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Healthy Habits, an app for the iPhone, helps users make good on good intentions. A winner of the U.S. Surgeon General’s Healthy Apps Challenge, the Healthy Habits app was developed by 2Morrow Mobile, a company that specializes in behavioral change technology.
Most people know what they would like to change about themselves and often even know how to do it. The problem is putting those intentions into action. That’s where the Healthy Habits app comes in. From the Healthy Habits entry into the Healthy Apps Challenge:
Healthy Habits focuses on providing people a tool to help them make the changes they want to make. Our users tell us that the act of recording their actions and tracking their progress keeps them motivated. We are not trying to tell people what to change — we are providing a tool to assist in that change and empowering individuals to affect their own health & happiness. Healthy Habits incorporates proven behavior change tools such as: identifying the reasons for desired change, logging/tracking behavior, providing reminders, making it convenient (the tool is always with you – on your phone), gamification (making it fun), involving support systems, visual representations of progress and more.
By making users accountable to themselves via their phone, the Healthy Habits app hopes to assist with positive behavior modification in areas such as weight loss, eating patterns, and social interaction. The app, though it hasn’t undergone any scientific testing (that has been reported to date), is consistent with principles of behavior modification as outlined by the National Institutes of Health:
[T]he initiation and maintenance of behavior change can be very difficult, and even those interventions that succeed in controlled clinical trials do not always scale well. It is not enough for behavioral and social scientists to do rigorous research and develop effective interventions; there must also be delivery channels and systems in place to disseminate these interventions to the public, policymakers, and other decision makers to ensure that they are implemented, adopted, and maintained.
2Morrow Mobile hopes that Healthy Habits will serve as one such delivery channel.