Carrot Health & Wellness Program

Beaumont Sports Medicine Doc: Try CARROT

Just 18 months ago, CARROT won a competition for being the “most innovative solution to engage Millennials with their health care”. Now, a leading sports medicine physician suggests those age 50-and-over would also benefit by using CARROT.

The Oakland Press recently interviewed Beaumont Health orthopedic surgeon James Bicos, M.D., director of the William Beaumont Sports Medicine Fellowship, about the use of smart phone apps to motivate people to live healthier, more active lives. The article was primarily focused on mobile apps helpful to those age 50 and over.

According to the article: “Beaumont Community Health offers a fitness app called Carrot, and Bicos recommends using it. Carrot, a free app, allows users to earn points which they redeem for rewards. The rewards are used to play games, compete in challenges, and redeem gift cards to local businesses. Carrot gives user personalized activity goals that update daily.”

From Millennials to Boomers, CARROT is a great option for anyone looking be more active.

CARROT Launches Public Offering on Netcapital

Most high-tech investment opportunities require a significant financial commitment – but for as little as $4.90, you can now have an equity interest in CARROT.

For a limited time, you can purchase shares of common stock in CARROT through Netcapital, a crowdfunding platform.

“There’s nothing like CARROT in the marketplace today.  We’re a mobile gaming company, and we’ve used that experience and expertise to create a ‘gamified’ program that truly motivates even the most sedentary employee,” said CARROT founder and CEO Michael Antaran.

CARROT has raised money through traditional funding channels, but Antaran wanted to be sure that everyone had a chance to share in the success of the company. This desire led to the decision to offer stock on the Netcapital platform. With a few clicks, investors on Netcapital can purchase stock from promising companies such as CARROT Pass LLC.

“We’re viewed as disruptive in the industry,” Antaran said. “But when your wellness program allows you to earn gift cards instantly for meeting personalized goals, while at the same time activity challenges and contests like fantasy football, I suppose ‘disruptive’ is an appropriate label – and it’s one we embrace.”

Introduced in January 2016, CARROT is already generating revenue with more than 15 clients including Henry Ford Health System, Oakland University, the United Auto Workers International, Macomb County Government and Takeda Pharmaceuticals. Those customers currently offer the CARROT Wellness program to 60,000-plus paid participants in the United States, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Finland, the Netherlands, and several other countries.

CARROT’s patent-pending, “set-it-and-forget-it” program uses personalized goals and instant gratification to motivate employees on an individual basis, making CARROT an attractive corporate wellness program for companies of all sizes. CARROT leverages the viral advantages of mobile technology to quickly onboard small employers while offering an affordable, scalable solution for the world’s largest corporations.

To learn more or to invest in CARROT, visit https://netcapital.com/companies/carrot.

Congrats to Macomb County's Winning Team!

Macomb County Government made the most of its first year in the CARROT program. In addition to participating in Survivor Challenges and other CARROT-sponsored contests, MCG had a spirited year-long competition on its "CARROT Leaderboard". 

The leaderboard tracks, in real time, monthly activity progress for all departments/teams in the CARROT program. One team - Corporate Counsel (pictured here) - led for exactly half the year, finishing as the monthly leader six times. The members of that team made their personal activity goals an incredible 86% of the time during the year, far outdistancing second-place Information Technology (66%) and third-place Juvenile Court (63%).

Overall, the number of Macomb County Government participants with a personal goal of 10,000 steps per day MORE THAN DOUBLED during the past 12 months. While only little more than 10% of participants began the program averaging 10k+ steps per day, approximately 25% finished the year with a personal daily goal of 10,000 steps!

Congratulations to Corporate Counsel and everyone at Macomb County Government!

In a CARROT Wellness Program? Here are 10 Things You Should Know!

If you participate in a CARROT Health & Wellness Program, there are plenty of great features and benefits to enjoy. To make sure you get the most out of your program, here’s our Top 10 List of “Things You Should Know about CARROT”!

 

10) You can earn two different currencies on CARROT.

All CARROT users earn one yellow REWARD POINT for each step they take. This is the “universal” currency used for games, contests and rewards available to the general public. Participants in a CARROT Health & Wellness program also earn one green GOAL COIN each day they meet their personalized activity goal. Since only one coin a day may be earned, this currency is extremely valuable, and it’s why rewards offered by employers typically require Goal Coins to purchase.

 

9) Your personal goal is yours (and yours alone!)

