Feedback Loop Key in Developing Healthy Behaviors

Last month, NEJM Catalyst produced a live web event titled "Patient Engagement: Behavioral Strategies for Better Health" (you can access their archives here). They brought in various experts to talk about how healthcare providers can use behavioral science to improve patients' health. 

Kevin Volpp, the lead advisor of patient engagement at at NEJM Catalyst and the director of the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, recently wrote about the importance of feedback loops in managing patients' healths. On a recent blog post, Volpp wrote about how wearable technology has the potential to go beyond consumer "end-user inertia." He suggested that wearable technology come up with ways where healthcare providers can use patients' data to provide feedback about their health. 

A new ecosystem of wearable and wireless technologies, patient engagement strategies, and provider feedback could manage chronic disease far more efficiently than our current approach of using episodic clinic visits.

Would wearable technology also be useful in providing feedback loops to manage children's health? The New York Times recently reported that children are more at risk of developing Type-2 diabetes if they're out of shape by the time they're 18. How can technology play a part in providing early intervention when it comes to children's health? 

In our past projects, we have successfully used pedometers to encourage physical activity in children, but we would like to come up with ways children can continue to develop good habits throughout adulthood.