David Ko, former Head of Mobile and Chief of Operations at Zynga, is looking to gamify your wellness data. As Re / code reports, Ko’s new company, Rally Health, looks to help users actually do something to improve their health.
According to their website, Rally uses “clinical data, customized recommendations, and continual rewards to help people make positive lifestyle choices and navigate their health benefits”. Apparently the first step for the user is to take a health survey so Rally can get a picture of your diet, fitness level and general health lifestyle. From this data they provide “fun” goals and legitimate rewards for users to achieve that have the side benefit of improving your overall health.
OK, that all sounds great. I’m all for people getting themselves healthier and it genuinely sounds like a good idea.
My problem with that is the former association with Zynga. They’ve been in the news for years for a number of ethically bankrupt practices such as admitting that scamming users was part of their core business model (that’s from former Zynga CEO Mark Pincus who boldly stated this in public – on video no less), forcing employees to give up unvested shares or face dismissal, etc. Oh, don’t forget that their business was built around making near-exact clones of original games.
I don’t know that anyone other than Mr. Pincus was involved in Zynga’s deplorable practices, but fair or not, I’m going to be suspicious of anyone that was in a management position at Zynga. And giving them access to my personal health information? Forget about it. As Han would say: “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”
Here’s another idea. How about figuring out how to set up games like Candy Crush so that you have to do a certain amount of cardio to unlock more lives? There’d be a ton of super fit people I’m thinking.