Your personalized steps goal updates every day, and it’s determined by CARROT as a way to encourage you, on a personal level, to lead a more active lifestyle. CARROT is designed to meet you where you are today and lead you to make increased movement a new healthy habit. To prevent people from “gaming” the program and taking shortcuts to receive rewards, CARROT sets all daily steps goals and does not allow for user input, adjustments or modifications. Following the CDC's recommended level of daily activity, your personal daily goal will never exceed 10,000 steps.

 

8) It’s super easy (that’s a technical term) to purchase rewards on CARROT.

Simply tapping on the reward of your choice opens a purchase screen where, if you have enough “CARROT currency” (either green Goal Coins or yellow Reward Points), you can complete your purchase of that item. All rewards require that you provide your email address to receive your reward so that you can be sent a confirmation email. The purchase of physical goods normally require that you provide a valid shipping address.

 

7) Answers to your CARROT questions are just a tap away.

If you ever have any questions about your CARROT program, just check out the “FAQ’s”. There you’ll find answers to more than 50 of the most common questions from CARROT users. You can find the FAQ’s by tapping on the top-left menu button on the CARROT app. And if you need additional help, you can always contact the CARROT Team directly by emailing support@carrotwellness.com.

 

6) You can earn extra Reward Points just by sharing the CARROT app.

The “Refer & Earn” feature allows you to be rewarded for sharing CARROT with your friends. You can find “Refer & Earn” by tapping on the menu button (in the top-left corner). You are given the option to share the CARROT app via email, text, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. Each time one of your friends or co-workers (who has never downloaded CARROT) uses your link to install the app, you’ll receive 1,000 Reward Points – and your friend will also receive 1,000 points! There is no limit to the number of points you can receive for referring CARROT.

 

5) In addition to your employer’s rewards, local rewards are frequently available to you.

Rewards provided by local merchants and nearby special events are made available based on your location – so it’s important that you enable “Location Services” (allow GPS) for your CARROT app to see the rewards available near you.

 

4) Streaks are required to access “unlockable rewards”.

Do you see those grayed-out rewards with an orange padlock on your CARROT app? Those are “Unlockable Rewards” which require that you complete a specified personal goal streak to “unlock” the reward. Because of the additional challenge of achieving a goal streak, these rewards are typically lower priced that other rewards. The number displayed on the padlock indicates the NUMBER OF DAYS STILL NEEDED to unlock the reward. Once the required streak is achieved, the reward will be available for you to purchase (whether you actually purchase the reward is totally up to you!) Please be advised that if you do not meet your goal one day, the reward once again locks and the process restarts.

 

3) You can use fitness trackers to help count your steps.

CARROT is designed to work solely on your phone – but if you own a fitness tracker, you can use that device with CARROT. To link a Fitbit, tap on the CARROT menu button, go to “Settings” and tap on the “Link Fitbit” button. You will then need to log into your Fitbit account. After linking your Fitbit, CARROT will automatically accept the steps data from the device that has the greatest number of steps each day (either your phone or Fitbit).

To use any other tracker, you’ll need to go to the wearable device’s app and then connect/share your steps data with Apple Health (iPhone) or Google Fit (Android). You should open your device’s app to sync steps data before opening CARROT each day. Certain technologies (i.e. Samsung Health, Garmin with Android) require the use of a third-part app to connect. All of this information is available in the CARROT FAQ’s.

 

2) Allowing notifications helps keep you on track.

CARROT will periodically send lock screen notifications when new rewards are posted, as well as to celebrate your accomplishments and to encourage you to continue making progress. And if you are competing in a CARROT competition (such as Survivor or a CARROT “Versus” contest), notifications are sent to keep you updated and to remind you of important deadlines. This is why it’s beneficial to allow notifications from CARROT (these can be turned on through your phone’s settings as well as on the CARROT app).

 

1) Your CARROT account is ALWAYS secure!

Once you’ve created a secure account by signing into CARROT with either your phone number or Facebook, your account (including everything you’ve earned) is secure. If you ever open CARROT and cannot see your Goal Coins or Reward Points, it’s likely that the CARROT app temporarily had difficulty connecting to the server (typically it’s because of an enhanced WiFi firewall). If this ever happens, just log out of the app and log back in using the same method (phone number or Facebook) you originally used to set up your CARROT account.

CARROT Named Most Innovative Healthcare Solution for Millennials: CARROT Wellness Captures Top Prize at the 2016 Crain’s Detroit Business Healthcare Leadership Summit

CARROT Health & Wellness was named winner of the first “Healthy @ Work Innovation Challenge” at the 2016 Crain's Detroit Business Health Care Leadership Summit. Founder & CEO Michael Antaran made CARROT's five-minute presentation and accepted the award at the event which was held November 17 at the Detroit Troy Marriott.


