The minds behind ChallengeWave, Dan and Brian, met while working at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. Dan worked on Blue Points, an activity incentive program for employees of BCBSNC, and Brian worked in National Sales and Population Health Management. Both Dan and Brian love to kayak, play ultimate frisbee, surf, skimboard, volleyball and really do anything active. While enjoying a fine summer day playing Disc Golf, Dan and Brian pondered if they could put together a fun activity incentive program that beat the participation rate of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina activity incentive program Blue Points (5%) and do so without shiny prizes. ChallengeWave was born.
After a number of prototypes and beta projects, Dan and Brian released ChallengeWave to the marketplace in 2011. ChallengeWave was selected as one of 11 innovations in the state of North Carolina and featured at the Institute For Emerging Issues 2011 Forum. One of the highlights of the conference was a talk given by Sanjay Gupta, a world renowned CNN anchor, health journalist and practicing Neurosurgeon. When the floor opened for questions, Dan asked Dr. Gupta what the number one thing we should focus on as a country to improve health. Dr. Gupta answered simply: "Prevention." (We have some video of this below. It was taken with a cell phone camera in dark lighting, but it's pretty cool to us!). His answer confirmed that Dan and Brian were on the right track.
"Get Health. No labor, effort nor exercise that can gain it must be grudged." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
The secret behind ChallengeWave is the approach we take. We view personal health as more of a competition for attention. Aren't there plenty of gyms, diet plans, meal replacement shakes and literature already out there? Good personal activity habits and good nutritional habits must compete with other activities like watching TV, playing video games and eating socially. Those who need to improve their own health the most are stuck in habits and behaviors with an immediate, but short-term, reward. Personal health changes are often put aside until a health crisis pushes personal health to the forefront of attention.
ChallengeWave uses a number of techniques to help the adoption of personally healthy habits compete with other rewarding activities:
- game mechanics
- intrinsic behavioral rewards
- social support
- friendly competitions for those who want them
- other propietary mechanisms
"A man's health can be judged by which he takes two at a time - pills or stairs."- Joan Welsh
Sometimes we speak in public about health issues. Here is a video of an Ignite Raleigh presentation Dan did called "Why your health is the most important thing you'll ignore all day:"
Check out our recent news section to see where we've been and where we are going: Recent ChallengeWave News ».