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Doctors prescribing app, with walking steps targets for patients

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Doctors prescribing app, with walking steps targets for patients

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A pilot scheme is effectively seeing doctors prescribe an app – specifically one which measures the number of steps patients walk, with each person being prescribed a personal target.

At the end of the ‘prescription’ period, the results are sent to the patient’s doctor, to be combined with other health data in order to assess the effectiveness …

TNW reports on the partnership between Lithuanian medical clinic Šeškinės and fitness startup Walk15, which has signed up a staggering 20% of the country’s population.

Doctors at the Šeškinės clinic will provide patients with a steps prescription with a specific activity target over a set amount of time — depending on the individual’s health conditions.

Doctors can issue the prescription in the form of a challenge using Walk15’s platform, while patients can access the challenge in the app via a link or QR code […]

A key aspect of this tool is that doctors have access to the patient’s activity. When the prescription expires, they receive an automated report with the users’ progress and can see whether the goal has been achieved. Then doctors can evaluate the results alongside the patients’ overall health assessment and determine whether the prescription needs to be renewed or changed.

Walking is probably the world’s most underrated activity, with most not viewing it as ‘real’ exercise. But walking at a brisk pace for as little as 15 minutes per day has been proven to lower your risk of falling victim to more than 40 chronic diseases.

Walking, in particular, can reduce the risk of multiple chronic illnesses, including asthma, type 2 diabetes, and strokes. It is also associated with improved mental health and lower levels of stress and anxiety.

In addition, studies have also found that walking can improve cardiovascular health and decrease the risk of dementia or even some types of cancer more effectively than any pill.

The idea behind the scheme is that patients will be more motivated when they know the exercise has been ‘prescribed’ for them, and that their doctor will be able to see how well they have stuck to the exercise plan. Getting discounts on products and services like NordVPN is another incentive.

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

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