoming mobile app which is designed for healthy challenges.
OptumHealth, a business unit of UnitedHealth Group, has just launched the free OptumizeMe app for Windows Phone 7 devices, which will be followed by Android and iPhone platforms in 2011. OptumizeMe is a unique health and fitness app designed to make health both fun and social.
The idea of challenges and trackers was tested with UnitedHealth employees last summer. UnitedHealth found that the challenge participants tended to meet and exceed their fitness goals faster.
With OptumizeMe, you can create challenges and invite others in your social circle to participate. If you are planning a run challenge in Central Park, you can extend your invitation to others in the geography who then opt in to join you. You can use a map to show the location of your event and to check out other events in the area. You can also send motivational messages to your friends and family around the challenge and post your progress to Facebook. Others can respond with a “thumbs up” or a “butt kick” to move you closer to your fitness goal.
Once you complete your first Challenge, you receive your first virtual trophy, a Pioneer badge. Some badges are won based on your efforts and others are a surprise which keeps fitness fun.
In addition to social challenges, you can use OptumizeMe to manage your personal challenges such as training for a marathon or accelerating your physical activity during the holidays. Think about how you would use the OptumizeMe app. What personal challenges and social challenges would you choose to manage?