US 20060205564 A1
A method and apparatus for a mobile lifestyle management system, combining a server-based application enabling creation of an integrated health and wellness plan (comprising diet, exercise, medication and vitals testing), with a client-based application enabling management of, and compliance with, the resulting lifestyle plan. The client application is installed on a wireless, Internet-enabled mobile device, the server application on an Internet-connected server, and the two applications exchange data with one another via an over-the-air “OTA” synchronization using standard Internet protocols. The resulting ecosystem operates as a stand-alone lifestyle management system, but can also be configured to function as a content delivery platform, when integrated with existing Web-based health and wellness content.
1. An integrated health and wellness management system, comprising:
A secure server having a computer readable medium disposed in communication with the internet and accessible via a world wide web portal;
A server-based application residing on the server that provides for:
(a) Addition, deletion and configuration of user accounts;
(b) Generation of end user lifestyle plans comprising diet, exercise, medication and vitals testing;
(c) Tracking of end user compliance with plans; and
(d) Synchronization of plans and outcomes with a client-based application;
An internet-enabled mobile device featuring a wireless link to the Internet; and
A client-based application residing on the internet-enabled mobile device that provides for:
(a) Presentation of lifestyle plans comprising diet, exercise, medication and vitals testing;
(b) Delivery of real-time coaching and guidance;
(c) Capture of outcomes;
(d) Delivery of feedback; and
(e) Synchronization of plan and outcomes with the server-based application.
2. The system of
3. The system of
4. A method of driving end user compliance with a lifestyle plan, comprising the following steps:
Providing an expert system for delivering real-time, graphical feedback based on references to agreed targets;
Developing a wellness profile unique to the end user;
Creating a personalized lifestyle plan incorporating agreed targets and revising as needed;
delivering real-time coaching and feedback by one or more practitioners to the end user; and
Supporting and rewarding the end user through the use of the expert system.
5. A method for improving the health and wellness of an individual end user, the method comprising the steps of:
Delivering an integrated health and wellness management platform, the platform consisting of an internet-connected server-side application configured to enable the creation of a unique and comprehensive, personalized lifestyle plan by one or more health and wellness practitioners,
Connecting the platform via wireless synchronization with a client-side application installed on a wireless, internet-enabled mobile device; and
Configuring the wireless, internet-enabled mobile device to ensure compliance with the lifestyle plan through the application of behavior modification techniques including real-time coaching, outcome journaling and feedback, goal-based rewards and linkage with a broad community.
6. The method of
7. The method of
8. The method of
9. The method of
10. The method of
downloading the client application and associated databases to the end user's wireless internet-enabled mobile device.
11. The method of
initiating an over-the-air (OTA) synchronization using standard protocols to receive a copy of the lifestyle plan created by the practitioner.
12. The method of
Viewing further information related to activities in the plan.
13. The method of
Executing the activities and recording the actual outcomes.
14. The method of
Modifying the components of the plan.
15. The method of
Reviewing the rewards earned through documented compliance with plan and outcomes targets.
16. The method of
Exchanging these rewards for coupons and/or goods and services supplied by partners.
17. The method of
Sharing plans and results with others in the community; including practitioners, peers and “non-users” with a vested interest in the individual's success.
18. A method of use of an integrated health and wellness management cycle consisting of the following steps:
A. User entering basic health information and exercise/nutritional preferences via web site, and optionally collecting such information and preferences via real-time interview;
B. Automatically creating a lifestyle plan and transmitting it to mobile device by a web application based on user inputs;
C. Handheld device guiding user through the execution of the plan, via reminders and real-time coaching/encouragement, data capture and feedback, and returning results back to the web application; and
D. Tracking the web-based application progress against plan, prompting for changes as required, linking user to community and delivering rewards.
