Automated health tracking through connected health devices and apps can significantly improve long-term health engagement, according the latest findings from a collaborative study with Walgreens and the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI). The study explored the impact of manual versus automatic data entries through a supported device or via apps by examining utilization patterns of participants in Walgreens Balance Rewards for healthy choices (BRhc). The BRhc is a leading self-monitoring program that allows members to track health activities and receive incentives for continued tracking and healthy behaviors.
Research Study Details
The study recently published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research examined activity tracking data – including exercise, weight, sleep, blood pressure, blood glucose data recorded, tobacco use and oxygen saturation – from more than 450,000 BRhc members in 2014. After identifying users with sufficient follow-up data, the study explored trends in participation over time.
Key findings of the study finds that 77 percent of users manually recorded their activities and participated in the program for an average of five weeks. However, users who entered activities automatically using the BRhc supported devices or apps remained engaged four times longer and averaged 20 weeks of participation.
This research was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through a grant UL1TR001114, and a grant from the Qualcomm Foundation.
“This is the first chapter of a remarkable collaboration with Walgreens, enabling us to understand real world connectivity with mobile device health applications, along with behavior and outcome patterns, in an exceptionally large and diverse cohort,” said Eric Topol, MD, director, STSI in a statement.