Doctors in Lithuania to prescribe walking app for patients

Doctors are keen to know how many daily steps you take. Some patients in Lithuania, instead of medicine, will be prescribed to walk a certain number of steps, with doctors tracking their progress on the app.

A walking app as a medical treatment. A new pilot scheme will be tested under a partnership between Lithuanian physical activity startup Walk15 and a local medical clinic, Šeškinės, TNW reports.

The hope is to help patients increase their physical activity and measure their performance.

Co-founder and CEO of Walk15, Vlada Musvydaitė-Vilciauske, expects the app to function “like a pharmacy for walking.” If the pilot is successful, it has the potential to normalize physical activity as a means of medical treatment.

“People go to the pharmacy and buy 1,000mg of ibuprofen,” Musvydaitė-Vilciauske tells TNW. “But what if that was 5,000 steps instead?”

The Walk15 app is a daily step counter app used by 20% of the country’s population. It will provide a platform for doctors to prescribe the challenge to patients. During the initiative, patients will receive personalized doctor recommendations on the number and type of steps they need to take and notifications on their phones with professional content.

The first step prescriptions for Šeškinė clinic’s patients will start on March 15th, initially for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases for the 40-60 age group.

The startup believes that walking is an underrated method that may be equivalent to pharmacological treatments when reducing the risk of multiple chronic illnesses, improving mental health, and lowering anxiety.

Patients should be aware of apps collecting their personal data. Even if Walk15 is not a data-hungry app, it still collects 6 out of 35 data types, as declared on the App Store. Data points include name, contacts, usage data (product interaction and advertising data), health, and purchases.

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