19. A method for creating and maintaining a wellness lifestyle plan for an end user integrating health and fitness practitioners, peers and supporting community over a real-time network utilizing server-side and client-side applications and user interfaces, the method comprising the following steps:
A. Initially setting up, including the steps of:
Administrator and/or practitioner creating new user accounts;
Automatically generating a user ID and invitation by a server-side application;
End user accepting invitation and submits profile information;
Practitioner establishing end user targets and settings;
Practitioner creating personalized lifestyle plan for end user based on end user targets and settings;
Automatically pushing client-side application/databases to mobile device; and
End user accepting download of application and databases;
B. Integrating the end user, including the following steps:
Automatically presenting lifestyle plan to end user for review;
Determining if current plan is acceptable to end user;
End user editing or replacing events and/or activities, as desired;
Determining if events or activities should be saved for future use;
Saving events and/or activities to Favorites as desired
Determining if additional information is needed to execute the lifestyle plan;
Retrieving and presenting information to end user by the application;
End user executing plan and recording actual outcomes; and
Automatically calculating results and presenting feedback by the application to the end user;
C. Integrating the practitioner, including the following steps:
Automatically synchronizing the client-side and server-side applications;
Automatically assessing compliance and presenting for review;
Determining if current plan requires editing;
Practitioner editing plan based on results and end user profile; and
Automatically synchronizing client-side and server-side applications.
This Application is related to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/594,009 filed Mar. 4, 2005 entitled METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR MOBILE HEALTH AND WELLNESS MANAGEMENT INCORPORATING REAL-TIME COACHING AND FEEDBACK, COMMUNITY AND REWARDS, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety, and claims any and all benefits to which it is entitled therefrom.
The present invention relates to wireless health maintenance and lifestyle management, and more particularly to the exchange of health and wellness data between an internet-enabled mobile device and a server-based application, based on a lifestyle plan provided by a practitioner, expert system, or the patient/subscriber/user themselves.
Recent trends suggest that the United States (and to a lesser extent, other industrialized nations throughout the world) are facing a looming public health crisis, the byproduct of an aging population and the increasingly poor nutrition and fitness regimens of the populace. According to recently published public health statistics, over 30% of the US population are considered obese, while 60% are considered overweight. This has led to a dramatic upswing in obesity-related disease states, including Type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension, with treatment costs associated with these disease states estimated at $117 billion, and is exerting tremendous upward pressure on healthcare costs in the US, which are currently forecast to reach 16% of GDP by 2006.
This trend, which is clearly unsustainable, has led to a slow but deliberate shift in the orientation and focus of the traditional healthcare delivery system, as payers and practitioners alike seek more effective and efficient alternatives to traditional disease treatment programs, such as disease state management and prevention. A common element amongst these alternatives is the realization that the individual plays a critical role in managing their own health and wellness, particularly as relates to those enablers of health for which the individual has ultimate decision-making authority, such as diet, exercise, medication, and vital sign testing.
While the market for consumer-oriented health and wellness products and services is large and growing, research consistently demonstrates that the majority of such offerings (be they diet programs or health club memberships) fail to deliver the sort of measurable, sustainable results that would warrant their expense. Furthermore, while recent advances in technology (in particular, the emergence of wireless, Internet-enabled mobile devices) has led to a broad array of technology-based solutions, each aimed at improving the health and wellness of an individual, a review of the prior art suggests that these solutions each have one or more disadvantages that may ultimately limit their effectiveness—to wit:
As an example, in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,602,691 and 6,936,007, and 6,976,958 Quy describes a method and apparatus for interactively monitoring the disease or health state of a patient using a health management device, coupled to an internet-enabled wireless web device to capture health parameters, such as vital signs or exercise outcomes, and to transmit the captured data to a central repository via a wireless network and to facilitate the delivery of a response to the user. However, the referenced design is highly practitioner-driven, encompasses only selected enablers of health and wellness, and does not focus on the driver of plan compliance.
Similarly, in U.S. Pat. No. 6,735,551 Voegeli et al. describe a system for the maintenance and management of the health which permits easy and complete access to all important data of the patient to be treated. Once again, this is strictly a practitioner-driven system, with the patient relegated to the role of instruction follower, and comprises only the monitoring of vitals signs.
U.S. Patent Publication No. 2005/0113649 to Bergantino teaches a method and apparatus for managing a user's health. The teaching, however, focuses primarily on the nutritional and dietary requirements and activity of the end user, is not configured to allow practitioner generation of integrated lifestyle plans, nor does it incorporate functionality intended to drive plan compliance, such as rewards or the ability to share plans and results with a broader community.
