Your employer sends out an email saying they want to make sure you’re getting enough sleep and physical activity, are eating well and feeling creative and, finally, have a sense of “mindfulness.” So they’re providing a free app designed to facilitate finding your “anchoring purpose in life.”
Sound like a nice perk? Now add in one more detail.
All the information, albeit with individual data de-identified, goes into a giant database meant to boost productivity and reduce medical costs by improving worker physical and mental health.
Any less excited?
The app, from a start-up called JOOL Health, raises the question of when good engagement can bleed into overtones of Big Brother. The answer is complicated.
JOOL is the brainchild of Victor Strecher, a professor of health behavior and health education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and a successful entrepreneur. Marketed to third parties rather than direct-to-consumer, the app was pitched at a recent consumer experience conference sponsored by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) as a way to go “from wellness to engaged wellbeing in the Digital Age.”