Mount Sinai Health System

| September 12, 2016

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I n October 2013, the Department of Dermatology of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai held a faculty reception to celebrate the union of The Mount Sinai Hospital with Continuum Health Partners. Thanks to the merger, the newly created Mount Sinai Health System now has the country’s largest department of dermatology.

Spotlight

Lowell General Hospital

Founded in 1891, Lowell General Hospital is an independent, not-for-profit community hospital serving the Greater Lowell area and surrounding communities. With two primary campuses located in Lowell, Massachusetts, Lowell General Hospital offers a full range of medical and surgical services for patients. The ANCC honored Lowell General Hospital with Magnet Recognition for excellence in nursing care in October, 2010 and redesignated Lowell General in April, 2015.

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COVID-19: How do we get out of this quagmire?

Article | July 17, 2020

The COVID-19 virus (C19) pandemic is turning out to be the event of the century. Even World War seems timid in comparison. We are in the 4th month of the virus (in non-China countries) and have gone past the lockdown in many places. Isn’t it time we re-think the approach? What if there is another wave of C19 coming soon? What if C19 is the first of many such events in the future? Before we get into analysis and solution design, summarizing the C19 quirks: While a large section of the affected population is asymptomatic, for some it can be lethal There isn’t clarity on all the ways C19 spreads It’s known to affect the lungs, heart, and kidneys in patients with weak immunity It has been hard to identify a definitive pattern of the virus. Some observations in managing the C19 situation are: With no vaccine in sight, the end of this epidemic looks months or years away Health care personnel in hospitals need additional protection to treat patients Lockdowns lead to severe economic hardship and its repeated application can be damaging Quarantining people has an economic cost, especially in the weaker sections of society If one takes a step back to re-think about this, we are primarily solving 2 problems: Minimise deaths: Minimise the death of C19 and non-C19 patients in this period Maximise economic growth: The GDP output/growth should equal or higher than pre-C19 levels One needs to achieve the 2 goals in an environment of rising number of C19 cases. Minimise deaths An approach that can be applied to achieve this is: Data driven health care capacity planning Build a health repository of all the citizens with details like pre-existing diseases, comorbidity, health status, etc. The repository needs to be updated quarterly to account for patient data changes This health repository data is combined with the C19 profile (disease susceptibility) and/or other seasonal diseases to determine the healthcare capacity (medicines, doctors, etc.) needed The healthcare capacity deficit/excess needs to be analysed in categories (beds, equipment, medicine, personnel, etc.) and regions (city, state, etc.) and actions taken accordingly Regular capacity management will ensure patients aren’t deprived of timely treatment. In addition, such planning helps in the equitable distribution of healthcare across regions and optimising health care costs. Healthcare sector is better prepared to scale-up/down their operations Based on the analysis citizens can be informed about their probability of needing hospitalisation on contracting C19. Citizens with a higher health risk on C19 infection should be personally trained on prevention and tips to manage the disease on occurrence The diagram below explains the process Mechanism to increase hospital capacity without cost escalation Due to the nature of C19, health personnel are prone to infection and their safety is a big issue. There is also a shortage of hospitable beds available. Even non-C19 patients aren’t getting the required treatment because health personnel seek it as a risk. This resulted in, healthcare costs going up and availability reducing. To mitigate such issues, hospital layouts may need to be altered (as shown in the diagram below). The altered layout improves hospital capacity and availability of health care personnel. It also reduces the need for the arduous C19 protection procedures. Such procedures reduce the patient treatment capacity and puts a