Finally, in U.S. Patent Publication No. 2004/0176666 to Chait teaches a health and well being monitoring and advisory system but without coaching and real-time feedback, it is unlikely such system would be effective in ensuring compliance and increase in overall health and well being.
What is missing, then, is an integrated solution that actively involves both the practitioner and the end user, encompasses all of the enablers of health and wellness, focuses on enabling compliance with a healthy lifestyle plan, and integrates seamlessly with an individual's normal routine.
It is an object and advantage of the invention to provide a system and method for improving the health and wellness of an individual (hereafter, referred to as the end user) by delivering an integrated health and wellness management platform, consisting in the preferred embodiment of an Internet-connected server-side application configured to enable the creation of a comprehensive, personalized lifestyle plan by a health and wellness practitioner(s), and connected via wireless synchronization of known method with a client-side application installed on an Internet-enabled mobile device, itself configured to enable compliance with the lifestyle plan through the application of behavior modification techniques such as real-time coaching, outcome journaling and feedback, goal-based rewards and linkage with a broad community. The presence of the mobile device is a critical advantage, ensuring that the end user receives critical coaching and feedback when and where it matters most; that is, at the time and place of decision-making relative to diet, exercise, medication and other key lifestyle choices that impact health and wellness.
For the sake of clarity, in the context of the present invention the term “lifestyle plan” refers to a series of scheduled events, each occurring at a specific time (and in some cases, place) and consisting of one or more actionable activities. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the aforementioned events are related to a user's health and wellness, including:
1. Fitness events, such as a cardiovascular workout
2. Nutritional events, such as a meal
3. Medication events, such as a regimen of antiviral drugs
4. Vitals events, such as a practitioner-administered blood test
In an alternative embodiment of the present invention, the definition of an event may be expanded to include any scheduled activity, including those that are only tangentially related to health and wellness, such as a social gathering of end users initiated using the system's community functionality.
The invention may be implemented in various different embodiments. Several such embodiments are described herein, although other embodiments, and embodiments which are extensions to the described embodiments can be envisioned. In the preferred embodiment, the role of the practitioner may be assumed by one or more individuals with specific expertise in the field of health and wellness, including (but not limited to) physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, nutritionists, physical therapists, and personal/athletic trainers. This practitioner (or practitioners) may interface with the system via a web portal, interacting with the server-based application to add, delete or edit user accounts and profiles, to create lifestyle plans that have been personalized based on the profile of the end user (i.e. the practitioner's client), to transmit the lifestyle plan to the end user's mobile device, to track end user compliance with the plan, and to provide feedback and/or modify the plan as required to achieve the overarching lifestyle goals agreed by the end user.
The client may be any personal computer, such as a smart or dumb terminal, network computer, wireless device, information appliance, workstation, minicomputer, mainframe computer, handheld device, or other computing device that has a graphical user interface, and the databases may be either installed along with the client application, or may be retrieved via connection to a local PC or other device with storage means which has communicated with the server previously and has stored the databases for later installation on the client device. In another embodiment, the client device may be connected with another device which provides data communication means to the client, thereby enabling connectivity to the server.
The end user, after downloading or installing the client application and associated databases to their Internet-enabled mobile device in known fashion, may then elect to review their lifestyle plan, to view further information related to activities in the plan, to modify the activities in the plan, and/or to execute the activities in the plan and record the actual outcomes. Additionally, the end user may review the rewards that he or she has “earned” through documented compliance with plan and outcome targets, exchange these rewards for goods and services provided by affiliate companies, and/or share plans and results with others in the invention's system; namely, practitioners, peers and “non-users.”
The presence of an embedded, client-side application and database on a mobile device offers a critical advantage, by ensuring that the end user will always have access to the core functionality of the system (i.e. the viewing and logging of scheduled health and wellness events), irregardless of network connectivity, while the presence of wireless data communications connectivity, in the preferred embodiment, provides the end user with real-time access to server-based supplemental information on an as-needed basis. Thus, in one embodiment, an end user bicycling on a remote road with limited network connectivity would have the ability to view their plan and log outcomes, while still being to view a full-motion exercise instruction video “streamed” or downloaded from a server in situations where network connectivity was available. Solutions existing in the prior art, or those which have been proposed, cannot offer this capability.
