Incentives to create and sustain healthy behaviors: technology solutions and research needs

October 19, 2017 by School of Medicine Webmaster

Health-related technology, its relevance, and its availability are rapidly evolving. Technology offers great potential to minimize and/or mitigate barriers associated with achieving optimal health, performance, and readiness. In support of the U.S. Army Surgeon General’s vision for a “System for Health” and its Performance Triad initiative, the U.S. Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center hosted a workshop in April 2013 titled “Incentives to Create and Sustain Change for Health.” Members of government and academia participated to identify and define the opportunities, gain clarity in leading practices and research gaps, and articulate the characteristics of future technology solutions to create and sustain real change in the health of individuals, the Army, and the nation. The key factors discussed included (1) public health messaging, (2) changing health habits and the environmental influence on health, (3) goal setting and tracking, (4) the role of incentives in behavior change intervention, and (5) the role of peer and social networks in change. This report summarizes the recommendations on how technology solutions could be employed to leverage evidence-based best practices and identifies gaps in research where further investigation is needed.