Kelowna Startup Raises the Bar in Health App Space

UBC Study shows 200% increase in commitment to health goals using new motivation-based fitness and nutrition app

UpwardHealth, a startup from Kelowna, BC, has recently launched MotivationEngine, a health app and online service. By connecting customers to a real-live health and motivation expert (called lifestyle coach) who tracks progress and helps clients stay on course, the system is designed to provide many of the benefits of a personal trainer at a fraction of the cost.

UpwardHealth has harvested years of fitness, nutritional, motivational, and psychological data and science, infusing it into their back-end intelligence that drives the modern interactive user experience. The gamified system, along with your personal coach, learns your behaviours and communicates with you via text message, email and in-app notifications to keep you informed and motivated.

“There are so many demands put on every one of us, every day, and people often forget to take care of themselves and their own health and wellbeing,” says UpwardHealth CEO Ryan Gallagher. “With the fast pace of life, and so many temptations to over-indulge, many people find it difficult to stay committed to their health related goals. I built MotivationEngine to help provide people with a support system that will help them maintain their motivation levels towards whichever goals they’ve set for themselves.”

In a comprehensive eight-week study conducted over the spring in conjunction with University of British Columbia and the H2O Centre YMCA, results from individuals using MotivationEngine with their commitment to physical activity were compared with those not using the system. Dr. Mary Jung, a health and exercise psychology researcher for UBC, was excited about the numbers.

“By the end of the 8-week period, individuals using MotivationEngine were engaging in – on average – 7.59 bouts of strenuous/moderate physical activity per week, whereas individuals not using MotivationEngine were only engaging in 3.58 bouts per week. That’s an increase of over 200%,” Jung says.