Stickiness Eludes Many Health and Fitness Apps


[author: Michael Esquivel]

The New York Times recently ran a story titled, “It’s hard to stay friends with an exercise monitor” that underscored a problem facing many health and fitness apps – the risk that users quickly lose interest.

Initially users are enthusiastic about the transformational potential of the personal health data collected by wearable technology devices such as the Nike+ FuelBand. That initial enthusiasm, however, appears to largely diminish if the metrics tied to that data are confusing or inconsistent. As noted in The New York Times story, while the Nike+ FuelBand has been criticized for its inconsistent and sometimes bizarre feedback, its ambition to provide meaningful and actionable metrics by awarding points should be recognized as a helpful first step in realizing the tremendous potential of these wearable technology devices.

But meaningful feedback should involve more than points and badges. As Aimee Jungman, VP of Innovation at frog design, pointed out at our Digital Health Summit in June, to create stickiness, mHealth products have to put data in the context of an aspiration or goal; and that data has to be actionable.

Furthermore, social interaction needs to move beyond simply telling your Facebook friends how far you’ve walked or run in a given day. It needs to be able to include, for example, virtual coaches and mentors.

In the rapidly evolving digital health sector, some early mHealth products will probably go the way of the pet rock, but each iteration teaches us more about what it takes not only to capture users but also to retain them.


Written by:

Published In:


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Fenwick & West Life Sciences Group | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.