A healthy day at the KP Center for Total Health (@kptotalhealth)
I don’t normally take the time to download and review an app on request, but since the CEO of the company asked me, I thought I’d give it a try.
Sutha Kamal (@SuthaKamal) was at the Healthcare Innovation Summit at KP Center for Total Health in June, 2011, and made great contributions to that conversation.
Massive Health itself has been getting quite a bit of buzz in the business literature given its heritage, (people from Mozilla and Apple) and it’s quirky, over-the-top name.
You can find the app here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-eatery/id468299990
The paradigm is less calorie counting, more visual tracking, with social critique of the health of your food.
What I thought
I agree with other reviews who say it’s thoughtfully designed. Minimal friction to input data – Sign-in process easy/transparent.
I am leery about the Facebook connection and haven’t enabled that.
I liked the app stating that it will never post on my behalf. A lot of apps don’t declare themselves this way, it’s a nice trust touch. – Social part is well implemented
As with some of the reviewers on iTunes, I share the feeling that the science is squishy so fit-or-fat is too relative, even though I know the app manages this a little with the crowd ratings. People on Atkins-type diets could be penalized.
A person on the Tim Ferriss 4-Hour-Body diet may one day be on snickers the next it will be lean turkey, so I take the ratings with a grain of salt (or should I say Mrs. Dash).
This could be mitigated by joining social circles who share the same dietary habits, so less fit or fat, more “disciplined” vs “undisciplined”
A few minor wishes
Would love the app to store the photo on the camera roll and allow for uploading to Flickr – this is part of the Tim Ferriss approach, the food gallery-
Would love the app to import a photo from the camera roll as well
The front end here is as good as any I have seen, however what is it connected to? I’m not sure that a group of strangers or non-professional facebook friends is going to build the trust that would cause me to come back.
In an ideal world, coupling this front end to the things that are sticky, like the care delivery system/one’s doctor would be a differentiator, in my opinion. However, that’s the hard part/last mile, since few health care systems have capabilities to interact with apps and the data they generate. I think the TuAnalyze team is doing good work to figure this out….
Uber crazy idea
I am always thinking about social determinants coupled with individual behavior, and if it would be possible to use an app like this to call out unhealthy environments, i.e. a mashup with glassdoor.com our countyratings.org to compile evidence about employers/communities and the food choices that they make available. Would it impact your choice of employer if you knew one made healthier food easier to access during the work day?
I think stickiness is probably the biggest issue that will impact any novel app. It’s the question I asked at the mHealth summit when I was told, “we know that may delete an app after 2 weeks” – what are the ways to manage this?
I think there’s no clear answer…outside of integrated care. I spoke to Andrew Rosenthal ( @AndrewRosenthal ), from the Massive Health team at the mHealth Summit and he told me about their approach to develop this app, which was not sitting down with experts, creating requirements, and building. It was starting with an idea from a user perspective, and gradually iterating and improving that experience. I think the usability of this app shows that, in a good way.
If anyone else has tried this and/or has ideas about the “2 weeks and it’s deleted” issue, post in the comments. As it says on the splash screen for the App, it’s Experiment 01, and they are learning as they go, see what you think.