BodiMojo®: Promoting teen health with technology teens love
BodiMojo.com is at the forefront in promoting teen health and wellness through its innovative technology platform.
A health-focused interactive online community, BodiMojo.com gives teens user-friendly and fun ways to connect, motivate, and inspire one another to eat right, get exercise, and be well. Finding your “mojo” and feeling good about who you are is at the core of the motivational messaging throughout the program. It includes music, interactive tools and games, videos, community building, contests, and teen-generated content. Through customized member pages and social networking tools that filter up to Facebook, teens can share goals as a way to encourage themselves and their friends to take steps toward building their mojo through points, badges and virtual gifts.
For consumers: The BodiMojo mission is to help yourself and help others, too. Ultimately, BodiMojo aims to monetize its virtual economy in a number of ways. The site will allow parents to “match” teens points as a reward for meeting goals; allow teens to convert earned points to donations to favorite causes, with the help of ad sponsors; and build an incentive platform that allows teens to redeem coupons/discounts for a variety of health promoting products (e.g., athletic wear, health and beauty products).
For businesses: Addressing the health of youth and preventing obesity is now at the center of our nation’s health agenda. BodiMojo offers a turnkey business solution for health plans, employee benefits programs, health and wellness retailers, and health device manufacturers—to customize BodiMojo to further their constituents’ health needs and goals.
Seed-funding from a National Institutes of Health Small Business Innovative Research grant helped create BodiMojo. Plans are now underway, through a second grant, for a BodiMojo mobile application in 2011.
Teens take to BodiMojo
Reaction to BodiMojo has been positive from teens who’ve checked it out. In collaboration with Dr. Debra Franko of Northeastern University’s Bouvé College of Health Sciences, BodiMojo was pilot-tested over the past year. One hundred seventy-five teens from four Boston-area high schools, both urban and suburban, interacted with BodiMojo in health classes, as did two dozen teen girls who participated in a summer user experience. Here’s what some of them had to say:
I think this website is going to motivate me to eat better. I really want to talk to my family about buying healthier foods.
Really cool site. There are lots of good tips and encouragement.
I really liked the journal aspect of BodiMojo. It’s a nice way to write down thoughts that have been running around in my mind all week and gives me a chance to type away stresses.
I really enjoyed the quizzes because they help me realize where I stand with my physical and emotional health and what I can learn more about.
I love the mood cloud. It helps me sort out my thoughts and emotions in a creative and unique way.
I think the Health Mojo portion of this website is great because it allows you to see how well you are eating or exercising and motivates you to do better, and become healthier.
I love the playlist feature. If you make a workout playlist, it will motivate you to actually work out.
I feel good about learning new ways to stay healthy!
BodiMojo in the News
Both BodiMojo and Dr. Cousineau are generating buzz in the healthcare community.
- In November 2010, Dr. Cousineau was listed among 5 local women entrepreneurs to watch in Boston WomenPreneurs.
- In early September 2010, after Dr. Cousineau and her colleague Carol Torgan, PhD, a health scientist and eHealth strategist, spoke about BodiMojo at the mHealth networking conference in San Diego, an article on HCPLive, the Healthcare Professionals Homepage, credited the “visionaries behind BodiMojo” with making “every effort to keep teens on the site engaged, whether it’s through games, forums, invitations to write for the site for byline credit, or any other number of ideas.” And physician Joseph Kim, an mHealth participant, praised BodiMojo’s creators for tapping into teens’ heavy use of mobile technology to promote wellness. “They’re also leveraging tools, calculators, video, and community to engage teens on their web portal,” Kim wrote in an HCPLive blog.
- In the summer of 2010, Dr. Cousineau was featured in a reinvention story on Shine, Yahoo’s web site for women, in which she talked about how she decided to create BodiMojo in order to leverage the wide variety of digital tools “to promote health instead of detract from health, and motivate and engage kids to stick with healthy habits.”
- In August 2009, ABC News quoted Dr. Cousineau in an article on how the Boston Public Health Commission was using social media to educate teens about sexually transmitted diseases. "In terms of today's vehicles, you have to meet teens where they're at," Cousineau told ABC News.
BodiMojo’s founder: Dr. Tara Cousineau, PhD
BodiMojo founder Tara Cousineau, PhD, is a Boston-based clinical psychologist and eHealth researcher who has been using technology in the area of behavioral health and wellness for a decade. She has received numerous grants during her career from the National Institutes of Health. She contributes to the BodiMojo blog along with teens, parents, and Bodimojo staff, as well as her own blog, Teens in Balance®, where she reflects on contemporary adolescent culture and raising her own teen daughters.
BodiMojo Inc provides technology-based health tools and applications to young consumers, healthcare organizations, employee benefit groups, health/beauty and pharma retailers. Its consumer portal and mobile applications enable teens to take control of their health through social media and gaming. We offer customized services and programs for health and benefits organizations to offer targeted programming for adolescent and family health using motivational strategies, incentives and community.