When renowned physician and bestselling author Deepak Chopra launches a wellbeing app, there’s bound to be ample interest. In an email interview, he along with Poonacha Machaiah, the co-founder of Jiyo (the app is available on iOS and Android), discuss the need for a more holistic approach and how mobile phones can facilitate our personal journey of transformation. Excerpts:
Why is wellness such a buzzword?
Based on industry sources, the global wellness industry is now valued at $ 3.4 trillion. With almost 75% of our basic needs involving the use of technology, it is but natural that the domain of health and wellness will not be spared. Today, we have a plethora of apps and wearable devices that aim to improve different aspects of our wellbeing — be it the miles you walked, videos on yoga asanas, food calorie count and more. How does Jiyo fit in? We are more than a ‘wellness’ app. A ‘wellbeing’ platform, Jiyo aims to provide contextual insight and content to enable users to make positive lifestyle behaviour changes, leading to transforming their personal wellbeing. We provide context to a user’s life by modelling his/her life events and providing insight. Hence, our tagline is to become ‘a user’s better half’. We have developed algorithms to analyse heterogeneous events in a user’s daily activities; via enhanced analytics, we are able to recommend contextual intervention, content and services.
Can wellbeing be quantified?
Wellness is reviewed on the basis of 10 facets that are part of our proprietary wellbeing index. We analyse a user’s activities such as exercise, nutrition, sleep, mind-body connection, relationships, social interactions, career and finance, to provide a comprehensive model of a personal wellbeing. We look at these various facets on a daily basis so that we can analyse and make dynamic recommendations. The platform is backed by industry research in integrative medicine and behaviour change intervention.
We look at a person’s career and finance as an integral part of wellbeing. Take the case of a person who has six-pack abs, but is struggling to pay bills. They may excel in physical fitness, but we can be certain that they will be challenged in terms of overall wellbeing! Finance can play a role in altering a person’s wellness. Considering this, we look at overall wellbeing and take a more system versus reductionist approach to it. What should one’s wellness goal be?
A person’s wellness goal needs to go beyond micro level targets such as losing weight or reducing inches on one’s waist! Wellbeing is a combination of a joyful energetic body, loving compassionate heart, restful alert mind and lightness of being. The path to personal transformation and wellness has to be approached in a more holistic fashion by ensuring that all aspects of life — be it peace of mind, being fit/flexible, being happy in our work and personal relations — are being taken care of. The biggest roadblocks...
Today, when we look at the industry, we are pretty much focused on ‘physical wellbeing’. Thus, the biggest roadblock to one’s wellness journey becomes the lack of attention given towards adopting an all-inclusive approach. There are definitely nuances across cultures and geographies, which emphasise the need for a comprehensive solution that works on an individual and community level.
Reaching out to the sceptics...
One can take the view that a glass is either half empty or half full. Instead of debating about the wellness products/ services and if they are money making, let us take the first step to being more ‘aware’ of ourselves. It is important to know more ‘about you’ and connect with people who are ‘like you’. Only when we transform our personal wellbeing can we achieve societal wellbeing.