Additionally, embodiments of the present invention overcome one or more of the disadvantages of the prior art, by:
In an alternative embodiment of the invention, the role of the practitioner (as relates to generating and monitoring plans) may be assumed by a so-called expert system, incorporated into either the server-side or client-side application. In such an embodiment, the requisite practitioner knowledge may be embedded in a series of software algorithms that, based on end user responses to a series of preconfigured questions aimed at assessing the end user's health and wellness profile, may generate a personalized lifestyle plan for the end user. Note that such artificial intelligence may be incorporated within the described system of the present invention, but may also exist on a server application that is external to this system (such as the website operated by Weightwatchers.com™), in which instance the aforementioned server-side application may be reconfigured to function primarily as a synchronization conduit between the web site and the client-side application.
In yet another embodiment of the invention, the role of the practitioner may be assumed by the end user themselves, who may access the functionality similar to that provided via the aforementioned practitioner Web portal in order to manually create a lifestyle plan, to log outcomes, and to track progress against compliance and outcome targets. Provided the end user has the requisite knowledge to create an appropriate lifestyle plan, this embodiment yields the additional advantage of economy for the end user.
Further details, objects and advantages of the present invention will be come apparent through the following descriptions, and will be included and incorporated herein.
The description that follows is presented to enable one skilled in the art to make and use the present invention, and is provided in the context of a particular application and its requirements. Various modifications to the disclosed embodiments will be apparent to those skilled in the art, and the general principals discussed below may be applied to other embodiments and applications without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Therefore, the invention is not intended to be limited to the embodiments disclosed, but the invention is to be given the largest possible scope which is consistent with the principals and features described herein.
It will be understood that in the event parts of different embodiments have similar functions or uses, they may have been given similar or identical reference numerals and descriptions. It will be understood that such duplication of reference numerals is intended solely for efficiency and ease of understanding the present invention, and are not to be construed as limiting in any way, or as implying that the various embodiments themselves are identical.
Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which the present invention belongs. Definitions specific to this invention are presented below.
The term “practitioner” encompasses individuals and/or systems with specific expertise in the field of health and wellness, including but not limited to physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, nutritionists, physical therapists, advisers, counselors, social workers, and personal/athletic trainers. The term can also be applied to expert systems, in which the knowledge of a human practitioner is embodied in a series of software algorithms.
The term “administrator” refers to an individual who is responsible for administering the system of the present invention, performing duties such as account and database management.
The term “end user” refers to the individual who is responsible for executing the health and wellness plan generated by the practitioner or practitioner system; he or she interacts with the system primarily via the mobile device. End users can also be defined as subscribers, members, affiliates, patients, or subjects.
The term “user” refers collectively to those individuals who have access to the system of the present invention, including practitioners, administrators and end users. The term “non-user” refers to an individuals who does not have access to either the server-side and/or client-side applications described herein, yet may be a recipient of the content generated by same.
The term “lifestyle plan” refers to a series of scheduled events, each occurring at a specific time (and in some cases, place) and consisting of one or more actionable activities. In the embodiment of the invention, the aforementioned events are related to a user's health and wellness, including:
In an alternate embodiment of the present invention, the definition of an “event” may be expanded to include any scheduled activity, including those that are only tangentially related to health and wellness, such as a social gathering of end users initiated using the system's community functionality.
Each of the events in a lifestyle plan in turn consists of one or more finite, actionable activities, while an activity consists of an item (such as Bicycling) and one or more parameters (such as Time, Duration, and Intensity), that when taken together define the activity, providing the subscriber with the specific instructions needed to execute the activity. By way of example, a plan might include the fitness event “Daily Run,” composed of the activity of Running (an item) for 10 minutes at a 6 MPH pace (the parameters).
The term “OTA synchronization” (or alternatively, “OTA Sync”) describes the process by which a server-side and client-side application exchange data “Over the Air” via a wireless (RF) link, using cellular telephony or equivalent protocols such as WiFi (802.11) WiMax (802.16), Bluetooth, or Zigbee.
