Wellness is a hot topic these days. We saw this first hand when the Helsinki studio hosted the April meeting for the IxDA Helsinki community. The event attracted an audience of over 80 designers and industry professionals who joined us for an evening of inspirational talks around Designing for Wellness. Healthy snacks were provided in the form of baby carrots, salad, nuts and of course, one or two beers – mental wellbeing not to be forgotten.
The evening commenced with Fjord’s CEO Olof Shybergson who presented some of the innovative work Fjord has been doing in health and wellness. Olof explained that as western countries struggle to cope with problems caused by an aging population, unhealthy lifestyles & chronic disease, service design and accessible technology will combine to ‘disrupt’ health care as we know it today. The disruption will come from less regulated areas such as wellness and move over to the industry core of medicine. Olof predicts healthcare knowledge & diagnosis will move from the specialists to the masses, from a population level to a personal level and we’ll see a shift from reactive to proactive behaviours. However, in order to be able to make this jump successfully there’s a real need for services that are relevant, simple to use and that provide data and information in a way that motivates the user. And this is where we at Fjord can help.
Next up was Jussi Räisänen, Co-founder and CEO of HeiaHeia. For those not yet aware, HeiaHeia provides a fun personal training log to monitor your fitness activities and help motivate your friends. HeiaHeia’s services allows you to track everything form running and cycling to cleaning, berry picking and even skydiving! You name it, it’s all there and if not then you can easily make a suggestion for another new activity to be added. They also have a corporate version where companies can encourage their employees to be more physically active in a way that not only improves their wellbeing but also their output at work. With a list of impressive numbers on the measurable effects of exercise, it’s a bit of a no-brainer for businesses.
Michael Quarshie, Co-founder and CEO of Wellness Foundry, makers of the MealLogger service, took to the stage after Jussi. Michael is an ex-professional American Football player, which means he knows a lot about the importance of nutrition for wellbeing and fitness. We’re rather excited about MealLogger. It’s a service that allows people to get professional help about their diet and learn how they could improve their nutritional habits and it’s so easy to use! You simply take a picture of your meal, upload it to MealLogger and wait for the feedback to follow. There’s a lot of potential here and as Michael stated, taking a picture of your food in itself already makes people more aware of the food they’re eating. After all you’re much more likely to post a picture of a healthy meal than a take-away.
Monitoring your exercise and eating habits are very positive steps towards a healthy lifestyle, however, what really stood out for us was the social elements of HeiaHeia and MealLogger’s services and the potential they hold. Sharing details of your physical activities and nutritional habits with friends and colleagues is actually a very strong motivator for living a more healthy life in the longer term, as well as helping your friends and family do the same.
So now it’s time to step away from the computer, stretch our legs, maybe walk up and down the stairs to our office (we’re on the top fourth floor) and then have a small healthy snack to keep that blood sugar level balanced to make it through the morning.