Technology, Social Support Critical to Encouraging Health

When it comes to the resources consumers are using to support health goals, nearly 50 percent cited digital health apps – a close second to the gym.

health and wellness and apps

Consumers struggle to achieve health goals on their own, and lack of self-motivation is holding consumers back, according to a survey conducted by Welltok.

The company’s Health Optimization Index provides insights from more than 1,000 consumers about the journey to optimizing their health and related roadblocks encountered along the way–from mounting work responsibilities to lack of motivation.

The majority of respondents (nearly 80 percent) rely on themselves to manage their health and report personal goals as a key motivator.

However, lack of motivation and absence of personalized guidance were cited as top barriers to achieving optimal health.

The results suggested a need for a more personalized approach to supporting consumers’ health across all demographics.

When it comes to the resources consumers are using to support health goals, nearly 50 percent cited digital health apps–a close second to the gym.

"In order to help consumers optimize their health, the apps must fit in their daily lives and meet their unique needs," Scott Rotermund, co-founder and chief growth officer of Welltok, told eWEEK.

Rotermund said the market is not far from providing more meaningful health apps that do more than just help keep you fit.

"There are already great innovations hitting the market that aren’t necessarily reaching target consumers or don’t have the distribution capabilities," he said. "For example, Welltok is currently working with innovative companies like Wildflower, which supports women through pregnancy and connects them with available support from their health benefits."

More than 85 percent of individuals believe health care companies should offer consumers reward programs for being healthy, according to the survey.

The top three preferred reward types are cash (nearly 50 percent), reduced insurance premiums (nearly 30 percent) and gift cards (nearly 20 percent). The desire to lower health coverage costs is nearly double among respondents over the age of 35 compared to younger generations.

"As a company, we see the issues as lack of awareness and convenience versus broader acceptance," Rotermund said. "It can be overwhelming for consumers to find the right solutions for their specific needs and what will provide the greatest benefits at the end of the day."

More than 50 percent of those surveyed cited work as the number one barrier to optimizing health. Additionally, less than 10 percent consider their employer as a resource to help improve their health.

Furthermore, work was reported as the second highest time commitment, and consumers 35 and under report dedicating the least amount of time to their health.