The Department for Health and Social Care has announced that it is backing a new app for Wolverhampton, as the City of Wolverhampton Council look to reward people who are actively trying to improve their health outcomes.
The app will be trialled from today onwards, with incentives available to people who eat healthily and exercise more often. Incentives include vouchers, gym discounts and cinema tickets. Participants will be given fitness trackers that are linked to the Better Health: Rewards app, allowing users to meet weekly challenges to improve their diet and physical activity behaviours.
Government backing comes in the form of funding, with £3 million being made available for the rewards, whilst the app also makes available tips that are friendly for budgets.
Steve Barclay, Secretary of State for Health, said:
“The launch of the new Better Health: Rewards app today in Wolverhampton will help us see how we can empower people to make healthy changes to their lifestyle.
“The pilot I an opportunity to explore how we can further harness technology to support people to improve their physical health, prevent illnesses before they develop, and help to ease pressure on the NHS.
“I would encourage all adults in Wolverhampton to download the app today to improve their wellbeing and start earning exciting rewards.”
This scheme is supporting the government’s priority to address obesity and poor diet, with estimates suggesting that obesity costs the NHS £6.5 billion every year. With schemes such as the one in Wolverhampton, it is expected that the NHS could save billions over time to ensure that vital funding is being used on key frontline services and cutting waiting lists.
Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, Cllr Ian Brookfield, said:
“We are working hard to improve the overall health of everyone in Wolverhampton by providing innovative solutions which can help our residents get more active.
“We are already making significant progress in tackling physical inactivity, improving infrastructure and making environmental changes to enable people to be more active, as we are delighted to be working with the Department for Health and Social Care and HeadUp on this important pilot programme to see whether offering incentives can help people make positive changes to improve their health and wellbeing.
This is an incredible opportunity for the people of Wolverhampton.”