toll on hospital management. Over a period, the number of recovered C19 persons are going to increase significantly. We need to start tapping into their services to reduce the burden on the system. The hospitals need to be divided into 3 zones. The hospital zoning illustration shown below explains how this could be done. In the diagram, patients are shown in green and health care personnel are in light red. **Assumption: Infected and recovered C19 patients are immune to the disease. This is not clearly established Better enforcement of social factors The other reason for high number of infections in countries like India is a glaring disregard in following C19 rules in public places and the laxity in enforcement. Enforcement covers 2 parts, tracking incidents of violation and penalising the behaviour. Government should use modern mechanisms like crowd sourcing to track incidents and ride on the growing public fear to ensure penalty enforcement succeeds. The C19 pandemic has exposed governance limitations in not just following C19 rules, but also in other areas of public safety like road travel, sanitation, dietary habits, etc. Maximise economic growth The earlier lockdown has strained the economy. Adequate measures need to be taken to get the economy back on track. Some of the areas that need to be addressed are: One needs to evaluate the development needs of the country in different categories like growth impetus factors (e.g. building roads, electricity capacity increase), social factors (e.g. waste water treatment plants, health care capacity), and environmental factors (e.g. solar energy generation, EV charging stations). Governments need to accelerate funding in such projects so that that large numbers of unemployed people are hired and trained. Besides giving an immediate boost to the ailing economy such projects have a future payback. The governments should not get bogged down by the huge fiscal deficit such measures can create. Such a mechanism to get money out in the economy is far than better measures like QE (Quantitative Easing) or free money transfer into people’s bank accounts Certain items like smartphone, internet, masks, etc. have become critical (for work, education, critical government announcements). It’s essential to subsidise or reduce taxes so that these items are affordable and accessible to everyone without a financial impact The government shouldn’t put too many C19 related controls on service offerings (e.g. shops, schools, restaurants, cabs). Putting many controls increases the cost of the service which neither the seller not buyer is willing or able to pay. Where controls are put, the Govt should bear the costs or reduce taxes or figure out a mechanism so that the cost can be absorbed. An event like the C19 pandemic is a great opportunity to rationalise development imbalances in the country. Government funding should be channelized more to under-developed regions. This drives growth in regions that need it most. It also prevents excess migration that has resulted in uncontrolled and bad urbanisation that has made C19 management hard (guidelines like social distance are impossible to follow) Post-C19 lockdown, the business environment (need for sanitizers, masks, home furniture) has changed. To make people employable in new flourishing businesses there could be a need to re-skill people. Such an initiative can be taken up by the public/private sector The number of C19 infected asymptomatic patients is going to keep increasing. Building an economy around them (existing, recovered C19 patients) may not be a far-fetched idea. E.g. jobs for C19 infected daily wage earners, C19 infected taxi drivers to transport C19 patients, etc. In the last 100 years, mankind has conquered the destructive aspects of many a disease and natural mishap (hurricanes, floods, etc.). Human lives lost in such events has dramatically dropped over the years and our preparedness has never been this good. Nature seems to have caught up with mankind’s big strides in science and technology. C19 has been hard to reign in with no breakthrough yet. The C19 pandemic is here to stay for the near future. The more we accept this reality and change ourselves to live with it amidst us, the faster we can return to a new normal. A quote from Edward Jenner (inventor of Small Pox) seems apt in the situation – “The deviation of man from the state in which he was originally placed by nature seems to have proved to him a prolific source of diseases”.

