Why Adaptive Rewards?

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One of iRewardHealth’s differentiating components is its adaptive technology. iRH uses this technology to reward users with cash incentives to produce lasting behavior change.

Why do we believe this adaptability is key in keeping users engaged?

Let’s talk about Sarah.

Sarah is a nurse who uses a competitor’s incentive app from her employer. Each day, If she walks for thirty minutes, she will receive one dollar of credit to her account. She used the app and walked for four days, but after missing two days, she never opened it again.

The one-size fits all approach of this program failed to sustain her attention.

Tom, on the other hand, began using iRewardHealth four months ago. He has exercised an average of 5 days per week since then and has received cash rewards which have continued to motivate him. Like Sarah, he missed two days of planned exercise. However, IRH noticed the missed days, predicted he would stop exercising, and provided him with extra incentive and timely coaching to get him back on track.

He continued to exercise and has since lost 16 lbs, bringing him to a healthy weight range and ultimately reducing his risk of chronic disease.

Behavior change is dynamic.

Behavior change comes in stages, beginning with an initial desire to engage in a new habit. By predicting when a user is likely to lose his intrinsic motivation (that is, the desire that caused initial engagement), IRH offers extrinsic motivation in the form of a cash reward when it’s needed most. The reward amount and timing is individualized and based on the user’s past interactions with the app.

Furthermore, this individualized system removes the predictability to which we are prone to growing bored.

Consider the role that reward plays in an employee/employer setting- the employee who experiences the lowest engagement is the one who feels that his work is meaningless and predictable. He knows that after a specific amount of time, he will make a specific amount of money for a specific task or tasks he is executing. Though he may be able to ask for a raise, the timing and increase in reward will also remain predictable.

Now consider the addicting nature of a slot machine. What keeps a person interested in betting again? The unpredictable nature of the reward. The person knows he could win nothing and he knows he could win the same amount as the last pull. He also knows he could win more than he has before.

Ultimately, iRewardHealth’s combination of positive, adaptive, and tangible incentive is exactly what it takes to change a lifestyle in a lasting way when, as is often the case, internal motivation isn’t enough.

We’ll explore the importance of developing intrinsic motivation in another blog post.