11 start-ups selected to tackle physical inactivity

Not-for-profit health body ukactive has announced the 11 start-ups that are to take place in an accelerator programme to help get the UK’s population moving.

The ActiveLab programme is designed as a starting point for technology start-ups that can help overturn low levels of physical activity.

The programme offers support to start-ups helping them develop, connect and scale their solutions for improving physical activity. Now, 11 start-ups will undergo a 12-week programme to receive expert training, strategic development, account management support and access to a network of fitness and technology.

Physical activity is the fourth biggest health risk factor for premature death worldwide and is linked to over five million premature deaths every year.

Public Health England (PHE) is partnering with ukactive on the programme to support the UK government’s Childhood Obesity Plan. PHE will work with some of the start-ups to help children increase their levels of physical activity through technology.

The programme’s selection of start-ups includes representatives from Britain, USA, Australia, Belgium and Ireland.

The range includes a solution that uses Google Street View to help home-bound or hospital-bound individuals get active again, a digital wellbeing coach for pregnant mothers and an app that gets children to be more active through challenges that compete them against their friends.

Over 120 companies applied to join ActiveLab, with the final 11 selected by a panel of experts from the fitness and business sectors.

The 11 start-ups joining Active are:

Active84Health – Created Memoride, a platform that uses Google Street View images to allow home-bound or hospital-bound individuals to “go outside again” using virtual reality and re-opens a window to the world.

Baby2Body – A digital, personalised, AI-based, health and wellbeing coach for pregnant women and mothers.

Find a Player – A Facebook-esque app that makes it easier for people to organise, find and play more than 140 sports with others.

Fit Link – A platform that connects, promotes and rewards people and businesses who want to stay fit, healthy and happy. Users can challenge, compete and share their fitness activity with others, and earn real monetary awards.

imin – A data platform used by sports, health, and wellness organisations to build apps that help people find and book sport and fitness activities.

Innerstrength Health – Builds applications to enable health professionals to deliver bespoke programmes of physical activity for at-risk patients

MyCustomerLens A browser-based insight platform to help sports and fitness providers better understand their customers’ habits, wants and needs.

School of Calisthenics – An online educational platform for people to get active without the need for any equipment, using just their own bodyweight to train.

TopYa! – Inspires children to get active through mobile video challenges with other children across the world.

UnitChallenge A technology platform that allows individuals of differing abilities and fitness levels to compete directly with one another across a range of different activities.

Walk With Path – Develops wearables that aid movement and reduce the risk of falls for vulnerable people.

Steven Ward, CEO of ukactive, said: “We need to embrace truly innovative solutions if we are to overturn the physical inactivity crisis we face today.

“This exciting group of start-ups has the potential to harness the latest technological developments to get more people active and revolutionise the way we move in the future.

“Drawing on ukactive’s worldwide network of experts and advisors, ActiveLab will provide added impetus and support to these disruptors as they aim to change the face of fitness.”

Sheila Mitchell, director of Marketing at Public Health England, said: “Getting children physically active is vital to improving the nation’s health.  If we can build on children’s love of technology, we have the potential to transform their health for the better.

“Through the ActiveLab programme, we’re supporting the next generation of innovators that can get kids moving more.”

Reece Armstrong is a reporter for Digital Health Age. Coming from the North East of England, Reece has an MA in Media & Journalism and a BA in Popular & Contemporary Music from Newcastle University. Reach him on Twitter or email via: reece.armstrong@rapidnews.com

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