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How to Engage New Health Tech Customers Online

Article | February 4, 2021

It is not an easy task to engage decision-makers in hospitals, insurance providers, health systems, and private practices. These high-powered directors, managers, and executives are busier than ever. This makes the process of health tech marketing difficult. Apart from overwhelming job responsibilities, these healthcare professionals are also inundated with ads, emails, and phone calls. So rather than sending them messages randomly, it is important to help your prospects when they are free from their daily disruptions and have time. Inbound marketing, a new form of marketing, lays out various effective healthcare marketing techniques, tricks, or tactics. These health tech marketing techniques or methodologies are helpful in the three stages of your health tech client journey: Awareness Stage: This is the stage where they do not know they have a problem, but you make them aware of the fact that they have a problem. Consideration Stage: In this stage, they are aware that they have a problem and consider finding a solution from you or your competitor. Decision Stage: This is the final stage, where prospects make a decision. Here are some effective health tech marketing techniques to engage new health tech marketing prospects online all through these stages. Offer Entertaining and Informative Blog Content Content is king. Roper Public Affairs, in their research report, say that around 80% of B2B decision-makers prefer to gather information from articles and blogs over ads. According to the research done by HubSpot, companies that publish blogs frequently get 4.5x more leads. Engage your health tech prospects with regular content that can address their interests and the problems they face. However, it is a mistake to focus only on your health tech company’s benefits, features, or sales pitches in your blogs. This may make your prospects think you are just after their money. One of the best health tech marketing techniques to engage your prospects online is to provide answers to the challenges they face. You can even ask and encourage your clients to contribute success stories or guest posts. These posts will have more value and the chances of them being shared are high. It is also better to create a strategy to make sure the health tech marketing content you make is valuable and relevant to your potential clients. Encourage Social Media Feedback and Blog Comments Providing great and prospect oriented health tech marketing content is just the beginning. You can solicit reactions from your audience. Asking questions at the end of blogs and social media health tech messages is a great way to collect reactions from the audience. It is good to thank them for responding when they leave a comment. Also, give them a comprehensive answer. This will help build your credibility and make the clients come back. Sometimes, you may get spam comments, which are not connected to your post. Weed them out to make all comments relevant to the post. This health tech marketing technique will make your potential clients stay engaged in what you post online. Host Google Hangouts or Webinars People love being visually engaged. So, webinars or Google Hangouts are powerful tools that allow real-time interaction with your customers. This helps you to establish a personal connection with your potential clients through video or audio. Various visual aspects, including slides, graphics, and live videos, make it easier for you to share your content with customers. Being an interactive health tech marketing technique, at the end of webinar sessions or Google hangout, you can have a Q and A session to clarify any questions from the clients. Compared to merely writing blog posts and articles, this, as a two-way dialogue, and will help you a lot in building a strong relationship with your clients. Create a Group or Community One of the best health tech marketing techniques to engage new customers is to interact in online forums and communities. Your buyers can get added to your members-only group automatically and then these members can socialize with each other and discuss healthcare technology. These forums can be used to share content that is not available to the public. To the members, you can also offer various discounts and special pricing. Your customers, being part of such a group, will feel special and increase the possibility of a repeat purchase. Co-Create with Existing Customers If you are planning to write an e-book, improve your website, or launch a new product, involve your existing customers by getting suggestions from them. For fostering loyalty, depending on the situation, it is very effective to make your customers involved in major decision-making processes. They will feel proud that they participated, at the end of the process. This health tech marketing technique may even allow you to hold a contest to select an idea from your customers for your next design and offer rewards for the one which is selected. Rewards can be a special mention on your website, a discount, or a freebie. Celebrate Together! Another great health-tech marketing technique to build stronger relationships with your customers is to celebrate milestones with them. Any achievement, small or big, can be a milestone. Even, achieving an award for attaining a certain number of followers can be a milestone. Sharing such moments of success with your customers and social media followers may make them feel like they are part of your business and success. It is also a good idea to give them a discount offer. Also, recognizing the success of your clients and featuring them will establish a good relationship with customers. Monitor Social Media The best place to engage your clients in conversations about your products and industry is social media. Selecting a topic that is trending in your industry may be a hot cake for you to have the conversation on your social media platforms. Tracking trending topics related to your industry will always give you an insight for your next blog post and social media posts. By sharing, liking, and providing answers you can also take part in conversations. This will make you an authority and customers will feel good about your credibility. As a health tech marketing technique, monitoring social media will make you gain the trust of the customers and build your brand gradually but successfully. Build a List of Leads and Nurture them Email marketing, as a health tech marketing technique, is a very effective strategy to nurture B2B customer relationships. According to HubSpot, for business communication, 86% of people prefer emails. You will be in the minds of potential customers through your value-packed and attractive emails. They will remember you when they identify a requirement. Through your emails, you can update and educate your potential customers about relevant topics and trends related to the health tech industry. A newsletter in a week will be fair enough to keep them engaged and updated about your brand and industry. Summing up The key to generating more qualified leads and increasing your brand recognition is engaging new prospects tough new and innovative health tech marketing techniques. This will make your sales team’s job easier; they can convert these leads into customers. The above-listed health tech marketing techniques to engage with your prospects can be effectively used with your well-crafted Inbound marketing strategy. Doing all of these alone can be very challenging. We, at Media7, partner with healthcare technology companies and healthcare tech marketers to offer support, strategy, and extending help to implement these activities. Through the collaboration, we help health tech companies to attract more visitors to their websites, generate leads, convert, and make them your happy customers. For more details of our services, visit our website: https://media7.com/ Frequently Asked Questions What is a health tech marketing strategy? Health tech marketing strategy is a part of an inbound marketing process for marketing healthcare tech products. It uses resources that can trace various opportunities through lead generation and branding, and overcome threats of healthcare businesses, which is highly competitive. What is the best health tech marketing technique? The best health tech marketing technique is to generate leads through various content forms. Health tech Content marketing helps create awareness about the product and attract clients to it. Different forms of content can include blogs, articles, press releases, newsletters, and much more. Where to start when creating your healthcare marketing strategy The best way to start when creating your healthcare marketing strategy is to set your goals. This is because the success of your healthcare marketing strategy depends upon the goal you set for yourself when you start the business and the marketing for it.