The term “time” refers to a chronological time or timeframe, including but not limited to morning, afternoon, evening, breakfast, lunch, dinner, night time, beginning, end, etc.
Other examples of protocols or standard communications means between the server and client included within the scope of this invention include but are not limited to standard telephone lines, LAN or WAN links (e.g., T1, T3, 56 kb, X.25), broadband connections (ISDN, Frame Relay, ATM), and wireless connections, using a variety of communication protocols (e.g., HTTP, HTTPS, TCP/IP, IPX, SPX, NetBIOS, Ethernet, RS232, messaging application programming interface (MAPI) protocol, real-time streaming protocol (RTSP), real-time streaming protocol used for user datagram protocol scheme (RTSPU), the Progressive Networks Multimedia (PNM) protocol developed by RealNetworks, Inc. of Seattle, Wash., manufacturing message specification (MMS) protocol, wireless application protocol (WAP), and direct asynchronous connections.
Various embodiments of the architecture are now presented in greater detail.
Overview of System
This synchronization of information between the end user 13 and practitioner 1 is two-way in nature, with data captured by the end user in the course of executing the lifestyle plan moving from the mobile device to the server. The system also provides the ability for an end user 13 to share plans and results with a designated “community,” which may include fellow end users and practitioners 1, as well as individuals 14 who fall into neither group (such as Friends and Family), with content delivered to this group via a messaging application 11. Additionally, the system includes an eCommerce application 12, allowing users to execute transactions with providers of health and wellness products and services.
It will be understood that the practitioner can be an actual live person, a health service establishment, or an expert system which, based on a set of entered parameters, may generate an optimal, “state of the art” lifestyle plan for the end user based on the end user's profile, track record of compliance, etc. Furthermore, it will be understood that such an expert system may be incorporated within the previously described server-side application or may be a component of a server-side application maintained by an external partner and connected to the described system. In yet another embodiment—the “do-it-yourself” model—the end user may serve as their own practitioner, creating their own lifestyle plan by selecting from a library of plans and/or plan components, such as end user profiles, goals, events, activities, and items.
In day-to-day usage, the client-side application presents the lifestyle plan to the end user in the form of a daily calendar 110. The end user then reviews the plan and determines whether or not they will execute it in its current form 111—in the negative case, the application guides the end user through the modification of the plan 112. The end user then decides whether they wish to store any portion of the plan as a “Favorite” for future use 113—in the affirmative case, the application guides the end user through storage of its components 114 in the corresponding database. The end user then assesses whether they have enough information to execute the plan 115—in the negative case, the application retrieves the requisite coaching information 116 (consisting of text, graphics and/or video) and presents it to the end user for review. Finally, the end user executes the plan and records actual outcomes 117, which triggers the application to calculate results, present feedback to the end user 118 and synchronize the client-side and server-side databases 119.
Once synchronization has occurred and actual plan outcomes have been delivered to the server-side databases, the server-side application assesses the user's compliance with the plan 120 relative to both plan compliance and outcome measures, where plan compliance measures indicate whether end users are successfully completing the activities scheduled for them, and outcome measures indicate whether end users are achieving the results they desire. The practitioner then assesses whether the current lifestyle plan must be modified 121, if modifications are required, the server-side application facilitates editing of the plan 122. In either case, a synchronization event 123 is used to deliver the most current version of the lifestyle plan to the end user.
Server-Side Functionality Within the system of the present invention, the role of the practitioner 1 is to generate a lifestyle plan for the end user 13, to monitor the end user's compliance with the lifestyle plan, and to provide coaching and feedback to the end user 13 as required to facilitate compliance with the plan. In the embodiment, this is accomplished via a server-side application/database, accessed via a network or web-based portal, which allows a practitioner 1 to:
In an alternative embodiment, some or all of this functionality could be accomplished via an Internet-enabled mobile device, using either an embedded application or a browser.
Tracking of user compliance with lifestyle plans is facilitated by the Compliance Management Module 210, accessed via the Compliance Management User Interface 211 and utilizing plan outcomes stored in the Actuals Database 212 and calculated results measures stored in the Results Database 213. The Synchronization/Sharing Module 220 enables synchronization of the client-side and server-side applications.
