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Superproof Social Game: Getting and Staying Health With Friends Can Be Fun

Posted on July 10, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

A recent article from Bostinno.com listed 30 Healthcare Tech Startups and Apps to follow on Twitter. A lot of these startups are creating some pretty neat things for mHealth, so I’m going to talk about a few of them over the next few weeks.

First up, Superproof. This app, as described on its website, is a social game for iPhone + Internet. It helps make exercising more social, competitive, and interactive. As I’ve found with doing Couch-to-5K with my brother, sister, and husband, and posting my results on Facebook afterwards, it is encouraging to have other people cheering you on as you try and meet fitness and health goals.

Basically, the app lets you create goals (such as running a certain amount each month, or doing something active 15 times during the month), send “challenges” to friends, and earn points and trophies. After seeing the success of trophies in the social media platform, FourSquare, I can see how obtaining these different trophies might be motivating for some people.

Here is a quick video from the website, showing a few of the apps features:

One aspect of the app that I thought was pretty neat is being able to “create a vice.” Here, as demonstrated in the video, you can put in some kind of food or drink, perhaps a treat that you are particularly tempted by, and the amount of calories that is in that time, and it will tell you how many calories you’ve burned in terms of that item (i.e., if a candy bar is 250 calories, and you burned 500 calories, it would indicate that 2 candy bars had been burned.) It kind of helps one to visualize not just how much they burned, but the amount of effort it takes to burn something off. I mean, it takes only a minute or so to eat a candy bar, but a lot more time, sweat, and effort is put into burning it off.

As with most health and exercise apps, you can share your results on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Encouragement from friends and family through these mediums can really help. I know I’m always excited when someone comments on something I’ve posted, encouraging me to keep running. Having everyone you know involved in fitness is cool. The website for Superproof poses the following questions about this very subject:

Q. You know what’s super boring?
A. Looking at a map of someone else’s run, or hearing about a friend’s trip to the gym.

Q. You know what’s super tought?
A. Convincing a couch-friendly friend to join you on a bike ride.

Q. Ok, so what’s super awesome?
A. Getting your friends involved in building and maintaining an exercise routine. Just because you only have a small number of friends who like working up a fine sweaty lather, doesn’t mean they can’t help you.

 It’s true, and I love how so many apps encourage you to share it with people. I know that when I saw other people posting maps of their runs, or about meeting their fitness goals, it was motivating to me to do it as well. I haven’t had a chance to try out this app, but I’m planning on it.
Superproof is available for the iPhone (for free!) and can be downloaded here. It only has 12 ratings but all have been five star. Be sure to follow Superproof on Twitter for updates, answers to your questions, and more!

Mobile Health App Investments, Controlling Dreams With Remee: This Week in Healthcare Scene

Posted on June 24, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

While it was quiet around Healthcare Scene this week, there were still some great posts on a few of the websites. Be sure to check these articles out:

EMR and EHR

VC Firms Eyeing Mobile Health App Investments

It’s no secret that the Mobile Health App industry has taken off lately. Because of this, VC firms are more interested in investing in these companies. Anne Zeiger predicts there will be a handful of investments in the industry in the coming future. This post talks about different mobile health apps being created, and where the industry seems to be headed.

“Non Structured Data Is More Valuable to Practitioners Than Discrete Research Oriented Data” 

The title of this post was inspired by a comment on John’s recent post on the EHR Bubble. Here, John discusses the advantages of non-structured data for a physician. Does non-structured data help improve the quality of care? Join the debate over at EMR and EHR this week.

Smart Phone Health Care

Control Your Dreams With the Remee Sleep Mask

If you’re like me, I’ve always wished I could dictate what I was going to dream about. The latest product from Bitbanger Labs claims to do just that. The “Remee Lucid Dreaming Mask”, with practice, apparently gives the user the ability to control their dreams. The mask brings you into the “lucid dreaming” stage, which is a more aware state of dreaming. For only $95, this new product is available for pre-order here.

