Set to release later this month, a new app —Bushytail Health— is aiming to improve the lifestyles of those suffering from diabetes.
Gambling For Your Health
Developed by two anesthesiologists at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Kerry DeGroot and Jason Hoefling, the app uses the concept of gambling and its natural appeal to help diabetic patients and other chronic disease patients manage their health.
Is Gambling a good motivator?
In 2014, Americans spent $119 billion on gambling. Research shows that money is the only factor clinically proven to motivate people to live healthier lives.
What the app does
Step 1: Establish user’s A1C level (measure diabetic blood-sugar level)
Step 2: An algorithm calculates a customized target A1C level
Step 3: Uses receives confirmation email with personal goal level and a link to their “game”
Step 4: To play, users make a bet by putting money as a buy-in, bet goes into a pot with wagers from other diabetics
Step 5: The goal? Hit your target A1C level within 6 months
- Miss it, Lose money
- Make your goal, Get money back + a cut from any other players who lost
How to sign-up
Users can sign up via bushytailhealth.com or download the mobile app (set to release later in April).
Improving Research Around Diabetes
The goal is collect as much data as possible about the lifestyle habits and changes that may work in diabetic patients, which could lead to further research on how to prevent diabetes with healthy living habits. Their hope is to lead doctors to create a treatment algorithm for diabetic patients. This could explain why some patients become non-compliant.
Other apps do exist but Bushytail's point of differentiation is the difficulty to cheat based on its verification process. If the app succeeds, they hope to use the same concept for:
- Chronic conditions
- High cholesterol
- Weight loss
The State of Diabetes
Globally, we are experiencing an epidemic of diabetes due to rapid increases in obesity. Total deaths are projected to rise by more than 50% in next decade.
- TYPE 1: lack of insulin production
- TYPE 2: results from body’s ineffective use of insulin
- Type 2 is more common / accounts for 90% of all diabetes worldwide
- Reports of Type 2 in children have increased worldwide
Diabetes Quick Facts
- 29.1 million people in US have diabetes
- 86 million people (1 in 3 adults) have prediabetes
- In 2005, worldwide 1.1 million people died from diabetes
- Full impact of disease is much larger
- People live with it for years but cause of death is often heart disease or kidney failure
It's important to remember diabetes can be prevented even if you're at risk because of family history. 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days and a healthy diet can reduce the risk of Type 2.