HEALTH

Dieters will draw motivation from new weight-loss visualization app

BY Michael Johnsen

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Visual Health Solutions on Friday introduced the Visualize You Weight Change Viewer mobile app, an ultra-sophisticated weight-loss activation tool that uses a photo to display the effects of weight loss on a user's facial appearance in unprecedented detail. Unlike conventional photo manipulations that only stretch or pinch images, the Visualize You Weight Change Viewer app generates a facial image that reflects actual weight-change dynamics aligned with an individual's target weight-loss goal.
 
The mobile app — developed with The Wellness Institute of the Cleveland Clinic, the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, and UnitedHealthcare — is meant to motivate individuals embarking on a formal healthy weight program, and enhance compliance. It will be demonstrated for the first time on television on "The Dr. Oz Show" on April 8.
 
A UnitedHealthcare-sponsored version of the app is now available for free in the Apple App Store or on Google Play. A non-sponsored version can be downloaded for $1.99.
 
"The Visualize You – Weight Change Viewer app is a major step forward in helping people approach weight loss in a more informed, educated and fun manner," stated Michael Roizen, chairman of wellness at the Cleveland Clinic.  
 
"The app provides a new perspective on tackling obesity by arming individuals with a visual image of their goal which provides a motivational boost," commented Holly Wyatt, associate professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Diabetes at the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center. "Visualize You – Weight Change Viewer is a breakthrough in that it uses scientifically based algorithms to provide an unparalleled visual representation of what an individual will look like if they change behavior and lose weight. The app offers individuals a clear-cut end goal for weight loss and provides them with an important tool to activate and achieve a successful program."
 
The mobile app is an extension of a successful PC-based weight loss visualization program that Visual Health Solutions developed with UnitedHealthcare last year. 
 
"The Visualize You – Weight Change Viewer app is a unique digital tool that can help people reach their weight loss goals," said Brad Hunt of UnitedHealthcare. "We're pleased to support individuals through the use of the app, as they work toward a healthier future."
 
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Safe Heart introducing smartphone blood pressure monitor through crowdfunding

BY Michael Johnsen

 

 
 
ATLANTA — Having achieved earlier success through the Indiegogo launch of the iOximeter Smartphone Pulse Oximeter, Safe Heart recently launched a new crowdfunding campaign for Mobicuff, its new smartphone blood-pressure monitor. 
 
“The men and women receiving first diagnoses for hypertension grew up playing video games and are used to gaming elements in everyday life,” stated Yale Zhang, Safe Heart founder. “By making the previously tedious activity of measuring your blood pressure both fun and addictive, Mobicuff will move the needle and encourage positive lifestyle changes.”
 
“Built into the whole Mobicuff Ecosystem is this gamification, where there’s constant rewards, constant trophies and badges to keep you going,” said gamification expert Chris Klaus, founder of Kaneva. “It’s a real game-changer in the industry.”
 
Gamification elements added include trophies, rewards, unlockable features (such as The Mobicuff uploads to cloud and comparison with National Institutes of Heart averages) and an avatar called Mobie the Owl whose plumage and mood is dependant on how often the user measures.
 
The Mobicuff is a tethered hand pump blood pressure cuff for Android or iPhone. The campaign video, titled “More Frisky, Less Risky”, features a man pumping up the Mobicuff and checking to make sure his vital signs were good before engaging in bedroom activities with his wife. The technology was developed in partnership with researchers from the Oxford Centre for Affordable Healthcare Technology. 
 
Following the close of the Indiegogo Campaign, the Mobicuff is expected to be delivered in October of this year.
 

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Jackson, Miss. named Spring Allergy Capital by AAFA

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON – The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of American on Thursday released its top 100 list of Spring Allergy Capitals, naming Jackson, Miss. as the leading Allergy Capital in the U.S. based on higher than average pollen and higher than average medication usage. 
 
Nearby, Tennessee posted two cities in the top 10 – Memphis (No. 4) and Knoxville (No. 5). Knoxville, Tenn. climbed to the top-10 list from No. 16 last year. Other cities that reached top 10 status since last year include McAllen, Texas (from No. 10 to No. 6); Wichita, Kansas (No. 12 to No. 7); Dayton, Ohio (No. 11 to No. 8); and Providence, R.I. (No. 17 to No. 9). 
 
AAFA’s Spring Allergy Capitals report is an independent research project of AAFA and is sponsored by Dymista (azelastine hydrochloride and fluticasone propionate) Nasal Spray distributed by Meda Pharmaceuticals. “The Allergy Capitals can help to inform a pollen sufferer about geographical areas that may provoke and worsen their seasonal symptoms, which impacts
their quality of life,” stated Cliff Bassett, medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of NY and an ambassador for AAFA. “It’s important that allergy sufferers take heed; a new study by AAFA revealed that spring is when most allergy patients experience their worst seasonal allergy symptoms."
 
The complete list is available at AAFA's website
 
 
 
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