Part of my new job is to develop products that help people improve their health. In brainstorming these solutions, questions about how to remind someone to do healthy things (like log her lunch in a food diary or go for a walk) come up... Should we use SMS messages? Emails? Push notifications?
I say let's bundle a 3 1/2 year old into the platform. In the last two days alone, I've had the following consults with Jules, my pint-sized health coach:
This morning, pulling apart after a hug, we discussed the importance of regular skin checks.
Jules, pointing to a skin tag on my neck (one that I probably should get checked out): "I don't like that, Mom. You should get it off.
Me: "You're right. I should probably have the doctor check it out."
Jules: "Yes, Mom. The doctor could take that off for you. Go to the doctor. Get it off."
|Hey Mom! You forgot your helmet.|
Today, driving to school, we covered the dangers of eating on the go and distracted driving...
Jules: "Mom, what are you eating?"
Me: "A bagel."
Jules: "Can I have some?"
Me (putting it away because I didn't want to share, I was starving): "I should probably put this away while I'm driving."
Jules: "Yes, you could choke." and then... "What if you spilled the coffee all over the car, Mom? Would we need to get help from a policeman or a fireman?"
Um... no... unless we it caused me to wreck. Aha! Another safety reminder.
Yesterday, while helping him to brush his teeth, we discussed my dental hygiene.
Jules: "Mom! You need to brush your teeth right now. You're going to get holes in them."
Hmm... Maybe I should reprogram him to deliver the "floss" reminder. I am a very good brusher. But I am admittedly a non-compliant flosser.
And in addition to delivering simple health reminders, this "prescriptive preschooler" feature could also push you to do better, to set your aims higher... Last night, hearing me tell Jon that I squeezed in a few miles on the treadmill, Jules asked, with great enthusiasm: "Did you put on your Santa suit and run a marathon today?" Um, no, honey, not today...
|So that's not quite as crazy as it sounds. (But it was only a 5K)|