Press Kit Welltory 3.0
1. What is Welltory?
Welltory is a stress & energy management app with biofeedback for iOS and Android .
- Measures stress & energy levels with a smartphone camera or any BLE heart rate monitor. Results are based on Heart Rate Variability (HRV) analysis, and detailed breakdowns of HRV parameters are also available.
- Shows how your lifestyle habits affect your stress & energy levels. Welltory collects data about your sleep, work, steps, and surroundings from dozens of popular apps & gadgets. Then, it generates charts that show you how these factors affect your measurement results.
- Explains how your brain & body work. The Learn tab is packed with short videos and fact-sheets on topics like productivity, happiness, procrastination, and more. All lectures are based on the latest research.
- Teaches you how to optimize your lifestyle with gamified quests, trackable tasks, and experiments. Find your best sleep and work schedules, workouts that boost your energy levels, and relaxation techniques that help you cut down on stress.
- Helps you learn more about yourself more with dozens of professional in-app assessments.
- Provides unlimited expert support in the app’s chat window.
2. Stress & Energy. Why does it matter?
- A 2005 Princeton Survey Research Associates study reports that 75% of employees believe workers experience more on-the-job stress than a generation ago.
- According to the American Psychological Association’s (APA) annual Stress in America Survey, 65 percent of Americans cite work as a top source of stress. Only 37 percent of Americans surveyed said they were doing an excellent or very good job managing stress.
- A 2013 survey by APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence found that more than one-third of working Americans reported experiencing chronic work stress. Just 36 percent said their organizations provide sufficient resources to help them manage stress.
- A 2001 Gallup Poll found that 80 percent of workers feel stress on the job, and nearly half said that they needed help managing workplace stress.
- In the US, 70% of all doctors visits are motivated by symptoms caused by chronic stress.
- 77% of Welltory users, including programmers, startup founders, and experts say they experience fatigue and chronic stress.
And workers aren’t the only ones paying the price!
According to the American Psychological Association, workplace stress costs American employers an estimated $300 billion annually.
Stress-management is a huge market!
- 17% of working people in the 30-50 age range are using self-tracking gadgets
- They also spend $11 bln a year on self-improvement books and trainings
3. How do we measure Stress & Energy?
Welltory uses your phone’s flash to illuminate the blood vessels in your finger. As you heart beats, blood flows in and out of your blood vessels. Welltory records the changes with the camera.
This method is called Photoplethysmography, or PPG. It is a non-invasive and reliable way to obtain information about the cardiovascular system, and is used by most pulse oximeters.
The app then analyzes the variation in time between heart beats to estimate stress & energy levels – a technique called Heart Rate Variability (HRV).
It’s the same technique used by professional athletes, researchers, and healthcare specialists to track health and recovery.
The whole process only takes about 3-4 minutes.
Read more about heart rate variability and the science behind the app here.
Other companies who uses HRV to measure how your body feels: Whoop, EliteHRV, Firstbeat, HeartMath.
4. Who needs it?
Welltory is for people who work hard – freelancers, entrepreneurs, managers and other people who work under a lot of stress.
Most are in the 27-50 age bracket, when you need to work more, but don’t have as much energy as you did at age 20. There is a mismatch between what you need to do and how much you can get done.
We teach hard workers how to manage their stress & energy by changing their habits to increase productivity without sacrificing their physical and mental health.
It’s like Google Analytics for humans. The idea is to let users see how lifestyle changes – morning meditation, working from home, or a diet change – affect their stress & energy levels. People can optimize their lifestyles by keeping changes that work and discarding ones that don’t.
5. Welltory five key principles:
- “Manage energy, not your time” – a concept introduced by Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy, founders of the Energy Project. The idea is that longer days at the office don’t work because time is a limited resource. But personal energy is renewable. Our app gives users a tool to measure it, which means they can start managing it.
- “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” – Peter Drucker, management guru. Peter Drucker applied the scientific method to management, turning it into a separate field of study in business schools and other education programs. He used metrics to make it happen. We apply the same principle to the human body. We believe that you can effectively manage it by measuring it and analysing the data.
- “Observing a system changes how it behaves” – a concept called the observer effect, which we borrowed from quantum physics. This principle was discovered by Niels Bohr, and applies perfectly to Welltory. Simply measuring and observing your stress & energy numbers every morning prompts users to subconsciously make healthier lifestyle choices. Our data shows that Welltory users see improvements after taking measurements for about a month, even when they don’t make any conscious effort to change their habits.
- “We’ll see a shift from reactive medicine to proactive medicine. I define it as P4 medicine – powerfully predictive, personalized, preventative, and participatory,” – genomics pioneer Leroy Hood. Leroy Hood has been at the center of a number of paradigm shifts in biology. He helped invent the first automated DNA sequencing machine in the 1980s and founded the Institute for Systems Biology in 2000.