Small businesses and startups were challenged to provide solutions to engage millennials in their healthcare, and CARROT was selected in a live vote of the conference's 400-plus healthcare executives in attendance. 


“To receive this recognition from this amazing audience is exciting for our entire team,” Antaran said. “We’ve worked hard to create a solution that will drive everyone to be more active, a solution that everyone will find fun and engaging, and we feel we’ve done this with CARROT.”

 
CARROT, introduced on January 2016 by Royal Oak-based Marvel Apps LLC, is an entirely new type of health and wellness program.  Without having to purchase wearable trackers, CARROT gives organizations of all sizes a mobile tool to drive healthy behaviors and reward employees for healthy activities.  CARROT’s proprietary program provides personalized daily goals to individual participants, helping to maximize engagement.

 
“We’ve used a blend of technologies to develop a personalized program that truly motivates and rewards even the most sedentary employee,” Antaran said. “There’s really nothing like it on the market today."

The audience of the Crain’s Health Care Summit picked the winner of the first Healthy@Work Innovation Challenge. Three finalists had a chance to pitch ways for Millennials to get engaged with health care. The winner, pictured second from left, was Michael Antaran, CEO of CARROT Pass LLC. With him are, from left, Ron Watson, Associate Vice President – Human Resources, Oakland University; Krischa Winright, Chief Information Officer, Priority Health; Elaine Coffman, Account Director, Marsh & McLennan Agency; and Daniel Duggan, Crain’s Detroit Business. Photo by Aaron Eckels, Crain’s Detroit Business.

The audience of the Crain’s Health Care Summit picked the winner of the first Healthy@Work Innovation Challenge. Three finalists had a chance to pitch ways for Millennials to get engaged with health care. The winner, pictured second from left, was Michael Antaran, CEO of CARROT Pass LLC. With him are, from left, Ron Watson, Associate Vice President – Human Resources, Oakland University; Krischa Winright, Chief Information Officer, Priority Health; Elaine Coffman, Account Director, Marsh & McLennan Agency; and Daniel Duggan, Crain’s Detroit Business. Photo by Aaron Eckels, Crain’s Detroit Business.

 
CARROT Health & Wellness features a Rewards Center on the app where employers offer exclusive incentives to its employees. At the same time, all CARROT users have the opportunity to claim special rewards provided by local retailers, coffee shops, restaurants and other businesses.

 
“The feedback we’ve received has been tremendous. Most people mention that they like our concept of personalized goals and instant gratification, and we are now getting great responses to a couple of our newer features, especially our ‘CARROT Survivor’ challenges, unlockable rewards, and the ability for manual wheelchair users to fully participate in the program.”

 
Henry Ford Health System, Health Alliance Plan of Michigan, Total Sports Complex, and Macomb County Government are among the first organizations to utilize CARROT’s program.  Thanks in large part to CARROT’s early success, Founder & CEO Michael Antaran was also recently named one of “50 People in I.T. You Need to Know” by Crain’s Detroit Business.


More information about CARROT is available at http://CARROTpass.com.  To find the CARROT Wellness app on the iTunes or Google Play store, follow this link: http://onelink.to/carrot.

Macomb County Launches New CARROT Program

As part of its ongoing initiative to inspire staff members to lead healthier and more active lives, Macomb County (Michigan) government has announced that it has launched its own CARROT Health & Wellness program. The program began Oct. 3 for all 2,500 county government employees.

"This program helps us promote an active and healthy lifestyle, impacting the quality of life for our employees and residents in positive ways,” said Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel. "I believe this free app will help us improve the overall health of our community."

CARROT’s patent-pending program is unique because the app creates a customized daily activity goal for each participant. Additionally, CARROT Health & Wellness features a Rewards Center on the app where employers offer exclusive incentives to its employees. 
 

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel with CARROT VP Mike Murray and CEO Michael Antaran.

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel with CARROT VP Mike Murray and CEO Michael Antaran.

Additionally, thanks to the efforts of Macomb County Human Resources and Labor Relations, CARROT will be available to more than just county staff members. All CARROT users in Macomb County will have the opportunity to claim special rewards provided by local retailers, coffee shops, restaurants and other businesses. Macomb County businesses can participate in the program, free of charge, by offering rewards to nearby CARROT users.

“People love the app because it’s free and easy to use,” said Michael Antaran, founder and CEO of CARROT Pass LLC. “Anyone who downloads the app earns one Reward Point for each step they take, and users use these points to purchase rewards posted by local businesses. CARROT users get great rewards, and local businesses attract new customers. Everyone wins.”

