An App That Improves Your Health by Quizzing You

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The aim of many wearables is
noble. They’re designed to help you
get up, get moving, and get
healthier. But there’s often a
disconnect between users and their
goal: While they want to get
healthier, they actually don’t know
the basic facts about health and
fitness that will help them improve
their lifestyle.

That’s where iOS quiz app Hi.Q
(short for Health IQ) comes in. Hi.Q
is comprises over 10,000 questions
spanning 300 topics. When you start
using the app, you take a 30
question preliminary test covering
some broad nutrition, exercise, and
lifestyle basics. From there, you can
take quizzes on the topic of the
day, or dive into more niche
subjects like the Paleo diet, heart
disease, or running.
With the country’s astronomical
obesity epidemic, a growing number
of Americans really do want to
improve their habits, or are at least
aware that they should. (Some
evidence: The popularity of health
and fitness apps is up 87 percent
compared to other app categories.)
But it can be hard if they don’t
know, or have misconceptions
about, how to go about such
changes. Hi.Q attempts to give
users this in a package that’s less
dry than your typical Google
Search.

And more accurate. Both the
questions and their answers are
backed up by health and fitness
professionals like Harvard Med
School physician Dr. James Colbert
and U.S. Olympic Team orthopedic
surgeon Dr. Scott Hacker. The
answers often link back to specific
scientific studies or the articles they
are based on so you can easily learn
more.

But a quiz app isn’t much fun
unless you can show off what you
know. When you complete a quiz,
you’re given a score on each quiz
based on how many questions were
answered correctly. High scores
earn you status and titles. After
achieving “Elite status” on the
preliminary quiz, I decided to test
my cycling knowledge with a quiz
titled “Bicycling: Maximizing
Performance,” which earned me
another Elite ranking, and an
upgrade to “Level 4.” More prolific
beta users of the app, listed in the
high score tables for each quiz,
earn titles like “Health Guru” or
“Health Pioneer.” My Level 4
ranking looked pretty measly next
to their Level 41’s and 126’s, and I
scoped out other quizzes to test my
knowledge.

You can also start discussions with
other users around these various
quiz topics. Combined with the
scoring system, Hi.Q CEO and co-
founder Munjal Shah has created a
rudimentary way of validating user
credentials: Yeah, this guy claims
he’s an expert on this topic, but is
he really? Well, based on his quiz
scores, yeah, actually he is. Once
you know that, you can engage in
discussions with other users and
(hopefully) know that the advice
they’re sharing isn’t bogus.
While all this can be fun and
helpful, the real gain is what you
get out of your increased
knowledge. By running these
questions through a panel of
250,000 people, Shah found that
those with a high health IQ score
were hospitalized 50 percent less
than lose with a low score. So
potentially, the more you know
(particularly in areas relating to
healthy eating habits), the more
likely you are to implement those
ideas and lead a healthier lifestyle.

Hi.Q is free and currently available
from the iOS App Store.

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