Interview with John Collins, CEO and Founder of Stayhealthy

Stayhealthy is a company dedicated to delivering tools to help individuals measure their health and wellness conditions, track the results and provide personalized solutions that can bring about change and improvement. The CEO John Collins will be sharing more details with us in this interview.

To start off please tell us your name and a little about yourself.

John Collins. Founder and CEO of Stayhealthy. I was born in New Zealand and moved to England when my parents relocated when I was nine years old. Going through the U.K. school system, we learned a great deal about history and the world at large from an English perspective. Initially I planned on going into accounting but ended up, through other circumstances, in the entertainment business owning a record company (Superstition Records), production company, management company (Golden Image Musical products) and a public relations firm (New Image Public Relations). That all led to working with great artists like Pink Floyd, Judas Priest, Al Di Meola, Stanley Clarke, the Pat Travers Band, and others such as George Harrison and Randy Bachman, to name a few. My career in entertainment was a success. However, after a serious accident my youngest child had, I refocused my efforts and began my professional life in healthcare in 1995.

Can you define “augmented reality health”? How is AR technology being utilized to promote healthy lifestyles?

One of our company’s firsts was installing the largest health assessment network in the US and Canada with more than 11,000 kiosks. We saw tremendous usage with an average of 2.7 screenings every second (which continues today), but with little engagement or education occurring. We could see that giving people numbers (such as their blood pressure, body fat percentage, etc.) was insufficient. We recognized that we had to find a way to present results that were more personal, could prompt understanding, as well as a desire to bring about change through engagement. 

Inspired by seeing the capabilities of augmented reality to enhance the real world for consumer and media brands in a highly impactful way, we wondered if AR would be capable of presenting health in a similarly engaging fashion. For example: what if we could give a person a body fat percent number (such as 30% body fat) and then show them the impact that exact percent has on their major organs (such as their heart, liver and kidneys)? Would this impact a person in such a way that they would reach a better understanding and bring about a desire to change? The answer has been a resounding “yes,” we can do this. 

After years of clinical work and validation, we are the first company to combine patented healthcare tech with augmented reality. This advancement has been supported by the development of a highly accurate method of measuring steps and calorie burn with a soon-to-be released diet and food module. In other words, we are now presenting a mobile platform that underscores our mantra of Measure, Track and Change. Augmented Reality or Enhanced Reality married to patented healthcare tech is a disruptive innovation, in itself. But, with the addition of the most advanced screening and solutions, it can impact people in a very real way.

Can you share more about Color Quest AR, and walk us through the app?

Color Quest AR was developed to address the growing problem of excess body fat in children. Our Chairman, Governor Tommy Thompson, was the multi-term governor of Wisconsin and former Secretary for Health and Human Services. In that role, along with his Surgeon General, he stated that the biggest terror threat to this country is not from terrorists—but from excess fat.

They also stated that the current generations of children being born today may not reach the same age as their parents. We could see that children today are using their electronics continually. We also saw that they loved coloring and jigsaw puzzles as well as games. Our challenge was—could we create a way to educate children about their bodies and healthy eating and drinking in a fun, engaging way? Hence, Color Quest AR. 

The problems posed by a lack of information and engagement must be addressed. The lack of education in schools about biology, nutrition and healthy lifestyles can be changed by introducing them through coloring, mini-games and other activities to fun characters like a dancing heart and other bodily organs, healthy fruits and vegetables, and daily health facts. Its recent success with more than 6,000 daily downloads and more than five million YouTube views demonstrates that it’s a unique app that is fun, educational and has never existed until now.

What inspired the creation of Stayhealthy Music? Can you tell us more about the partnership with Universal Music Group?

We have known for a long time that music can reduce stress, is highly engaging and can prompt positive behavioral change. Artists and musicians are aware that in order to be successful, they need to connect emotionally with audiences. In turn, their fans appreciate anything that gets them closer to the artist or musician. Many artists want to make a difference and are involved in cause-related work, so we have been thinking for a long time about how we could combine health and entertainment. It makes total sense for us to work with Universal Music Group and other entertainers in a way that changes the way talent and their fans interact with each other and can bring more awareness to staying healthy. What inspired us? It just makes sense.

Tell us about your team.

Our team is very diverse and brings together professionals from a variety of fields including engineering, science, software, medicine, media and marketing, and entertainment. We have people who have worked for HBO, run the Jimi Hendrix Foundation, managed one of the Jackson family members and a Grammy-winning, independent record label executive with over twenty years of number one records. No company that we know of has the unique mix of talent and skills we have.

Where do you see Stayhealthy in two years?

That is a good question and in order to answer it, we need to visit what we are doing currently. Color Quest AR is being expanded with more characters. We have the Snack Town All-Stars music group emerging from Color Quest AR. Color Quest AR teaches about the body, how it works and what foods and beverages are healthy. The All-Stars get them active with original dances. Now, with the support of Universal and Apple, we see Color Quest AR and the All-Stars creating a whole new category where engagement through music and video educates a user while entertaining them. 

We also see this expanding in scope with other initiatives that help children and parents improve their quality of life. This year, we will also release our jigsaw puzzle app that addresses a similar subject engagement and health education of children. Along with Puzzle Playground will be the Body Fact Index app, which we will also be releasing this year. This robust mobile platform allows a person to measure their fat, muscle, activity and dietary needs in a way the does not TELL A PERSON WHAT NOT TO EAT OR WHAT TO EAT–BUT HOW TO EAT.

Our Cancer survivor and prevention platform will be released by the end of this year. It will be an app that provides individuals who have survived cancer with information and tools to help them make decisions that reduce the risk of recurrence. We have just rolled out our augmented reality kiosk which will reinvent the traditional photo booth by featuring AR experiences that can travel. We are confident that with our mobile app suite and other innovations that we are on track to be a disruptive force in health education, engagement and retention.

Can you tell us about any initiatives or partnerships in the pipeline for Stayhealthy?

At present, we can tell you we are in the process of reaching a number of agreements with sports personalities, actors and major musical acts who have a passion for healthy living and changing lives for the better. Watch for our press releases.

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