There’s a new contender in the consumer mHealth device space, called Shapa, which has just recently launched a connected scale without numbers. They decided to take this route to solve what they say is the age-old problem: how to successfully manage and lose weight without demotivation.
Shapa takes the negative experience of stepping on a traditional scale and transforms it into a positive experience that motivates people to make healthy lifestyle changes. The company was co-founded by social scientist and Duke University professor Dan Ariely as an innovative approach to chronic disease management and prevention — applying principles of social science to its products for effective health management.
And so their smart scale was born, taking what they know about behavioral science and incorporating it into the design, feedback mechanism, and recommendations to help people more successfully manage their weight and health.
“The scale, if designed correctly, has the power to positively remind us to think about our health but such scales have to be compatible with our ability to process information,” professor Dan Ariely said in a statement. “With Shapa, we’ve removed the numerical component entirely to make stepping on the scale a positive action and we give feedback in a way that helps people understand the relationship between their lifestyle choices and their health outcomes.”
Shapa’s display-less scale is a visible, daily reminder of a user’s commitment to health, while the accompanying mobile app provides feedback on the progress in a simple, 5-level feedback mechanism based on colors. The app takes into account normal, everyday weight fluctuations by averaging a user’s weigh-ins over the last three weeks. In addition, as Shapa gets to know the user, the app provides tailored recommendations called missions to help users create better habits based on their personality, lifestyle, and environment.
But that’s not all; the product also incorporates artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide an individually tailored approach to health. Shapa will eventually use this approach for other health related challenges that share the same type of fluctuations over time such as blood pressure, blood glucose level, and cholesterol monitoring.
Until January 31, 2018 the Shapa device is available for $99 and discounted $7.95/month subscription cost, after which the price goes up to $129 for the device plus $9.99/month for the service.
As for the companion app, it is available for iOS and Android devices, as well as for Amazon Alexa.