The shifts in technology we need to power behaviour change at scale – Part 2

In the last post I shared some of my experiences and views about how technology can enable wellbeing & behaviour change in the digital world. I covered the first of the four key themes that we believe are critical for driving meaningful and sustained change.  

  1. Tech should help put consumers in the driving seat for change
  2. The tooling needs to make digital journeys adaptive and be able to mimic human coaching styles 
  3. Connecting data silos supercharges success
  4. Wellbeing providers need flexibility, no-code configuration and fast and easy onboarding 

I explored how technology can support people to achieve meaningful change to their wellbeing in areas like sleep, movement, mindset, nutrition, mood, healthy habits – even better money management. I described how behavioural science brings us proven interventions that are effective in improving wellbeing with tangible outcomes, and the huge opportunity for leveraging technology to achieve impact at scale. Supporting people to support themselves. 

In this post I’ll cover off the remaining two themes – how technology must enable people, teams and organisations alike, and become an asset rather than just another cost line. If you’ve read our previous blogs, or even tried to embed a new habit yourself you’ll know that changing behaviour requires a multi-factorial approach that moves and adapts with us as things around us (and inside us!) change. Sadly we humans are not (yet) controlled by code (or better still AI), and we can’t just install a new update to optimise our output and efficiency! So for now, we must approach behaviour change with a mix of art and science. 

3. Connecting data silos supercharges success

Connecting data is one part of building a picture of what influences our behaviour. When we combine signals from multiple sources – such as survey data, wearables data, passive listening and mood sensing tools – we can be better equipped to know how to intervene. Imagine how decisions could be informed by bringing this data together:

  • We see that a participant has stopped practising their mindfulness exercise, and that their passive data is showing decreased mental health status (this comes from our partner Sahha’s SDK). An escalation to a health coach is triggered to intervene, and they check in, enabling any barriers to be addressed
  • Someone who has Type 1 Diabetes and wears a continuous blood glucose monitoring meter is showing consistent low blood glucose. Data from an Apple watch helps to correlate a period of intensive exercise immediately before the hypoglycaemic episode. With this data combined, a simple card is triggered that helps the person understand what might be happening and simple tips to help avoid it, including appropriate use of their medicine
  • A member of an insurance health plan has opted into a stress management programme after completing a brief questionnaire. Engagement was initially high, but recently the participant stopped responding to cards checking whether the stress busting workouts had been completed. After 5 days of missed workouts, a card was sent to help reaffirm the participant’s chosen reason for wanting to reduce stress, and a simple question helped them build accountability and get back on track. 

All these examples have a critical element – they are early interventions, designed to deal with challenges early. Data connection is critical to enabling smart and responsive wellbeing support. 

Most clients have invested in customer-facing apps that are well integrated into their marketing, service and customer success workflows. They have multiple channels for interacting and adding value – so we don’t need to introduce another app and clutter the customer experience. Instead, behaviour change solutions must be frictionless integrators, offering pre-built connections with the range of existing assets and services – web/mobile apps, CRMs, CDPs, e-commerce tools like Shopify and relational databases. Likewise, the new insights created from engaging in wellbeing journeys with participants can drive your enablement strategy and spark further innovation. The goal? Connecting data without reinventing the wheel or taking up precious development time so that behaviour change is amplified by layering participant data.

4.  Wellbeing providers need flexibility, no-code configuration and fast and easy onboarding 

Our experience helped us understand the tension between outsourcing and insourcing technology for participant wellbeing initiatives. On the one hand, your technology team is probably max’d out delivering to your BAU technical roadmap – on the other, there is inherent risk and loss of autonomy when outsourcing to a tech provider who has its own view of the opportunities, needs and development pathways. Alongside that conundrum is the investment profile and resource burden of adding a digital wellbeing support offering.

Luckily there’s a happy medium – embeddable solutions. A configurable platform approach with low-development burden that means your customer success teams can design and deliver targeted interventions from HQ, rapidly responding to opportunities, running quick tests and iterating to achieve their KPIs. Technology solutions should offer your team the flexibility to change the elements that matter to them (like outcomes, content, channels), coupled with must-have elements like onboarding, identity management, privacy and APIs available out of the box. We’ve shifted our focus entirely – so that sophisticated behaviour change tooling is in the hands of our clients, making implementation fast and easy and ongoing management a seamless part of the team’s role.  

Together these four principles are underpinning our work, and we are single-mindedly focussed on creating technology that enables our clients so that they can in-turn enable their teams and help their participants to achieve proactive health and wellbeing through behaviour change. It’s a new frontier that we’re excited to be a part of. 

I’m curious to know if your organisation is investigating how to wrap wellbeing into your products and services. Drop me a line and tell me how you’re differentiating yourselves through digital innovation! 

We’re working on something exciting that will change the way we support people’s wellbeing. If you’re interested, please message or follow me on LinkedIn.