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Reimagine your health

What is Open Health?

Find out in just 3 minutes from Stephen Penman, Dr Michelle Woolhouse, Prof Felice Jacka, Prof Marc Cohen and Dr Ganesha Param. And scroll down for more.

Roadmap to launch

January 14th, 2019|0 Comments

Five years after this 'passion project' officially kicked off, we're excited to announce that Open Health will hold it's first pilot programs in 2019.  Read on for the back story and please do consider supporting [...]

Register your interest and we’ll keep you in the loop!

What is Open Health?

Open Health is a social enterprise to develop, trial and launch a world-first comprehensive lifestyle change platform into our health system, and into the social context of our everyday lives.

It’s ground-breaking because we’re combining the psychology and clinical application of health behaviour with communication technology in a more sophisticated and interactive way than has been attempted before.

It’s innovative because its being developed using ‘startup’ thinking and the latest technology, designed to be able to connect with many thousands of people at the same time.

It’s ‘open’ because it will be widely accessible and inclusive.  It will be available on your mobile, tablet or notebook, however you like to connect, with email, sms and eventually, wearable technologies too.

Built on open source with a social impact philosophy, Open Health is for everyone; twenty and thirty-somethings, mums and dads, health practitioners and their patients, and for organisations as a workplace health and wellbeing solution.

We believe that people want the tools to take charge of and improve their health and will help us make this happen.

In short, we’re taking health enhancement online and making it widely available.

to a health & wellbeing transformation
You set your own goals and priorities in a personalised, holistic, 12-week online health enhancement program

“We can’t solve problems by using
the same kind of thinking
we used when we created them.”

Albert Einstein

The challenge

Australia, like other western countries, is in the midst of an epidemic of preventable lifestyle-related and chronic conditions.

It’s increasingly common for us to take medication to lower blood pressure, cholesterol or blood sugar without addressing the underlying causes of those conditions. And to accept being overweight, inactive, under-slept, stressed-out and generally below par as ‘normal’.

If current trends continue, 3/4 of Australian adults and 1/3 of all children will be overweight or obese by 2020. Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer are on the increase, and with our ageing population, so is dementia.

Unfortunately, our health system is poorly equipped to support people who want to improve their health, despite repeated high level reports calling for greater prevention, early intervention and self-management of healthcare. Instead we see reducing investment in prevention and a system swamped by symptom resolution and disease management.

Conditions and risk factors that can have lifestyle causes include...(flip over)
High blood pressure
High cholesterol
High blood sugar
Overweight & obesity
Metabolic syndrome
Heart disease
Type 2 diabetes
Lung diseases
Kidney disease
Some cancers
Depression & anxiety

History has shown that systemic change usually comes from the people. When enough people make the shift from passive healthcare consumer to proactive managers of their own health, and demand cultural change to support the health of their communities, we will see the status quo change.

On an individual level, we need to take charge of our own health, and the health of our families now.

Are you interested in using the platform?

A disruptive solution

At the heart of Open Health is a comprehensive 12-week online health enhancement program designed to tackle everything from high blood pressure to overweight, to psychosocial stress, sleep and environmental factors. Users set their own goals and priorities and can participate as much or as little as they want, all while remaining private and anonymous.

It is derived from an analysis of the most effective models and programs around the world in health, education, psychology and online engagement.

In startup lingo, it’s disruptive health tech. Disruptive means something that changes the status quo.

In medical parlance, it’s an evidence-based tailored online comprehensive lifestyle change program with peer support and personalised feedback. It’s also a chronic disease self-management (CDSM) program.

In the education world, it’s a lot like a MOOC, that is, a Massive Online Open Course, aimed at widespread participation.

In popular terms, it’s a  12 week total health and wellbeing transformation.

What’s inside?

& self-efficacy
Lifestyle change starts with self-empowerment to take charge of our health and enhancing self-efficacy to achieve our goals.
The more time spent sitting, the shorter we live. Movement is the key. Try walking, swimming, dancing, gardening, and perhaps even ‘exercise’.
Diet &
We often think we have a ‘good diet’, but can easily fall short of the nutritional requirements for physical, mental and emotional health.
Excesses &
Whether it’s sugar, salt and saturated fats, refined foods, smoking, or too much alcohol too often, it’s easy to get out of balance.
Stress is a normal part of life but in our society, it’s well off the scale, resulting in low-level inflammation and reduced immune response.
& exposures
Ensuring we get enough sunlight is as important as reducing exposure to toxins found in pesticides, food packaging and pollution.
Sleep debt
& quality
Sleep debt is rife in our ‘always on’ society and linked to a range of health problems. Sleep disorders are also common.
Psychological tools include goal setting, reinforcement, readiness to change, positive psychology, happiness and self-esteem.
Resilience comes from effective coping mechanisms and techniques to manage emotional strain, frustration, pain, fatigue or isolation.
& community
Humans thrive on social and community engagement, love and intimacy. Altruism (being of service) is also health enhancing.
& purpose
Connection with nature, culture and identity, and a sense of meaning and purpose are all important to health and well-being.
Virtual peer
group support
Everyone’s needs and goals are different, but you will feel supported by a private, moderated virtual peer group to achieve lasting change.

“The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”

Thomas A Edison

Get involved

Open Health is supported by the Lifestyle Medicine Foundation (donations are tax deductible), numerous partner organisations, public health professionals, doctors and allied health practitioners. With sufficient funding, we expect to release the first version of the program mid 2019.  Read more of the story here.

Not sure how you can help? There are plenty of ways to get involved, like donating, volunteering, user testing the Open Health program when its ready, or just helping spread the word. Register your interest and we’ll keep you in the loop.

If you’ve got something more to say, click here for a contact form.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Organisations we work with


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