One Healthy Choice is a Pebble. Two is an Avalanche

- culture

Heart disease is the #1 killer of Americans.

It’s kind of a buzzkill, but it’s a fact. Dr. Semler’s Heart Perks, an organization dedicated to the education and prevention of heart disease, partnered with 100SEVEN to redesign and develop their existing app for both IOS and Android, which communicated the importance of heart health in daily life. Our objective wasn’t to just create another app but a motivational tool that gave the user continued support in reaching a healthier lifestyle.

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Vera, age 58, native Portlander and faithful wife, mother, and grandmother had survived her first heart attack 6 months ago. “I had no idea I was having one. My chest was burning for two hours. There was no warning whatsoever. I try to make healthy changes but after a while, I fall back into the same old habits” At this point, our focus group started to open up about their personal experiences with heart disease. In search of insights on health habits and app usage, we gathered a group of men and women between the ages of 35 to 65, at Fire on the Mountain to break bread and share a conversation on heart disease. Looking back, we probably should have chosen somewhere other than a hot wing and tots joint to host a focus group on heart disease, but nothing breaks the ice like comfort food. Throughout our conversation, the majority of recurring insights we took note of could be categorized into either lack of education or lack of motivation, which led to a simple equation we used in the development of this app:

Education + Motivation = Prevention.

Our app acts as a healthy lifestyle coach that motivates healthy changes and educates on not only the dangers of unhealthy habits but the lasting benefits of healthy lifestyle changes. With a pedometer, goal setter, discussion board, and Doctor’s Q&A, the Heart Perks app had quickly pieced itself together. Another primary feature of the app is a test that assesses a users level of risk for heart disease by evaluating their health state, eating habits, exercise intake, and family history. The tool is ready, we just needed the message.

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If heart disease is the #1 thing affecting American mortality rates, then what is the #1 thing that can prevent it? Dr. Semler said it himself that walking on a daily basis can immensely cut your risk of heart disease. This led us to the campaign ‘Just Walk’, the single most important thing you can do for the health of your heart. The app is simple but the concept is huge.

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Vera now uses Dr. Semler’s Heart Perks app on a regular basis. “As soon as I made a routine of a daily walk regular basis, other healthy habits started to follow. My diet improved and now I’m enrolled in a weekly yoga class. The Heart Perks app gave me the encouragement to make a change!” Vera’s story showed us that with the proper motivation, healthy choices can build like an avalanche. One healthy choice can lead to another and another, and with the development of Dr. Semler’s Heart Perks app, we feel that we were the pebble that started an avalanche of healthy lifestyles and fuller, richer lives.

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