Go From Couch Potato to Runner with Couch-to-5K App

A program developed a few years ago has been the catalyst behind several mobile apps. The premise behind the program is to get couch potatoes (or just about anyone) running either a 5K or for 30 minutes straight in as little as 9 week. There are a variety of apps available to help wannabe-runners get started. This post gives a general overview of the official C25K app.

Go From Couch Potato to Runner with Couch-to-5K App

Posted on June 19, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m no runner. When I met my husband, he told me that he wanted to run a 5K that summer (which, I have to admit right now, never happened). Trying to impress him, I told him I wanted to as well. He then suggested a podcast he had heard of called Couch to 5k — because he probably guessed I wasn’t a runner. I found the podcast online somewhere and uploaded it to my mp3 player. I probably used it for about 2 weeks, and then life got in the way for awhile. While I continued to run, I kind of gave up on the podcast. After I got pregnant, I pretty much never ran because I was sick just about the whole 9 months, and since giving birth, haven’t really gotten back into it.

So when my sister suggested that we run together, I mentioned the couch-to-5k series. At first, I started searching for the podcast online, but then I decided to see if there was an app created for it. And lo and behold, there is, for both the iPhone and Android phones. You’ll have to fork out 1.99 (or .99 for the iPhone), but I think it’s worth it.

For those who aren’t familiar with the Couch-to-5k (otherwise called, C25k) program, here’s a little description from the website, written by the creator, Josh Clark:

C25k, is a fantastic program that’s been designed to get just about anyone from the couch to running 5 kilometers or 30 minutes in just 9weeks. With the help of the Couch to 5k program, in less than seven months, I went from a 47 year old, 104kg, 30 cigarettes a day sort of guy to an 82k, 0 cigarettes, running 45 to 40 kilometers a week sort of guy. Ten months after finishg C25k I completed my first marathon. Since then I have run another 5 marathons, as well as 8 ultra marathons including a 100km race. . . Its secret is that it’s a gentle introduction to getting the body moving, starting off alternating between walking and running small distances, and slowly building up until after 8 weeks, you’re ready to run 5 kilometers or 30 minutes non stop.

Although I have never completed the program, I definitely did notice my endurance building during the time I did it. I’m excited to use this new app though and see if it can help motivate me even more. Even though I haven’t had time to use it yet, I figured I’d do a little overview of it.

First off, I love the color schemes. I don’t know why, but the colors of an app really matter to me. The color scheme depends on which “trainer” you select. Here are the three options:

I decided to select Constance for the time being…though if I need a little more tough love, I may select another one. Each of the workouts is led by whichever trainer is selected, and the color scheme changes accordingly as well. Below is the one for Constance. It’s light and easy to look at. The other ones are a bit more intense, but they are still nice.

The above picture is also the front screen of the app. It shows up with whatever date you are on, and you can skip ahead (or go backwards) if needed. Your “trainer” gives a bit of advice or encouragement at the bottom of the screen. The top of the screen features a status bar, to show how far into the program you are.

Once you click on “Go To Workout”, you will be brought to this screen:

At this point, you can choose to listen to music that is already loaded on your phone, or enable GPS. I love the GPS feature, because I always like to see where I ran, and how long I ran for. One thing I wish was included is the background music that was on the original podcast. It just seems like you are told every so often when to change up the pace. It is nice that you can use your own music, but I really enjoyed the pace of the music on the podcast.

Once you press start, this screen pops up with the time left, which stage you are at, distance, and average pace. It’s easy to read, and you can pause the workout if you want to.

There is another tab called “Log” where you can select a smiley (or sad) face depending on how the workout made you feel, plus write down some thoughts from the workout. You then have the option to post to Facebook or Twitter, if that’s your style.

Next, there is a tab with 5k events near you. It lists all the ones that are coming up and some even give you a discount for registering on select races.

Finally, the settings tab lets you adjust certain futures such as the trainer, voice volume and music options.

Overall, I like this app a lot, from the limited exposure to it I’ve had. Once I’ve used it for a few weeks, I’ll be back with my experience, but for now, I’m excited to use it.

Download here for the iPhone (.99)
Download here for Android (1.99)