You might have noticed I've been a bit poor at updating my blog (bad Alex), but it's for a good reason.
What you might not know is that we've been around since 2002. I've been working for the company behind Quealth – roadtohealth – since 2009, and boy has it changed! We used to develop ground-breaking health websites for clients (we still work with a few of them) but over the last couple of years we've shifted our focus to Quealth.
We've had a year of finding our feet in this ever-growing health app space – Quealth being one of more than 200,000 health apps available on iOS and Android. Yup, there really are that many; and it's one of the fastest-growing segments in the app space.
In all honesty, it’s been tricky to get right, but we're really starting to roll now.
Being digital means embracing rapid change & external expertise
We're already on version 3.2 of Quealth, and it is miles from what v1 or v2 was! This is the nature of app development and continually striving for improvement and perfection. But what has also driven our multiple app updates is that earlier in the year we were approached by a massive tech company who know a thing or two about apps. They suggested we made some fundamental changes to Quealth to improve the user experience. Version 3.2 represents us still on the journey towards our new app with a new look and feel, new functionality and everything in-between – but it's starting to take shape. And, that partner is certainly impressed so far!
We have carved our own unique space within digital health
Through Quealth, we show you how improving your lifestyle makes you healthier. We also know that 'healthier' is unique for everyone. We show each member the optimal way to live their life to avoid developing the worlds top five lifestyle diseases – which, guess what, you can likely avoid by simply adapting your lifestyle.
By the way, out of the 200,000 or so other competing health apps, there's not really any other app out there that has taken this approach.
Accuracy, credibility and our clinical approach
We’ve worked hard to clinically validate four of the five health check algorithms – diabetes, cardiovascular disease, lung disease and dementia – and we're just working through the cancer algorithms too. It's a big one though, so is taking a bit longer as it focuses on six separate forms of cancer.
We must be doing something right though as we keep getting awards and recognition! In fact, only this week were we told that we have been recognised as a Journal of mHealth's Digital Health Global 100 2016 honouree. That might not mean much to the average person on the street, but it has put a big smile on our faces, and we're going to milk it for all it's worth! :-)
Coaching you to the healthiest you
One of the biggest additions in version 3 released in the summer was the introduction of Quealth Coach. People love doing our health checks, getting their Quealth Score to understand their health and how their lifestyle affects their risk of disease and, although this will always remain core to our app, we realised that the 'next big thing' for us is helping our members become the healthiest version of themselves.
We felt that the best way to do this is through an interactive, personalised, digital health coach.
This was a really fun part of the app to work on. Not only did we need to make it technically work, but Coach needed an identity. Although it's intelligent, it knows you from your Quealth Score and it understands what you want to do with your health from your health goals, that all means nothing if how it tells you your tailored advice is boring, static and just a bit 'meh'.
We're really excited about Coach and can't wait to see how people take that advice and get to their optimum state of health – whatever that might be for them.
With growth and passion come friction and pain!
There have been disagreements, there have been 'discussions', there have been tantrums and there have been celebrations – it just shows how passionate we are about what we're doing, and that we’re in in this for the long run. We're all enthusiastic and dedicated to making a difference and being unique in the health app space. We’ve redesigned the app, we've validated our health check algorithms and we have introduced and developed a personalised health coach focused around the Quealth Score – but we're not stopping there: in the next few weeks we’ll be rolling out more and more functionality that should make Quealth more useable and more relevant, more of the time.
We're still feeling some growing pains, but we're on it: we're excited, we're pushing ahead – and 2017 promises to be an explosive year for us.