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Technologies in the Healthcare Industry: Advancements Fueled by the Pandemic

Article | December 9, 2020

The pandemic-fueled technology adoption has enabled the healthcare industry to address the challenges, including cybersecurity, telehealth, invoicing and payment processing, patient experience, effective payment model, and big data. The responses to the unusual COVID-19 pandemic has sped up the adoption of new digital technologies in the industry. It has also fueled advancements in health technology. From the start of 2020, these advancements transformed the healthcare industry into a next-gen one by accelerating digitization of their internal and external operations by two to three years. This surprising impact of technology in the healthcare industry has brought out unexpected competition between the key players in the B2B healthcare market. Whatever the field, adapting yourself to modern changes is the best strategy to thrive. Get yourself updated according to the changes or get yourself outdated is the new norm in the healthcare industry. The following trends and advancements in technology in the healthcare industry due to the pandemic in 2020 show that healthcare providers are always searching for new ways to improve their productivity, performance, and efficiency. These were the need of the hour during the pandemic, for them to surge ahead of their competitors. • Telemedicine • Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare • The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) • Supply chain management technology • Privacy issues • AR/VR/MR in Healthcare • Blockchain • Digital marketing trends in healthcare This article looks into the major innovations, advancements, and trends brought out by the global pandemic in 2020 in the healthcare industry. Pandemic-fueled Advancements One of the biggest challenges faced by the healthcare industry in the US today is its digital capacity to effectively engage consumers and make them stay healthy. This can include helping people to prevent getting infected by various diseases such as COVID-19 and effectively managing various other chronic conditions. This is where technology in the healthcare industry has a major role to play. Due to the latest advancements in technology, the healthcare industry was already evolving but the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this transformation dramatically. McKinsey reports that US$250 billion was spent on technology in the US healthcare industry to shift the industry into a virtual care model in the wake of the pandemic. Also, a study by FAIR Health, a non-profit group, says the increase in telehealth claims in the US is 4,000% in 2020. Here’s a detailed look into the above-mentioned advancements, innovations or trends brought out by the pandemic in the industry. Telemedicine Had the world ever thought that it would be possible one day for doctors to remotely examine the health of patients via a smartphone or a computer? Telemedicine, a new trend in technology in the healthcare industry, addresses many challenges in the industry. Improved technology in the industry has made telemedicine easier, even for people, who are not computer savvy. Telehealth services are now provided through different telemedicine apps. In the light of the pandemic, rather than in-person visits, 43.5% of primary medical visits were done using telehealth methods in April 2020 in the US. The major benefit of telemedicine is that it reduces contact between healthcare workers, patients, and other patients. This reduces the chances of the spread of infectious diseases. Reports say that 71% of Americans considered telemedicine useful at the beginning of the pandemic. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years too. With the pandemic, telemedicine saw an immediate boom compared to previous years. This boom in telehealth is projected to break US$185.6 billion by 2026. Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare Artificial intelligence, a new trend and advancement in technology in the healthcare industry, had a critical role in fighting the pandemic. AI played a major role in areas such as pandemic detection, vaccine development, facial recognition with masks, thermal screening, and analyzing CT scans. AI is becoming the new operating technology in the healthcare industry. Major AI healthcare applications Healthcare providers will benefit a lot from AI-driven tools as AI technology in the healthcare industry has become a transformational force. Machine learning algorithms and software in AI will revolutionize the use of technology in the healthcare industry and the science of healthcare in the coming years too. AI will unify machines and humans through the brain. Some of the AI technologies in the healthcare industry, which are very relevant, are machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), rule-based expert systems, physical robots, diagnostic and treatment, patient engagement and adherence, and administrative applications. Benefits of AI in healthcare and statistics AI addresses many challenges that present technology in the healthcare industry cannot tackle. Better data-driven decisions, increased disease diagnosis efficiency, reduced treatment time, easy integration of information, reduced costs, increased patient satisfaction, fewer errors, and easier payment options are some of the benefits AI-assisted technology in the healthcare industry can provide. According to an analysis by Accenture, by 2026, clinical AI health applications are expected to create approximately US$150 billion for the US healthcare economy as annual savings. Also, the US AI health market is expected to reach around US$6.6 billion by 2021. The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) Nowadays, medical interactions involve some sort of equipment or device; it can be a glucose monitor, blood pressure monitor, or even an MRI scanner. It may not be a surprise now that, according to a 2020 Deloitte report, the available number of medical technologies are around 50,000. The internet-connected devices, which are known as IoMT tools, are transforming the healthcare and technology in the healthcare industry. What Is IoMT? The connected infrastructure of software applications, medical devices, and health systems and services are the IoMT. This has emerged by combining IoT development with telehealth technologies and telemedicine. Potential of IoMT in healthcare and statistics Lower costs for care, fewer mistakes, and more accurate diagnosis are the potential capabilities of IoMT. IoMT paired with various smartphone applications allows patients to send information regarding their health to doctors and get treated for diseases. This type of technology-driven healthcare not only