Corporate Wellness, Events | By | 09/25/18 | 3 Minute Read

5 Key Takeaways from Fitbit Captivate 2018

Last Thursday, Fitbit Health Solutions held its biggest Captivate event yet, where over 360 employers, health systems and health organizations from around the country gathered in Chicago to learn the latest innovations from Fitbit Health Solutions. Attendees also heard from subject matter experts in digital health, behavioral science, wellness, health coaching, sleep and more. The iconic Revel Motor Row in downtown Chicago provided the perfect backdrop for mixing and mingling in between a full day of insightful keynotes, general sessions, panels and fireside chats – all focused around this year’s theme: “Change Behavior. Change the World.”

Weren’t able to attend? No worries; these key takeaways are the next best thing to a front row seat.

New platform Fitbit Care unites health coaching and virtual care to address key health challenges

The record-breaking temps and humidity in Chicago were palpable, but so was the excitement when Fitbit medical director John Moore, MD, gave a demo of Fitbit Care. The connected health platform combines health coaching and virtual care, Fitbit’s wearable devices and self-tracking, and personalized digital interventions to help improve wellness, disease management and prevention. Dr. Moore showed us how users can download the Fitbit Plus app that pulls data from different sources like a Fitbit device or blood pressure monitor, making it easier for healthcare providers, employers, coaches and patients to better track progress together, customize goals and drive improved health outcomes.

“Supporting patients beyond the walls of the doctor’s office is one of the most important things we can do to help drive successful outcomes, and as a clinician I see great potential for Fitbit Care to help tackle some of the biggest challenges in healthcare and improve health outcomes at scale,” said Dr. Moore. After all, true behavior change is about meeting people where they are in their health journey, every day – not waiting until their next doctor’s visit six months down the road.  Learn more.

Sleep: We need to change the conversation

Michael Grandner, PhD, Director of the University of Arizona Sleep & Health Research Program, reminded us that we are a culture of multi-taskers, super-producers and technology-lovers that still tends to equate sleep with laziness and counter-productivity. And yet sleep is essentially the foundation of everything. When we don’t get enough of it, our performance and happiness suffer, and our likelihood of chronic health issues increases over time.

Check out these staggering facts from Michael’s sleep studies:

Those who get 6 hours of sleep or less are:

– 55% more likely to become obese

– 21% more likely to develop high blood pressure

– 33% more likely to develop diabetes

P.S. Stimulants like caffeine can’t replace sleep. That afternoon triple latte may help you stay alert, but according to Dr. Grandner, it can also promote “bad decisions faster.”

There is hope. Screening and treatment. Changing the conversation: sleep is not a hindrance to productivity, it promotes it. Make sleep support a key part of your overall wellness program.

Want to learn more? Michael is sharing his presentation on a webinar this Thursday, September 27 at 11am PT. Register here.

Health Coaching: The key to transformation is fostering autonomy

Seasoned leadership coach Margaret Moore (“Coach Meg”) presented scientific studies from the last 10 years that all point to the same conclusion: how we address the current state of well-being in America can greatly impact the success of next-generation coaching programs.

Key takeaways:   

– Less than 20% of adults are thriving in health and career (Red flag alert: 80% of us are not!)

– 70% of adults aren’t engaged in their work

– Human capacity for change is rooted in brain science: It’s not that we resist change, it’s that we resist being changed.

– The next generation of coaches need training to foster people’s autonomy in order to help them change.

“The growth edge [for health and wellness coaching] is to shift from directing to serving, driving to cultivating,” said Margaret. Learn more about Coach Meg.

The new “it” couple: Digital therapeutics and human coaching

If you ask ten different people to define digital therapeutics, you will likely get ten different answers. The digital therapeutics panel led by guest moderator, Dennis Robbins, PhD, MPH was no exception. But panelists Brenda Schmidt of Solera Health, Greg Orr of Walgreens and Stephen Mitchley of The Vitality Group unanimously agreed: Digital is a vehicle to connect people in a way that makes the most sense to them, and the need for human interaction versus tech interaction varies all the time. “It is really a combination of the two that promotes the most successful outcomes. If you want to change behavior, you need both,” said Brenda. “You have to evaluate what is going to help that specific person in that moment. Do they have a sore throat or do they have a much deeper health need that requires human intervention with the support of digital health monitoring that helps them stay ahead of their chronic conditions?”

The digital health trends conversation continued during the fireside chat with Fitbit’s John Moore and author/futurist Dr. Nick van Terheyden. These two docs were equally excited about the increasingly important role machine learning will play in helping to make data more useful to care providers. The idea is that bots can address the simple inquiries and transfer over the more critical conversations to physicians and human coaches, allowing for more efficient and personalized care. While there’s still plenty of work ahead, this is indeed an exciting time for the emergence of technology and healthcare.  

M&Ms can teach us a lot about behavior change

The ever-engaging behavioral scientist Matt Wallaert gave us an unforgettable psychology lesson during his afternoon keynote. It goes like this: Change is driven by competing pressures – promoting pressures vs inhibiting pressures. For example, there are certain promoting pressures for eating M&Ms: color, taste, relatively low price point and 3PM snack cravings. There are also inhibiting pressures that may reduce the likelihood of eating M&Ms, like availability and caloric content. Matt challenges us to apply this approach to change behavior at a global level. “Our job in the health space is to modify the pressures that change people’s behavior.” While promoting pressures like points and rewards can definitely help achieve health goals for some, Matt’s studies show that inhibiting pressures tend to apply to everyone, regardless of socio-economic or ethnic background. “Remove the inhibiting pressure, make the right thing the easy thing, and people will act.” A simple example: flu shots. For the 50% of the population who intend to get their flu shot but never do, accessibility is the biggest inhibiting pressure. They know it’s important and potentially life-saving, yet they simply don’t know where to get one. “By making it easier to get a flu shot, especially in rural areas, you are essentially saving your grandchildren,” Matt so poignantly points out.  

Stay tuned for more highlights from Captivate 2018!