Chief Brand Officer, Thrive Global
Technology has taken over every aspect of our daily lives and now it is bringing about positive behavior change.
Over the past decade, a technology explosion has changed everything about the ways humans work and live. In many ways, people have never been more connected, and life has never been more convenient. But hyper-connectivity has also sped up the pace of life beyond our capacity to cope — giving rise to rampant social media and gaming addiction, the stress and burnout epidemic, and a proliferating mental health crisis.
By 2018, it was clear: technology is a fantastic tool, but a terrible master, and it can either be used to augment our humanity or to consume it. Tools like Apple ScreenTime, Google’s Digital Wellbeing and Thrive Global’s Thrive Away app emerged to help people take back control in this fundamental, existential relationship.
Over the past three years, ideas like prevention and behavior health have become more mainstream, but there’s still a long way to go. The key to finally changing health outcomes will be a broad redefinition of healthcare – beyond simply treating disease. It means going upstream, preventing symptoms before they occur and helping individuals cultivate healthier behaviors through microsteps — too-small-to-fail actions that can lay the foundation for healthy, sustainable habit formation.
One hundred years ago, most people died from infectious disease. Today, it’s our behaviors that are killing us. Three-quarters of healthcare costs are because of chronic, stress-related conditions that can be managed or even prevented. When you include mental health, that goes up to 90 percent.
Looking ahead to the next decade, it’s exciting to consider the role technology, and artificial intelligence (AI) in particular, will play in augmenting humanity to help drive meaningful behavior change. Being able to course-correct in real time and to deliver the right recommendation at the right moment is critical to real behavior change, and AI can help with that.
Technology effects everything we do, but it can be channeled into a force for good.