improves patient experiences but also reduces the cost. IoMT, the new trend in technology in the healthcare industry, also has a positive effect on drug management. According to Goldman Sachs, IoMT will save US$300 billion annually in the healthcare industry. AllTheResearch expects that the global IoMT market value will reach US$254.2 billion from US$44.5 billion in 2018. Supply chain management technology in the healthcare industry Utilizing advanced supply chain management technology in the healthcare industry enables healthcare providers to reach the right patients with the right product at the right time. Digitalized supply chain management also makes healthcare organizations improve provider-patient connectedness, data flow and analytics, regulatory compliance, and asset tracking. A range of challenges faced by healthcare providers prompts you to digitalize supply chain networks, using the latest technologies in the healthcare industry. Advanced supply chain management technology will help you optimize costs, reduce unnecessary variation due to error and variability, enhance patient care, engagement, and delivery, and address new value-creation priorities. According to reports from market researchers, global healthcare supply chain management technology is expected to reach US$3.3 billion in 2025 from US$2.2 billion in 2020. Privacy issues Privacy is a serious concern in technology in the healthcare industry, especially because of HIPAA compliance in 2020. Although data and information of patients can be efficiently stored and retrieved through cloud computing, complying with the strict electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI) is difficult. While electronic health records and sensor networks, and advancements in other technologies in the healthcare industry will surely improve the quality of healthcare by reducing medical errors and costs, associated security and privacy are challenges to be addressed. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association estimated that stolen or lost PHI may cost the US healthcare industry approximately US$7 billion annually. To solve these issues, hospitals, and other healthcare providers have to stop using outdated technology and adopt state-of-the-art technologies without violating HIPAA. Encryption technology in the healthcare industry is the best option and healthcare providers should start using it to ensure the privacy of patients. AR, VR, and MR in Healthcare Virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are important technologies in the healthcare industry to enhance and ensure the quality of telemedicine, especially during the period of the pandemic. The pandemic has made these technologies more popular and the trend is expected to continue in the future too. Both of these technologies in the healthcare industry are used to enhance patient and provider visits and even to educate medical students. AR and VR also have the potential to help stroke victims overcome deficiencies, assist in robotic surgeries, educate patients before surgeries, facilitate easy surgical planning, help patients with PTSD, and reduce anxiety in children during a painful procedure or blood tests. Mixed reality (MR) is the mixed use of both VR and MR in a patient’s healthcare process and is also gaining popularity. Blockchain Blockchain is a trend which is expected to revolutionize technology in the healthcare industry. Using blockchain or digital ledgers will enable you to securely distribute transaction records to patients with improved data security. Along with other trends such as cloud computing and IoMT, blockchain also offers portability, accessibility, and high security. One of the greatest benefits of blockchain technology in the healthcare industry is interoperability. As blockchain provides full visibility through a digital ledger, it improves integrity and transparency. Blockchain technology in the healthcare industry is beneficial to handle clinical study information, patient wearable data, and patient records. Scope of blockchain technology in the healthcare industry Various statistics on blockchain technology in the healthcare industry expect a wide scope for this technology. The global blockchain technology market in the healthcare industry is projected to cross US500 million by 2022. Digital marketing trends in healthcare Digital marketing technology in the healthcare industry has been revolutionized as new trends were set by the pandemic in 2020. As the world shrunk to online mode during the pandemic period, the following healthcare digital marketing trends emerged. Content marketing The smartest way to attract new patients to your service is content marketing and educational content. 2020 is the time where the content truly emerged as king. Educational content is vital in the healthcare space because everyone always tries to learn new things. It can be a trick or tips about the latest technological advancements, general industry news, or new diagnostic options. Mobile responsive websites Another important digital marketing technology in the healthcare industry is making an attractive website, which also must be mobile responsive. In this modern world of technology, everyone wants to access every facility at their fingertips. So, if your website is not mobile responsive, you won’t get traffic to your website easily. Along with these two trending digital marketing technologies in the healthcare industry, some of the other trends are: • Video marketing • Multichannel initiatives and customer touchpoints • Online reputation • Powerful presence on social media channels • Location-based SEO The essential trends and advancements in technology in the healthcare industry depicting the future of healthcare are machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data science along with a focus on effective healthcare digital marketing technology and strategy. The pandemic fueled B2B healthcare technology will make the industry evolve every year and go on resolving new challenges that arise. Frequently Asked Questions Why is technology important to the healthcare industry? Integrating technology with healthcare industry will improve quality of life. Also, the use of digital technology in the healthcare industry will increase efficiency, quality, and patient experience. What is new technology in healthcare? Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many trending technologies are used in healthcare. The new technologies in the healthcare industries are AI, blockchain, chatbots, voice search, and virtual reality. What are the negative impacts of medical technology? Medical technology can have some negative impacts on patients such as impersonal or minimized care, negative health effects, increased patient costs, inappropriate use, and invasion of privacy.

