Well, not really. But mobile technology is emerging as a powerful tool to help people adopt healthy behaviors. Researchers and developers are looking into ways that mobile technology can be used in a variety of ways—to encourage physical activity in teenagers , to help combat obesity, or to provide pregnant women and new moms with health resources—just to name a few.
Since January, when I made my “I’m going to eat right and exercise more” resolution (doesn’t everyone do that every year?) I’ve used my smart phone in a variety of ways to keep me on track. Mobile food journal apps, like Lose It!, SparkPeople, and The Daily Plate are tools that make that age-old habit of keeping a food journal less of a chore, and more of a game. I’ve used DailyMile, Twitter and Facebook to get a little emotional boost from my friends and family during long runs or days when a cupcake would solve all problems. When I run outside with my friend Emily, I rely on the GPS-enabled apps like RunKeeper and MapMyRun to track our distance and pace.
Next week, Mobile Health 2010—a two-day conference on how mobile technology can be successfully used to promote healthy behavior—will be held at Stanford University. One of my colleagues will be attending and sharing the highlights of the conference, so check back here then.
Maybe one day they’ll be an app that magically turns cupcakes into a health food. One day.