Heart and Stroke Foundation's new smartphone app puts health at Canadians' fingertips

Sep 19, 2012, 09:05 ET from HEART AND STROKE FOUNDATION

Free <30 Days Mobile App gives users control and rewards them for heart-healthy action

OTTAWA, Sept. 19, 2012 /CNW/ - The Heart and Stroke Foundation, in partnership with Desjardins Financial Security, today launched a free mobile app - an easy tool to help Canadians make important lifestyle changes that could add healthy years to their lives.

The Foundation's <30 Days Mobile App gives users a customized risk profile showing the long-term impact of their daily health choices - then guides them to break bad habits and adopt a healthier lifestyle in 30 days or less.

"We want to help Canadians take their heart health seriously," says David Sculthorpe, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation. "Heart disease and stroke are a leading cause of death. We know that nine out of 10 adults have at least one risk factor for heart disease and stroke.  Our new app gives Canadians the power to take control of their health and lower their risks."

Forty per cent of Canadians have three or more risk factors for heart disease and stroke. But there is good news— 80 per cent of premature heart disease and stroke is preventable.

The <30 Days app was designed and developed by leading Canadian experts to empower Canadians with the information and support they need to reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke.

Key features, such as tracking of progress, reminders, positive reinforcement and social support are included to ensure that the user is able to sustain the recommended healthy behaviours.  Overcoming unhealthy habits and reducing risk factors can be overwhelming; the Foundation's <30 Days app helps users achieve a healthy heart by suggesting simple and practical daily challenges. After only 30 days, individuals will be more aware of how their actions impact their heart's well being.

"Diet, physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, being smoke-free and reducing stress are just a few of the keys in taking control," says Dr. Beth Abramson, cardiologist and spokesperson for the Foundation. "This app is a virtual trainer, nutritionist and cheerleader wrapped up together.  It gives you one healthy action a day. This quickly adds up to 30 healthy actions - putting you on the path to a lifetime of healthy choices."

Every day the app delivers a focused, easy-to-do challenge that channels the user's motivators. Users are rewarded with electronic "badges" when they reach new milestones. Digital badges can be used for online bragging rights on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

"We're proud to support a tool that has the potential to have a huge impact on the health and lives of Canadians," says Denis Berthiaume, President and Chief Operating Officer of Desjardins Financial Security.

The app helps users inventory their health and risk factors by completing a mini-assessment. They then prioritize the risk factors that are most important to them and highlight what motivates them most.

"It is great that <30 Days reminds me of why I should work towards a healthy heart", says Shivani Goyal, who has been using the app for a couple of weeks. "At the beginning it was challenging because the app was making me adopt healthier habits, but now I feel like it is easier because these new habits are just a part of my daily routine."

The free app is currently available in English or French for iOS devices only (iPhone, iPad and iTouch) and can be downloaded at Apple App Stores or heartandstroke.ca/YourRisk.

This is the fourth smartphone app developed by the Heart and Stroke Foundation to give Canadians e-tools to manage their health. Others include a risk assessment, a HealthCheck® recipe app and a blood pressure action plan.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation, a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living, and advocacy. (heartandstroke.ca)

Broadcast video to support this story is available to download at: http://cnw.pathfireondemand.com/viewpackage.action?packageid=610


Video with caption: "Video: Watch a video on how the Heart and Stroke Foundation's new free mobile app is putting Canadians on the path to a healthier lifestyle. The <30 Days Mobile App is helping users break bad habits and live longer, fuller lives ". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20120919_C7649_VIDEO_EN_18071.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20120919_C7649_PHOTO_EN_18071.jpg&clientName=HEART%20AND%20STROKE%20FOUNDATION&caption=Video%3A%20Watch%20a%20video%20on%20how%20the%20Heart%20and%20Stroke%20Foundation%27s%20new%20free%20mobile%20app%20is%20putting%20Canadians%20on%20the%20path%20to%20a%20healthier%20lifestyle%2E%20The%20%3C30%20Days%20Mobile%20App%20is%20helping%20users%20break%20bad%20habits%20and%20live%20longer%2C%20fuller%20lives%20&title=HEART%20AND%20STROKE%20FOUNDATION%20%2D%20Heart%20and%20Stroke%20Foundation%27s%20new%20smartphone%20app%20puts%20health%20at%20Canadians%27%20fingertips&headline=Heart%20and%20Stroke%20Foundation%27s%20new%20smartphone%20app%20puts%20health%20at%20Canadians%27%20fingertips

Video with caption: "B-Roll: The Heart and Stroke Foundation's new free mobile app is guiding Canadians to make important lifestyle changes in 30 days or less. The <30 Days Mobile App helps users break bad habits and add healthy years to their lives.". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20120919_C7649_VIDEO_EN_18072.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20120919_C7649_PHOTO_EN_18072.jpg&clientName=HEART%20AND%20STROKE%20FOUNDATION&caption=B%2DRoll%3A%20The%20Heart%20and%20Stroke%20Foundation%27s%20new%20free%20mobile%20app%20is%20guiding%20Canadians%20to%20make%20important%20lifestyle%20changes%20in%2030%20days%20or%20less%2E%20The%20%3C30%20Days%20Mobile%20App%20helps%20users%20break%20bad%20habits%20and%20add%20healthy%20years%20to%20their%20lives%2E&title=HEART%20AND%20STROKE%20FOUNDATION%20%2D%20Heart%20and%20Stroke%20Foundation%27s%20new%20smartphone%20app%20puts%20health%20at%20Canadians%27%20fingertips&headline=Heart%20and%20Stroke%20Foundation%27s%20new%20smartphone%20app%20puts%20health%20at%20Canadians%27%20fingertips

Audio with caption: "Audio: The Heart and Stroke Foundation's new free mobile app is guiding Canadians to make important lifestyle changes in 30 days or less. Listen to this radio segment to learn how the <30 Days Mobile App can help users add healthy years to their lives. ". Audio available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2012/09/19/20120919_C7649_AUDIO_EN_18073.mp3