To improve outcomes, we have to empower people to take a more active role in managing their own health not only in the clinical setting, but also in their homes, workplaces and on the go. And to do that more effectively, our environments must support – and, ideally, encourage – healthy choices in our everyday lives. That’s a guiding principle behind much of what we do at Sharecare, as well as core to two of our programs, in particular: the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program and Blue Zones Project.

Ornish Lifestyle Medicine helps people reduce and reverse the impact of chronic conditions and cardiovascular events by taking patients through a nine-week hospital-based intensive rehabilitation focused on four core elements – stress management, nutrition, social support and fitness. Together, participants learn strategies for adopting preventive behaviors in this controlled, immersive environment with the ultimate goal that it leads to a new and heathier “normal” outside of the hospital walls.

While the Ornish program is incredibly effective in its own right, our Blue Zones Project team in Hilo, Hawaii, found a simple, yet powerful opportunity to bridge the gap from the hospital to the home by forming walking moai for people nearing completion of the Ornish program in their community. Simply stated, walking moai are small groups of people that meet weekly to walk and socialize, combining both physical activity and social support, which are shared principles of the Blue Zones Project and Ornish program. By introducing this in the final stages of the program, these Ornish “alumni” are better equipped to carry key components of healthy living seamlessly into their everyday lives.

By augmenting high-tech tools at your fingertips like Sharecare with proven wellness programs such as Ornish Lifestyle Medicine and high-touch community engagement the likes of Hilo’s walking moai, we’re making great strides toward healthy choices becoming easier and more rewarding than ever.