People know what’s good for them, but find it difficult to change their daily routines – technology can enable them to do so. Currently there are around 100,000 health applications that people can download on their mobile device, which measure physical activity and provide health-related advice.
The data amassed from wearable technology is one way that consumers can harness the power of data. It can show them where they are going wrong, encourage them to be less sedentary; basically, hold a mirror up to their lifestyle so that it becomes easier to instigate positive behavioral changes.
However, field research from Philips suggests that to truly create behavioral change, technology must monitor activity over a long period of time and work harder to motivate people. One way of doing this is to use data compiled from digital tools so that coaches can intervene when motivation is waning. Commitment to changing one’s life is not enough – encouragement, often from professionals, is needed too.
One example is our collaboration with WeightWatchers to create. This is a personalized web-based health and weight-loss program that goes beyond calculating calories burned through activity – it analyses data, creates achievable goals and carefully monitors an individual’s performance, providing motivation and mentoring from a virtual coach.
We expect 50 billion connected devices in the world by 2020 – this will have an impact across almost every single industry, creating completely new consumer experiences. Philips will play a leading role in creating meaningful digital propositions and services, inspiring people to drive positive change in their lives.
 Source: Global action plan for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases 2013-2020, World Health Organization, 2013.