Management of user accounts is facilitated by the User Account Management module 230, accessed via the Account Management User Interface 231. In the case of end users, accounts are defined by profile data such as User ID, age, weight, disease states, etc. which are stored in the User Profile Database 232 and used to tailor a lifestyle plan to the needs of the end user 13. The user experience (both client-side and server-side) is defined by settings or preference data such as Synchronization Frequency, which are stored in the Settings Database 233.
User access to system functionality is governed via the data stored in the Group/Resources Database 234, which allows users with similar characteristics to be assigned to a group, and for groups to be assigned ownership of a specific resource, where a resource is broadly defined as the right to execute a function, such as accessing a database or editing an event. Amongst other uses, this mechanism can be used to share content amongst users (e.g. personal trainers working at a health club facility could create and share workouts that are relevant to the equipment installed at that facility), to restrict the ability of an end user to edit or delete a practitioner-generated plan, or to assign multiple practitioners to the same end user (achieved by defining a resource that limits practitioner access to a specific type of event, such as nutrition). Amongst other benefits, the ability to create groups and assign resources to those groups enhances network security and end user 13 privacy rights.
It will be understood that the “screen shots” of FIGS. 5A-B, 7A-C, 8A-C, 9A-C, 10A-B, and 12A-B are representative user interfaces showing the information and organization of the screens used by the end-users 13, practitioners 1, and administrators 15. As is well known today, PDAs, cell phones and other mobile computing devices will have displays or screens via which a great deal of detailed information can be displayed effectively, clearly and otherwise as desired for a particular purpose and by a particular entity. For this reason, the rest of the PDA, cell phone, or other mobile device is not shown in these figures.
Within the system of the present invention, the role of the end user is to execute the lifestyle plan generated by the practitioner(s), to record actual outcomes, and to provide feedback to the end user as necessary to ensure that their lifestyle plan remains consistent with their goals and preferences. In the preferred embodiment, this is accomplished via a client-side application and databases, installed on an Internet-enabled mobile device, which allow the end user to:
In an alternative embodiment, some or all of this functionality could be accomplished via a Web browser connected to a server-based application.
In an alternative embodiment of the invention, logging of activities may be accomplished automatically via a wireless link with a compatible measurement device (such as a sphygmomanometer or peak flow monitor), exercise apparatus (such as a treadmill or rowing machine), and/or automated medication dispenser. In such cases, the end user would be prompted to establish a wireless link with the noted equipment in known fashion, and to confirm the uploading of outcomes before they are “accepted” as logged activities.
Depending on the permissions granted to him or her by the practitioner, the end user may also have the ability to edit the practitioner-generated lifestyle plan, either by adding a new event to the plan, adding activities to an existing event, or editing an existing event. These activities are enabled via the Edit Event UI 304, which provides the end user with access to the Event Database 306, Activity Database 307, and Item Database 308 that contain the “building blocks” of an event. In a typical installation, the complete Activity and Event Databases, which allow the end user to store and retrieve Favorites, would be located on the mobile device, while a subset of the Item Database would be resident on the mobile device, with access to the server-based remainder achieved through an integrated WAP browser. All data in the client-side databases are backed up regularly to corresponding databases on the server-side in the course of a synchronization event.
Beyond simple scheduling, the client application is configured to provide real-time guidance to the end user to assist in the execution of a plan via the Coaching Module 310 and the Coaching UI 311. This guidance takes several forms:
The Coaching Module 310 also features a context-sensing capability—in the preferred embodiment, the application may wirelessly connect with a Context Interface Point 312 configured to provide contextual information—such as the type of exercise equipment installed in a gymnasium or the nutritional content of items on a restaurant menu—that can be used to guide the end user in execution and/or modification of selected activities. This transfer of information may be facilitated by a broad range of wireless transmission protocols, such as RFID bar codes, IR, Bluetooth, Zigbee. In each case, the Coaching Module obtains the pertinent data from the Context Interface Point and via an expert system capability, recommends potential changes to the proposed plan, such as an alternative exercise routine based on available equipment.
