Get fit with a Misfit Flash and you will be paid by health insurer.
The motivational messages, simulated applause and challenges are all very impressive but they won’t attract you to exercise more. But will money attract people do more exercises?
The insurance company Oscar’s new fitness systematic plan is to make people exercise by giving them a small amount of money. The customers who want to sign up to sync their daily activity to their health insurance account will get one free Misfit Flash tracker.
The co-founder of Oscar’s tech ‘savvy, Mario Schlosser told CNBC that he wanted to give people a gentle push to stay and maintain themselves healthy.
For the moment the only metric being measured are the steps, but soon sleep tracking could be added too. There is a possibility to track anything from estimated calories burned to time spent sat down, if more companies offer free expensive devices.
Other insurance companies, doctors, gyms and employers will follow Oscar’s lead and will distribute free wearable devices in exchange for some kind of data. But for the moment Oscar’s is one of the first companies in the US who started the ‘Do-it-yourself health’ trend.
It is better to keep in mind that Oscar won’t give its customers a real discount, so once the monthly $20 maximum has been achieved, the users will receive a form of an Amazon voucher, not cash like they wanted or expected to. At least the Misfit was a giveaway.
Most of the people share almost everything like colossal quantities of information, only to get a free service, for example Facebook and Twitter. It is a huge difference between socializing networks and the health insurance companies. For the health insurance companies the information collected will be used to see how likely we are to become very sick and how much should we pay to health insurances as a result. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, the health insurance companies won’t use your personal data collected by fitness trackers to sell adverts.
If you think about it, $20 a month is not much for insurance companies to pay. They get the access to all that health, fitness and sleeping data and use it. Florian Gschwanter, the founder of Runtastic had enough with insurers, who only wanted him to consult on how to access personal data from health tracking applications. In the end he told Forbes that he won’t take any meetings with insurers.
Healthy customers will spend less time in the hospital, and should lead to lower instances of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, so the insurance companies gain more money. Because the insurers have access to all that fitness, health and sleeping data, they know more about customers’ past and habits and that makes them able to give advice and encourage the customers to stay healthy.
This plan is a win win. Who would mind a Misfit Flash freebie and an extra motivational voucher each month?!