BOSTON, MA -- The Center for Connected Health, a division of Partners HealthCare, today launched Wellocracy, a clinically-based source of impartial, easy-to-understand information on new personal 'self-health' technologies such as health and fitness trackers and mobile apps. Wellocracy's goal is to empower consumers to self-manage their health, create and maintain individual wellness goals and achieve a greater quality of life. The Center for Connected Health was one of the first organizations in the world to use technology to deliver care outside of a hospital or doctor’s office, launching connected health programs at Harvard Medical School-affiliated teaching hospitals, including Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospitals in Boston.

Many Americans (48%) report that it is hard to stay motivated to live a healthy life, and only 22% are very confident in their ability to keep track of their own health, according to a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Wellocracy. The survey, conducted online between October 17-21, 2013 among a nationally representative sample of 2,014 U.S. adults, provides new data related to the use of activity trackers, mobile apps and other tools to monitor health and wellness, including physical activity, nutrition and sleep.

"There are dozens of activity and health trackers on the market today, and literally thousands of health apps available for consumers. Yet, instead of getting people moving towards a healthy lifestyle, most feel paralyzed by all these choices and the technology can be dizzying," said Joseph C. Kvedar, MD, founder and director, Center for Connected Health. "Wellocracy is focused on inspiring and empowering individuals to self-manage their health and wellness by providing up-to-date information, expert guidance and innovative ideas to help people get the most out of personal health technologies."

www.wellocracy.com delivers consumer-friendly information, expert guidance from leading clinicians and unbiased opinions on personal health technologies. Wellocracy also applies behavioral science to help individuals find their 'stickiness factor,' that is the specific motivation that inspires each of us to stay on track to achieve health and wellness goals.

According to the survey, 68% agree that encouragement from friends and family is important for them to achieve health goals. 65% believe that using a health tracking device, website or app would be beneficial, including helping them stay motivated to meet health and fitness goals (32%), and over one-quarter believe it would provide accountability (31%) and help them stay in control of their health (27%).

"We know that if we give people -- young and old -- insights into their health and help them understand how lifestyle choices impact quality of life, they feel more accountable, engaged and live a healthier, more active life. Integrating 'self-health' tools like activity and nutrition trackers and sleep monitors into our daily lives, we can learn from our own behaviors and make positive changes to take charge of our health," Kvedar added. "We're taking these devices and apps, personalizing the experience and helping people figure out the right health technologies, the right strategy and the right inspiration to get on the right track to health and wellness."

The Wellocracy survey by Harris Interactive revealed that personal health information and the right motivation can help people achieve their health and wellness goals. Consumers are interested in more data about themselves as a way to improve their health:

  • 86% believe that feeling informed about their own health is empowering
  • 59% of women and 56% of men aged 35-44 reported that it is hard to stay motivated to live a healthy life, and about half (52% and 51%, respectively) wished they could make better use of technology to keep track of their health
  • 55% of women and 49% of men aged 18-44 believe that easy tracking (including physical activity, calories and sleep) is essential to achieving health-related goals
    • 48% of women and 42% of men aged 18-34 reported that encouragement from family and friends is essential
    • 42% of women and only 20% of men aged 45-54 reported that support and tools from their healthcare provider is essential
  • only 19% of women and 17% of men aged 35-44, and 25% of women and 21% of men aged 55 and over are very confident in their ability to keep track of their own health

The majority of consumers (56%) have never used any type of health tracking device, app or website:

  • younger adults, aged 18-34, were most likely to use diet (23%) or fitness apps (26%) on their phones
  • 7% of adults aged 55 and over reported ever using a diet app and only 3% have used a fitness app on their phone
  • the age group reporting the highest use of digital activity pedometers (19%) were 35-44 year olds
  • only 5% of adults aged 18 and over reported ever using a sleep tracker

"There is a huge void in the market today. Easy to use, accurate and effective health and wellness trackers are readily available, yet most consumers are not using them. Wellocracy will fill that void and help individuals select the right health technology best suited to their preferences and goals, and figure out the personal motivation that will keep them on track to best manage their health," added Kvedar.

About the Survey

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Wellocracy from October 17-21, 2013 among 2,014 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact info@wellocracy.com.

About Wellocracy

Wellocracy is a new initiative developed and run by the Center for Connected Health at Partners HealthCare in Boston. The Center is a leading force in the use of technology to deliver care outside of a hospital or doctor's office, and is affiliated with Harvard Medical School teaching hospitals, including Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. Wellocracy’s mission is to inspire and empower individuals to self-manage their health and wellness with up-to-date information, expert guidance and innovative ideas to get the most out of personal health technologies. Visit Wellocracy at www.wellocracy.com.


View media coverage of Wellocracy from Yahoo! News and Harvard Health Pulications.