As events are logged, a Feedback Module 320 provides feedback to the end user via the Feedback UI 321, based on a comparison of planned (as scheduled) and actual (as executed) outcomes, with the goal of measuring the extent to which the end user is (a) complying with their lifestyle plan and (b) achieving their desired goals. In the first case, the feedback measure would be based on an activity parameter (e.g. % of scheduled exercises completed), with the plan compliance target derived by summing the corresponding values for each of the activities scheduled within the timeframe in question. In the second case, the feedback measure would be based on a desired outcome (such as caloric expenditure) for the selected timeframe, with the outcome target specified by the practitioner (or in the case of an end user-generated event, by the end user).
Regardless of the feedback measure selected, the application allows the user to select a different timeframe (i.e. to view results by week as well as by day) or point of reference (i.e. to view results relative to the aforementioned target as well as to the average of the past 7 days' results) and/or to view historical results, either for a specific measure (such as calories expended) or for a recurring event (allowing the end user to track improvement in their ability to perform an exercise workout, as an example). Additionally, the application is capable of providing “prospective” feedback; that is, to project outcomes based on a blend of logged and scheduled (but not yet logged) activities, providing end users with the information needed to adjust their future behavior to achieve compliance with their targets.
Referring again to
In addition to providing “passive” feedback similar to that described above, the Feedback Module 320 is configured to continually monitor scheduled and/or logged activities and actively warn end users of situations that threaten their well-being or otherwise violate their health and wellness goals. For example, if an end user's plan is modified to incorporate a new prescription medication, the Feedback Module would automatically conduct a review of scheduled nutritional events (i.e. snacks or meals) to identify dangerous food/drug interactions, issuing a warning via the Feedback UI where required. Similarly, if the end user were to log activity results that violated targets established in their user profile (for example, recording a maximum heart rate during exercise in excess of that recommended for the user's age) the application would issue a warning. As with the aforementioned alerts and reminders, the means of delivery for the warning may be configured by the user.
To further drive plan compliance, the system incorporates a rewards functionality, administered by Rewards Module 330 and accessible via the Rewards UI 331, whereby “health and wellness points” are awarded to the end user based on their ability to achieve specific targets. These targets take one of two forms: plan compliance targets, such as quantity of food consumed, and outcome targets, such as body weight or cholesterol level. In either situation, earned points can be used to obtain rewards via the eCommerce Module 335 and eCommerce UI 336, which provide the end user with access to an on-line marketplace populated by vendors offering goods and services that are pre-selected based on the end user's profile.
In one embodiment, the system also enables the concept of a “Wish List,” allowing the end user to save offerings of interest to a master list, arranged by points values required for redemption. Earning the corresponding number of rewards points would trigger an automatic request for confirmation of redemption or, in an alternative embodiment, an automatic redemption, thus providing a powerful reinforcement of virtuous behavior.
Referring again to
Once the membership of these groups has been defined, the end user 13 may select which subsets of information (e.g. Plans, Results, Profiles) are shared with which groups and/or group members. Subsequent sharing of information enables the following functionality:
In one embodiment, the functionality described above would be accessible via the client-side application; in an alternative embodiment, some or all of this functionality would be provided via the client-side application to leverage the ease of use of a large form-factor device.
Referring again to
It is possible to envision additional, alternative embodiments of the present invention by blending the above functionality. Such additional and alternative embodiments are expressly included within the scope of this invention. Selected examples of such functionality include, but are not limited to:
Although any methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described can be used in the practice or testing of the present invention, one method and materials are now described. All publications and patent documents referenced in the present invention are incorporated herein by reference.
Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which the present invention belongs. Although any methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described can be used in the practice or testing of the present invention, methods and materials are now described. All publications and patent documents referenced in the present invention are incorporated herein by reference.
While the principles of the invention have been made clear in illustrative embodiments, there will be immediately obvious to those skilled in the art many modifications of structure, arrangement, proportions, the elements, materials, and components used in the practice of the invention, and otherwise, which are particularly adapted to specific environments and operative requirements without departing from those principles. The appended claims are intended to cover and embrace any and all such modifications, with the limits only of the true purview, spirit and scope of the invention.