Ontario government invests $1.5M in health incentives app

The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in Canada will invest $1.5 million into a one-year pilot of Carrot Rewards, a smartphone app that encourages users to make healthy lifestyle choices.

The app rewards users for physical activity, healthy eating and smoking cessation with "loyalty points," which they can apply toward free travel, gas or movies. A user's goals might include reaching a daily steps milestone or completing health quizzes.

The app was created by a group of Canadian charities, including the Heart & Stroke Foundation, Diabetes Canada and YMCA Canada. The Public Health Agency of Canada and the British Columbia Ministry of Health funded the app's development.

Approximately 200,000 people already use the free app, which launched in Ontario in February. Its goal is to reduce residents' risk of chronic disease.

"Our government is supporting new, technology-driven initiatives that improve the health of people in Ontario," said Eric Hoskins, MD, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. "User-friendly digital tools empower people to take control of their own health, and the success of Carrot Rewards proves that people are ready to embrace innovative tools for their health and well-being."

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