Businesses interested in participating in the program should contact Amy Lumetta, Macomb County Human Resources and Labor Relations, (586) 469-7485 or amy.lumetta@macombgov.org.
 

Here is a story by C&G Newspapers announcing the new program.http://www.candgnews.com/news/county-partners-fitness-app-encourage-exercise-96566 

Is Your Wellness Program Hitting the Mark?

Are the employees in your company truly happy with its wellness program? And is that wellness program easy for the company to manage and deliver?

Unless the answer to each question is “yes”, a new wellness solution is probably needed.

According to a recent article (“Wellness trends raise eyebrows in 2016” by Heather Caspiin) at HealthcareDive.com, many wellness initiatives – despite a greater commitment in resources and financial incentives – fail to hit the mark.

"It isn’t just about driving (or even forcing) more participation, but rather about facilitating smarter interactions that are targeted, timely, relevant, etc. to engage the consumer and influence their behavior,” said Steve Auerbach, CEO of Alegeus, which provides consumer directed healthcare solutions.

From the perspective of a benefits delivery provider, “We see growing complexity as employers use a variety of incentives to include premium variations and different plan designs (deductibles, coinsurance, etc.) for different levels of participation,” Eric Helman, chief strategy officer at Hodges Mace, added. “While we have seen these tactics raise participation, they can also contribute to employee dissatisfaction and administrative complexity when the benefits delivery platform is not up to the task.”

Most wellness programs would love to say that they are designed to be simple and easy-to-use for both the participant and program manager; In reality, CARROT Health & Wellness is one of the few that can make that claim.

The entire program is managed through the CARROT Pass app, giving the employer complete control of incentives which can be created, updated and deleted at any time. For participants, CARROT couldn’t be more convenient – the program in conducted exclusively on the user’s smartphone. Participants can monitor their activity progress on a specially-designed “Activity” tab, and all rewards are redeemed directly on CARROT. Additionally, there are no reporting requirement for participants – aggregated steps and redemption data are shared with the employer seamlessly through the app.

More information about CARROT Health & Wellness is available at www.carrotpass.com/wellness.

To read the article, visit http://www.healthcaredive.com/news/wellness-trends-raise-eyebrows-in-2016/413206/.

CARROT: A Dynamic New Health & Wellness Program

The customer, they say, is always right… so when multiple companies contacted us about the possibility of using CARROT to motivate their employees to be more active, well, we listened! And that’s why we are excited to have developed the new “CARROT Health & Wellness Program”. CH&W offers features and advantages that no other program can match.

  • PERSONALIZED:  Thanks to CARROT’s proprietary technology, activity goals are customized to the participant and updated daily. Rather than a “one-size-fits-all” approach (which typically only engages the healthiest members of a population), CARROT’s personalized program incentivizes and benefits ALL participants!

  • INSTANT GRATIFICATION: CARROT features a company-branded Rewards Center which gives the employer the opportunity to post special offers, incentives, discounts, etc. Rewards are redeemed right on the app. (The Rewards Center would ONLY be accessible to the company’s employees!)

  • HYPER-LOCAL:  The employer can leverage the CARROT Merchant Network by inviting local businesses to support its CARROT program. Those businesses offer exclusive discounts to the employees in exchange for CARROT Reward Points. (This unique feature is free, benefitting the local economy as well as the employee population.)

  • CUSTOMIZED:  The employer is in complete control of its CARROT program with the ability to create/update/delete rewards at any time. 

  • ENGAGING: CARROT can send automated messages directly to the lock screens of participants to celebrate accomplishments and encourage continued progress. The employer also has the ability to send messages to the lock screens of participants.

CARROT can work with current wellness vendors and existing programs to help support all population wellness & employee engagement strategies. Also, because of CARROT’s mix of technologies and program strategies, purchasing wearable devices (such as pedometers or Fitbits) isn’t required. 

To learn more, check out the Health & Wellness section on our site, or click here to contact the CARROT Team.

CARROT & The Security of Wearables

Wellness programs centered on the use of wearable devices such as Fitbits should take note — hackers are looking to gain access to the personal information these devices contain. 

A recent article by Corporate Wellness Magazine highlighted a data breach compromising the sensitive personal data of Fitbit users, including data on when and where the user sleeps and exercises. Such data was acquired by hackers looking to commit warranty fraud, where the hackers "gain access to the user's account, change the user's personal information like email addresses and passwords, and then order a replacement device under the user's warranty."

CARROT works and lives entirely on the user's phone. No wearable or server required.

CARROT works and lives entirely on the user's phone. No wearable or server required.

