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The Friday Interview: Chris Golby, MD at Evolyst

Hi Chris, what is Evolyst and how does your Health Heroes app work?

Evolyst design and develop apps, websites and software specifically for the health and healthcare sector. We have expertise in software development, graphic design and research; as well as digital healthcare, eHealth and mHealth. We work with Researchers, Psychologists and Clinicians on evidence-based projects to create innovative healthcare software.

Health Heroes is one of our biggest projects and the winning solution in IC tomorrow’s Quantified Self competition; it focuses on providing families with a platform to record their eating habits to help them improve their diet in a manageable way. Many healthy eating apps focus on individuals rather than families; which is why we believe it could become one of the leading apps in its field. Evolyst has focused on gamifying the app to keep both children and adults interested in a subject which can be quite serious.

How does Evolyst make money?

We implement our expertise in software development, graphic and UI design and branding to create evidence-based healthcare apps which are market ready. We are particularly interested in collaborating with Researchers, Psychologists and Clinicians to create great software projects with large impact, and we believe the combination of working with experts in the field, and our background in creating evidence-based software gives us a great advantage in our sector.

What’s coming next from Evolyst?

In the near future, we will be looking to really push the uptake of Health Heroes as we realise what a great difference it could make in society. We have also recently started working on psychology based apps in the mental health field. We like the idea of focussing in this area to align with the shift in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) which are realigning as a result of ‘Five Year Forward View of Mental Health Services’ in the NHS; and again because we feel this can make such a great difference in society in such a currently underrepresented field.

What do you personally track on a daily basis?

I tend to track my fitness and health using different tracking platforms such as apps and wearable technology. Personally, I like to track this data so I can set goals for myself and aim to improve my overall health. An app I have been using recently, ‘S Health’, acts as a pedometer, as well as helping track my blood pressure, heart rate, diet and sleeping patterns; it is very effective at ensuring I keep tabs on my health and fitness. I have also used many other health apps; reviews of which can be seen on Evolyst’s ‘eHealth Blog’.

What do you see as the future of self-quantification?

Here at Evolyst, we believe the future of self-quantification is extremely bright; it is a market which has huge potential. One of the biggest advancements could potentially be in goal orientation. At the moment goal orientated tasks are often provided to people who are already fit or have a balanced diet, but people who don’t exercise or have a balanced diet can be difficult to motivate, similarly children can also be very difficult to set goals for; which is why we believe setting targets which aren’t numerically orientated could be one of the more successful ways to motivate people.

We believe the future of self-quantification comes in the form of automation, rather than manual input. One of the most exciting advancements for the future of self-quantification are emotion sensing devices such as the ‘Feel’ wristband. This particular device can track emotions by analysing a user’s blood volume pulse, skin temperature to provide data analytics and suggestions on how to reduce stress and improve emotional state. This could be used in various areas, particularly in the mental health field.

Self-quantification will continue to grow and improve over the coming years, and we hope these advancements will be at the very heart of innovation.

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