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Post Pandemic Meltdown: Gamified Dieting Success Rates, Sign-ups Surge Amid ‘Quarantine 15’ Concerns

Article | December 8, 2020

Let’s face it. It’s been one tough year with too many of us sitting idle and indulging in calorie-laden foods for way too long as the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep the globe. For all too many, sheltering in place has prompted unwelcome weight gain—a troublesome truth as we head into the holiday season where gluttony oft reigns supreme. That said, many individuals did have foresight and motivation back in March and the months that followed, wisely leveraging that extreme downtime to “diet for dollars” with HealthyWage—a pioneer of money-driven weight loss contests and challenges for individuals, teams and business groups. In fact, those who started a 6-month HealthyWager challenge during the pandemic (late March through May) broke company records, spurring a dramatic increase in pound shedding success rates—and in-kind cash payouts—against the norm. So motivated became America to drop, or avoid, the so-called ‘quarantine 15’ and score some cold hard cash in the process, HealthyWage reports that this past May it logged a substantial year-over-year increase in challenge participants at large. This is not surprising given Google search trends indicates the portion of people searching for weight loss hit a 5-year high in May of 2020—a level even exceeding the quintessential New Year’s diet resolution season. Beyond the fact that people who started weight loss wagers during the pandemic achieved much greater success as compared to participant results the prior year, and earning hundreds and even thousands of dollars for their efforts, it is women and individuals under 30 years of age primarily accounting for the sustained increases. For example, among the litany of pandemic era success stories, Lisa S. won over $1,900 for losing 50 pounds in 6 months while Hayden T. won over $1,200 for losing over 62 pounds in 6 months—both during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the coronavirus rages on well into the fourth quarter, we collectively find ourselves again having to shelter-in-place. Those trying to reconcile how they will survive this next round of being home bound, and the holiday season at large, with mitigated waistline and budgetary wreckage—and who are even planning their New Year resolution approach just beyond—would be wise to consider the gamified dieting approach. “Loss Aversion is a powerful dynamic and the reality of having ‘skin in the game’ can propel the results of a gamified weight loss initiative,” notes HealthyWage co-founder David Roddenberry. The efficacy of diet gamification is well-proven. For one, according to study findings published by JAMA Internal Medicine, behavioral economics-based gamification led to “significantly” increased physical activity among overweight and obese Americans. In this particular study, pairing a step tracking device with social incentives led to sustained, long-term behavior change—prompting participants to take more steps then with a step tracking device, alone. While the report explains that “gamification interventions significantly increased physical activity during the 24-week intervention,” with competition being the “most effective.” That’s something HealthyWage has seen play out since launching its weight-loss gamification platform in 2009. HealthyWage is, in fact, founded on earlier substantive research and "double-incentivization" methodology that proves competition and rewards—especially the cash variety—can as much as triple the effectiveness of weight loss programs. “A key element for the success of a gamification program is giving participants something to lose if they fail to meet their goal—whether tangible or intangible,” notes Roddenberry. “In this particular study, it was just points at stake but even this effected behavior change. There are actually throngs of studies demonstrated that the threat of losing something of value is much more effective than the opportunity to win something of equal value. That’s precisely why we advocate that program participants ‘pay to play’ and make an investment out of their own pocket in order to win rewards—in our case large cash prizes—for losing weight and getting more active in the program.” A few other notable HealthyWager success stories (both female and male) are case-in-point. These include Jean N. who lost 71 lbs. and won $3,357.99 for her efforts, and Jeremy M. who also lost 71 lbs. and won $1,886.32 for his own slimdown success. From its website, HealthyWage.com shares yet more