Welltory is facilitating the shift in focus to preventive healthcare by encouraging people to care about their health before they get sick. We have also made HRV measurements available to anybody with a smartphone, making preventative healthcare accessible and quantifiable.
- “Build, Measure, Learn” – a Lean Startup method used to launch new products and startups in Silicon Valley and World Wide. We encourage our users to apply a similar method to their bodies, to follow the same feedback loop. This principle is embodied in our experiments and guided quests that let users collect and analyze data about their lifestyles, then adjust different parameters to see what helps them cut down on stress and boost their energy levels.
6. Supported apps & gadgets
Welltory supports 50+ gadgets and apps, including Apple Health and Google Fit, direct integrations with Fitbit, all popular fitness trackers, and more.
A brief list of data you can track with Welltory:
- Stress & energy — take measurements with Welltory
- All data from Apple Health & Google Fit
- Meteo data: temperature, atmospheric pressure, precipitation, humidity, wind speed and direction, cloudiness
- Sleep: Mi Band, Fitbit, Beddit, Jawbone, Misfit, SleepCycle, etc.
- Steps and exercise: Moves, Fitbit, Jawbone, Misfit, RunKeeper, Strava
- Weight: Withings, Fitbit, Mi Fit, Qardio
- Nutrition: LifeSum, FatSecret
- Genome: 23andme, Atlas, Genotek
- Indoor conditions: home weather stations (Foobot, Netatmo)
- Productivity: RescueTime
- Blood pressure: Withings and iHealth
- Geolocation: Swarm
Our goal is to connect the dots between surroundings, lifestyle, and work by using stress & energy as key KPIs that are influenced by all of these factors.
Our Dashboard generates charts that help answer important questions:
- What helps me cope with stress?
- How can I manage my energy and not feel exhausted?
- How much sleep do I need to recover?
- What impacts my productivity?
- Does running and walking help me cut down on stress?
- What kind of exercise works best for me?
- How does a vegetarian diet affect me?
- What impacts my productivity?
- Do I eat more when I’m stressed?
- Do I have a weather dependency?
All people are different and there is no one solution that works for everybody.
That why we use a method based on analyzing how data collected from other apps affect individual stress & energy measurements.
7. Is there proof that it works?
Yes, and plenty of it.
First, science shows that it should work.
Researchers from the Netherlands have found that the impact of stress-induced cortisol on memory increases during and after short-term acute stress. Our memory is negatively affected when the sympathetic nervous system is activated at the same time that cortisol levels spike, but cortisol doesn’t impact memory by itself.
British scientists from the Centre for Behavioural Biology have confirmed that stress impacts our decision-making.
Researchers from Australia have found that an increase in sympathetic activity for people in the 18–35 age group negatively impacts memory, speech and attention span. The same type of increase impairs associative thinking skills for people in the 36–50 age group and negatively affects orientation functions for people in the 51–65 age group.
Scientists from France have discovered an enzyme that is activated under chronic stress. It affects brain cells, making people less social and impairing cognitive abilities.
In the US, scientists researched heat-induced stress and concluded that, although it depends on the nature of the task, heat-induced stress negatively impacts cognitive functions.
It’s important to understand that when our limbic system is activated, which is what happens during stress, the prefrontal cortex automatically starts underperforming. This means that we aren’t able to think strategically and start acting on our emotional impulses.
Second, our evidence shows that it does work.
a) Our measurements are accurate enough
Our development team constantly works on improving the accuracy of HRV measurements taken with the camera.
We’ve made significant progress. Take a look at this comparison of measurement results from Polar H7, an HRV measurement tool used by professional athletes, and results from the iPhone camera taken through the Welltory app:
b) Stress & energy correlations work
All of our users can see the correlations between different lifestyle factors and stress:
Stress and physical activity
Stress and calories consuming
c) And even better – here are some charts from our in-house research:
We’ve done a lot of in-house experiments in order to get specific insights about correlations between physiology and work-related performance.
Our findings are already helping our users be more productive.
Slack-messaging and stress:
Look at how high-stress situations cause us to procrastinate, e.g. more chatting….
Code strings and exercise:
We are more productive when we exercise
Asana tasks completed and sleep:
We are more productive after we get enough recovery time
d) Do we help people? Yes!
Here is a graph showing stress & energy trends for our users:
Our users increased theirs’ energy and decreased stress during several months of measurements.
Active Welltory users increase their
- sleep hours
- and work more))
These changes happen within 2-3 months on average.
8. Facts about the product
What we have accomplished:
- Total users: 140,000
- Total measurements: 1000,000 +
- