Move over, National Steps Challenge, the Health Promotion Board (HPB) has a new fitness app rolling out in October 2020. Thank goodness too – after five whole seasons of taking unnecessary walks and shaking our wrists to hit our daily steps target, we can honestly say we’re ready for something new.
But take note, this app is for Apple Watch users. Called LumiHealth, the free HPB-developed fitness tracking app works with the swanky Apple Watch instead of a free device (like the steps tracker). Similar to the steps challenge, Singaporeans can exercise their way to hundreds worth in vouchers.
Are your aunty bones tingling? Let’s get right into it.
What is this LumiHealth app by HPB?
LumiHealth is actually a partnership between the government and Apple as part of the Smart Nation initiative. The app is designed and developed by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) to help get our lazy bums moving.
The app is free to download (when it launches next month), and is described as a “two-year, personalised health programme” which encourages you to exercise and lead a healthy lifestyle. You can set eating targets and fitness goals, and reminders for health screenings and vaccine shots. The app can also help you track and analyse your sleeping, eating and fitness habits for more tailored recommendations. According to HPB, the app is also designed with Singapore-specific health issues and conditions in mind.
The LumiHealth programme is for Singapore residents aged 17 and up. You’ll need a Singpass account, an Apple Watch as well as an iPhone to use the LumiHealth app on. Yup, although it’s a nationwide initiative, it seems pretty exclusive to those already in the Apple ecosystem.
In response to questions about why it’s only available for Apple users, HPB answered that they are working with various device partners (Apple, in this case) with the aim to “increasingly leverage technology for our programmes” and “create an ecosystem of technology-enabled health promotion programmes that can target different segments of the population”.
If you aren’t part of the Apple fam, you can take part in the Healthy 365 programme (available on iOS and Android).
LumiHealth rewards: LumiPoints vs coins vs HPB e-Vouchers
Okay, so who really cares about being fit and healthy? Before we progress any further, tell us what we stand to gain from playing this elaborate LumiHealth “game”!
The exact rewards system has not been released yet, but HPB has said that you can earn up to $380 in HPB e-vouchers. From what we know, as you complete your activity and wellness goals, you earn LumiPoints. These LumiPoints will then help your character progress through the “game”, unlocking certain milestones along the way. As you reach these checkpoints, you’ll be rewarded with coins, which you can then use to redeem HPB eVouchers.
Where can you spend these $380 HPB e-vouchers?
Our guess is that whether or not the LumiHealth programme will motivate you to get up and exercise depends largely on where the HPB e-vouchers are accepted.
The good news is that HPB e-vouchers are currently valid at 44 merchants, which you can see in this compiled list by Healthhub.sg.
Although 44 seems unimpressive, quite a few of these merchants are actually shopping malls (Hillion Mall, Kallang Wave Mall, and Sembawang Shopping Centre) and departmental stores (Tangs), which opens up many dining and retail possibilities. There are also major supermarkets NTUC Fairprice, Cold Storage (and Jasons Marketplace), Sheng Siong and Giant. Personal care stores and pharmacies Watsons, Guardian and Unity also accept HPB e-vouchers.
Dang, that does sound pretty good right? If you’re still interested, here’s an overview of how LumiHealth works, and how you can earn that $380.
LumiHealth challenges: How does the “game” work?
As you can probably already guess, your fitness goals are gamified in the app. There’ll be a “friendly intergalactic character” to guide you in navigating the LumiHealth world and the tasks that are personalised for your age, gender and weight. There will also be activity and wellness challenges.
Activity challenge – physical activity goals
The activity challenge is basically made up of personalised activity goals. These are created based on how many active calories you burn (as tracked in the Move ring), how many minutes of brisk activity you’ve completed (the Exercise ring) and how many hours you’ve stood up and moved for at least one minute (the Stand ring). This means that the “intensity” of your activity challenge will depend on how active your lifestyle currently is.
Wellness challenge – more holistic goals
The activity challenge covers the activity bit. The wellness challenge is a set of simpler tasks that aim to help you live healthier. These are not limited to physical activity, and can include goals for your meals, sleep and mental well-being.
But wait, I’m uncomfortable that they’re collecting this much personal data!
As with any personalised app and/or service, there is always the question of data privacy. Seeing as you’ll be letting the app track so many aspects of your daily activities – from how far you’ve walked to what you eat and how well you sleep – it’s natural to feel a little paranoid. Beyond planning a bespoke fitness “regime”, what else may the app do with such information?
According to a Straits Times report, the “data and health insights” gathered will be used to “help shape future health initiatives for improving the quality of lives for Singaporeans”. Basically, the government hopes to leverage on such data for their healthcare initiatives.
If you ask us, that doesn’t sound bad at all. There will always be skeptics (remember the ones who questioned the SafeEntry QR codes and contact tracing?), but generally, it seems quite a safe and non-malicious programme. It’s a government initiative after all.
Additionally, identifiable personal data (like your full name and email) are only collected when you sign up. This is to verify who is enrolled in the programme, and who the rewards should be awarded to. You are also in full control of how much data you provide, as the collection is on a user consent-basis. The data will be coded, secured and stored in Singapore as well.
Ready to exercise for money? You can preorder the LumiHealth app on the Apple App Store now. The app is free, what this does is simply to automate the download of the app once it’s officially released. Have fun!
It’s great that you’re going to exercise more! However, if you are going to do adventurous activities, get a good Personal Accident plan so that you can get compensation if you fall or meet with an injury.
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