The CARROT Health & Wellness Program doesn't require the use of wearables, and personal data is stored only on the participant's phone, not on servers. Ensuring privacy is perhaps the single most important element for the success of any wellness program. 

Long Term Wellness, or just Fit for a Bit?

The City of Huntingburg, Indiana, has committed to a Fitbit-only wellness program for its employees1 – is it a good idea?

Target recently made a bold statement about the importance of wellness by offering Fitbits to its 335,000 employees2 – is the money well spent?

Encouraging your employees to live a healthier lifestyle makes sense on many levels – but if the goal is to cost-effectively engage employees on a long-term basis, is it wise to push a program that uses a single device?

The answer to all three questions: no.

Consider that these Fitbit-only programs require the wearers of other activity trackers to abandon the devices they’ve already purchased, use and trust – and that population is significant. Yes, Fitbit is the industry leader when it comes to activity trackers, but it far from dominates the marketplace. In fact, during Q2 2015, it accounted for just 24% of device sales while Apple iWatch (20%) and Xiaomi (17%) were second and third, respectively.3  With a Fitbit-only program, many people, clearly, will be asked to give up their own preferred devices. Is this the best way to ensure long-term compliance?

Consider also that, even among those who have gone to the expense of purchasing a Fitbit, many give up using them.  According to research by Rock Health, “more than 70% of Fitbit purchasers from the first three quarters of 2014 churned before the end of the year.” 4  Essentially, interest and motivation wanes – and more than two-thirds of Fitbit users give up using what they once believed was beneficial.

Likewise, research by consulting firm Endeavour Partners found that one-third of consumers who own a “modern activity tracker” (which they described as devices similar to Jawbone, Fitbit, Nike, and Misfit) stopped using it within six months.5

Given these statistics, will the allure of a $25 gift card every three months be enough to keep employees engaged? Probably not.

The bottom line: wouldn’t it be better to have a health and wellness program that allows participants to use the device of their choice?  Better yet, wouldn’t it be better to have a program that requires NO ADDITIONAL DEVICE AT ALL – a program that simply uses the participant’s smartphone?

Just such a program was recently developed in Michigan. Because of its unique mix of technologies and program strategies, purchasing additional hardware isn’t required, although data from tracking devices can be used.

In the “CARROT Health & Wellness Program”, participants who download the free app are given a personalized activity goal based on the participant’s own activity history.  This allows the employee to be rewarded, not for achieving an arbitrarily-assigned target (does 10,000 steps sound familiar?), but for meeting their own personalized goal.  

Through a company-branded Rewards Center on the app, employees then receive exclusive rewards for meeting their personalized activity goals. The Rewards Center is only accessible to the company’s employees. All of this takes place on the participant’s phone.

To celebrate accomplishments and encourage continued progress, CARROT sends automated messages directly to the participants’ lock screens. The CARROT program also involves local businesses who are given the opportunity to provide additional discounts and special offers to participants.

Rather than a “one-size-fits-all” program which typically only engages the healthiest members of a population (10,000 steps, remember?), CARROT’s individualized approach incentivizes and benefits all participants.  And it’s all done, solely, on the participant’s phone.

No extra device needed.

The CARROT app is available on the iTunes and Google Play stores (search “CARROT PASS”). Information about CARROT Health & Wellness can be found at http://www.carrotpass.com/wellness.

 

Sources:  1  http://www.duboiscountyfreepress.com/fit-by-bit-activity-trackers-cut-citys-healthcare-costs/;  2 http://blog.wellable.co/2015/09/21/target-offers-fitbits-to-335000-employees-ignores-byod/; 3 http://blog.wellable.co/2015/08/31/q2-wearable-shipments-fitbit-24-apple-20-and-xiaomi-17-lead-pack/; 4 http://rockhealth.com/deconstructing-fitbit-s-1/ ;  5 http://mobihealthnews.com/31697/survey-one-third-of-wearable-device-owners-stopped-using-them-within-six-months/

 

 

Where Most Wellness Programs Fail

Employee Benefit News has posted a very interesting article about employee wellness and why company-sponsored initiatives often fail. Perhaps most interesting are the all-too-often complaints about programs that only motivate the healthiest employees, do little to incentivize the unhealthiest staff members, miss the mark on true engagement, and make it nearly impossible to measure success.

When we developed the CARROT Health & Wellness Program, we addressed each one of these issues – they were the driving force behind our mission to get people to live healthier and more active lives.

Check out EBN’s feature and let us know what you think.

http://ebn.benefitnews.com/blog/ebviews/employee-wellness-is-failing-employees-2747733-1.html