inspirational success stories of both women and men who gained financially for their pound-shedding achievements using the company’s unique gamification approach. This includes Kristin W. who lost a staggering 114 pounds and won $4,000 for her efforts, Anastasia W. who lost 41 pounds and won a whopping $10,000 in kind, and Blake S. who lost an impressive 151 pounds and won $4,670 for his own slimdown success. Figures that are tasty, indeed. These and other such HealthyWage payouts are proof positive. For their weight-loss achievements that collectively exceeds an astounding 1,050,000 pounds for this year, alone—269 of which losing in excess of 100 pounds (and nearly 7.5 million pounds lost since the company’s launch), HealthyWage has reportedly paid more than xx30,000 dieters over $13 million cash in 2020, specifically, and over $55 million cash since its inception in 2009. HealthyWage programs apply these principles: HealthyWager Challenge: participants commit to a weight loss goal and an upfront financial payment and get their money back plus a financial return if they accomplish their weight loss goal. The average participant loses 40.7 pounds and gets paid $1,245. HealthyWage Step Challenge: participants commit money and agree to increase their steps by 25% over 60-days. If they achieve their goal they get their money back plus the money from those who don't hit their goal. Upholding the new findings while also further validating HealthyWage’s well-honed approach, an additional study published in the journal Social Science and Medicine continue to prove that money is an effective motivator to “increase both the magnitude and duration of weight loss.” The same hold true in business for staff wellness initiatives. Results from one study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine indicated that “Loss Incentive’ Motivates Employees to Take More Steps ,” finding that financial incentives framed as a loss were most effective for achieving physical activity goals. As a prolific corporate and group wellness purveyor, since 2009 HealthyWage has worked with an array of hi-caliber participants on workplace and staff wellness initiatives, including Halliburton, ConocoPhillips and more than 25% of the largest school districts in the country. HealthyWage has, in fact, formally created competitive, money-motivated programs for more than 1000 Fortune 500 and other public and private companies, hospitals, health systems, insurers, school systems, municipal governments and other organizations throughout the U.S., and their program has been more informally run at more than 7,000 companies and organizations seeking to bolster staff health and well-being, and boost bottom lines in kind. “Throngs of studies reiterate the importance of the 'stick' in the design of a wellness incentive program, whether for individuals at home or for employee groups,” Roddenberry says. “Many studies have demonstrated that the threat of losing something of value is much more effective than the opportunity to win something of equal value. That’s precisely why we advocate that program participants ‘pay to play’ and make an investment out of their own pocket in order to win rewards—in our case large cash prizes—for losing weight and getting more active in the program.” Studies do consistently show that monetary incentives serve to enhance the effectiveness of, and duly complement, weight-loss programs of any and all sorts, especially when paid out quickly like HealthyWage’s various programs. For its part, HealthyWage reports that the average participant more than doubles their investment if they are successful at achieving their goal. The financial upside potential is impressive. So, if this is the season when you would like to not only resolve to lose those extra lbs. but also actually achieve that worthy goal, consider a cash-fueled approach. It just might give you that extra dose of motivation that’ll truly help you stay the course, shed weight and make some extra money in the process. There’s no better time than right now to bank on yourself.

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Spotlight

Lowell General Hospital

Founded in 1891, Lowell General Hospital is an independent, not-for-profit community hospital serving the Greater Lowell area and surrounding communities. With two primary campuses located in Lowell, Massachusetts, Lowell General Hospital offers a full range of medical and surgical services for patients. The ANCC honored Lowell General Hospital with Magnet Recognition for excellence in nursing care in October, 2010 and redesignated Lowell General in April, 2015.

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