Digital Health’s Secret Weapon: Behavioral Science

By Aline Holzwarth

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Article originally appeared in HealthTech magazine. Read the full article here.

With the ubiquity of smartphones, and the fact that everyone (including your grandma) carries their devices with them everywhere, we also carry with us the perfect opportunities for health management. With mobile devices in the right place — that’s everywhere — behavioral science can help make sure interventions are reaching us at the right times.

Technology can be used to reach out with timely interventions, and behavioral science demonstrates how to do so effectively. Your smartphone can help you precommit to your health goals. Your phone can remind you to exercise, or call you out if you don’t. It can let your friends know when you skip the gym if you are brave enough to ask it to. Your phone can even dole out punishments if you fail to meet your health goals. It can keep track of your progress, and that data can be used to inform an evolving weight loss plan. And since your phone can keep you on track toward losing those pounds, you don’t need to rely on fallible human devices, like memory or motivation.

Read the rest of the article in HealthTech magazine

About the author

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Aline Holzwarth

Head of Behavioral Science

Aline Holzwarth is an applied behavioral scientist, primarily focusing on digital health research and scientifically informed product design. She is Head of Behavioral Science at Pattern Health, an evidence-based connected care platform that leverages behavioral science to help patients stick to their care plans. She also co-founded the Behavior Shop, a behavioral science advisory company, and holds an appointment as Principal of the Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University, an applied behavioral science lab that helps people be happier, healthier and wealthier, at home and abroad.