Rewards have long been an effective way to stick to a health regime. Say you go to the gym every day for a week and earn a reward of a Saturday matinee or a massage. The goal is to use incentives that help you stay on track. That’s instead of rewarding you with an ice cream sundae or fast food burger. There are many new apps that pay consumers to do just that.
No one works to understand the mind of the health-conscious consumer more than health and wellness companies. Therefore, it’s no surprise that medical technology innovators are finding new ways to incentivize users to do what’s right for them. These include reward-based mechanisms and gamification.
Many innovators believe it’s about personalizing the right combination of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. “For some people, it may be a $5 Amazon gift card that drives them to action and for others, it may the knowledge that their action is contributing to the greater good”, said Simon MacGibbon, the Co-Founder of Myia Labs, a health intelligence platform. “We just have to test it out.”
Here are some new apps that pay consumers back and incentivizing them for doing what’s right.
Digital currency is all the rage, and Sweatcoin lets you build up savings through exercising. The app runs in the background throughout the day, logging each step you walk. Once you’ve achieved a certain number of steps, you’ll have currency you can use for rewards like PayPal cash and iPhones.
The catch is that steps are only counted when you walk outside, so if you log most of your miles on the treadmill, this may not be the app for you. It also requires that you run it in the background all day, which can drain your battery.
Cash for Steps
United Healthcare, a large health insurance provider, has a vested interest in making sure its members stay healthy. The more illnesses that can be prevented, the more the insurer will save. UnitedHealthcare Motion gives members an activity tracker that can be used to monitor steps each day. Each participant gets a daily goal called FIT (Frequency, Intensity, Tenacity) and earns cash for meeting those goals. The money is deposited in their Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) or Health Savings Account (HSA).
Supporting a Good Cause
For many consumers, walking for a good cause can be even more motivating than money in the bank. Charity Miles monitors a wearer’s movements and donates money to one of 30 different charities for each mile of movement. You aren’t limited to walking or running with this app, either. Biking also helps you earn miles.
Points for Discounts
Loyalty cards are part of the modern shopping experience. Many loyalty programs also have new apps that pay consumers. Walgreen’s takes its rewards beyond in-store purchases, allowing customers to connect to a wearable band or fitness app to track steps. Once connected, you’ll earn 250 points for the connection, plus 20 points per mile.
You’ll also get points for weighing in, exercising, monitoring your blood glucose, testing your blood pressure, logging your sleep, or quitting tobacco. Once you achieve a certain point level, you’ll receive a discount on your purchases.
One of the best features of fitness wearables is that they bring out a person’s competitive spirit and offer numerous apps that pay consumers. HealthyWage attaches money to those competitions, with members betting on their weight loss. Unlike the other apps, HealthyWage requires you to pay to participate. If you lose weight, though, you get what you paid in plus more. When you pay into a challenge, if you meet the challenge and maintain that weight for six months, you’ll get a return of your entry fee.
Funding the Weight Loss Pool
If you’ve ever been part of a weight-loss pool, you know how motivating it can be. DietBet collects the money, then divides it when the team reaches its goal. To keep everyone honest, each team member will need to submit a before photo, along with a photo of the scale’s readout screen. If you win, you’ll also be required to submit after photos to prove it.
If you’re determined to make your fitness goals happen, monetizing that goal can give you the extra push you need. You’ll likely find even greater success if you can convince friends, family members, or coworkers to participate along with you. You’ll get healthier while also earning prizes in the process. And, these new apps that pay consumers will create that win-win for you.