To the average person that tracks their physical activity on HeiaHeia, the service feels like a nice B2C product. That’s great they have the consumer appeal, but behind the scenes HeiaHeia has been greatly expanding their B2B product where they help companies encourage corporate wellness to lower healthcare costs. Today HeiaHeia announces they’ve hit more than 100 corporate customers in 12 countries, a sign that things have really been picking up for the Helsinki-based company.
“We are clearly seeing a shift in the market – 100 companies, including several blue-chip multinationals, have chosen to take their wellness programs online. We believe this is just the start – we’re going to continue on our chosen strategy to make employee wellness more fun and effective with modern, approachable technology” says Jussi Raisanen, HeiaHeia’s CEO and Co-Founder of HeiaHeia.
Companies are looking out for their employees for more than just altruism. Healthcare costs add up quickly – ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars a year per employee. Encouraging a healthy lifestyle then can become a fairly straighforward investment for both smaller and larger companies.
HeiaHeia’s product is fairly simple at a first glance. Users basically add to the types of physical activity they’ve done that day, whether it be cross country skiing 15km or walking the dog for 15 minutes. At the top of the website, a counter tracks how far you are to your weekly goals.
That counter already adds a good amount of gamification for individuals, but they also offer companies a chance to pit the accounting department against sales, for example, to get that team spirit going. Targets like “walking around the world” can also be created.
The company tells us that competing health promotion programs hit about 20% participation rates, but they’re seeing 3 – 4 times higher numbers. That positions them nicely in a growing sector. A 2012 report by Rand Health, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, claims the US market for corporate wellness programs is estimated between $2.7 and $8.2 billion.
This is a long quote, but Lindsay Ashburner from PepsiCo, who have organized the company’s exercise promotion programs with HeiaHeia since 2012, sums it up nicely.
“Personally it’s a great tool for tracking the exercise that I do. As a tool for our exercise promotion program HeiaHeia worked great: as leaders for the program, we could see the activity that everyone was doing – the system clearly indicated how our team was performing against the target. Everyone could take part at their own level of fitness which is important when you have a group of people with a range of levels of enthusiasm for fitness. The objectives were to raise money for a cancer charity and to encourage people to develop a healthy habit by exercising regularly, which we achieved.”