Mark Lerner
Mark Lerner

September 27, 2012

GigaOm Mobilize: Health and Wellness Take Center Stage

Last weekend we had the honor of attending the annual GigaOm Mobilize conference in beautiful San Francisco. We were struck at the amount of focus and attention the health and wellness space was getting this year. We were extremely glad to see that the industry is now discussing the issues that we have been talking about for some time.

There were so many amazing speakers, presentations and sessions that our heads were turning. However, there was one session that really caught our attention. It was called “The Business Model For Mobile Wellness.”

The session was moderated by GigaOm analyst Jody Ranck and included such notable speakers as CEO and founder of RunKeeper Jason Jacobs, and founder/CEO of Rock Health Halle Tecco.

The focus of the discussion was on the shifting paradigm of the health-care system. People are moving away from physician- led system, but health related apps still remain fairly low down on app stores.

Paradoxically download revenues, advertisement sales and device sales are a very large opportunity that hasn’t been fully capitalized on. Mobile-health app developers are also in a great position to gather medical data for their users, allowing for personalized recommendations for health improvement, as well as recommending new products.

Halle TeccoCEO and Co-Founder of Rock Health, Halle Tecco pointed out that “We’ve created a system where the user isn’t the one paying, so there’s a disconnect between the use and the cost”, however Tecco pointed out that there is a market of people who are willing to pay for tools to help them live their lives healthier. Rock Health is the first startup accelerator devoted exclusively to health companies and is really helping fuel this new movement.

This is the market that new startups are starting to target. They are tech savvy, but health concious consumers who want to enjoy the newest gadgets, but also use them as a means for better living.

Runkeeper started as an easy way to help runners track their activity, but has become a kind of centralized database of all kinds of health-related information, including data from scales that share a user’s weight and devices that track the number of steps a person walks in a day. The growth of RunKeeper into something larger than it was originally meant to be is indicative of how the future of this market will be. We see this growth happening rapidly, and our goal is to help it along so that everyone can benefit from the great technology that mobile offers in terms of helping live a better, healthier life.

tawkon has been focused on this middle ground between health and mobile apps for years, and now we feel that it is finally being given the attention it deserves. We are not only focused on our own application, but the benefits other health and wellness apps can provide.

Why? Because it’s important.

To that end, we have created The Fresh Living Project. It is a collection of mobile apps for living healthier. Apps such as RunKeeper are included, and it allows people to choose routine of apps that fits their lifestyles in a real and personal way.

The new project is our way of promoting this new paradigm shift in the health and wellness field. By teaming up with other apps that allow users to live healthier lives, we are embracing the new paradigm shift and walking hand in hand with other apps with the same goals.

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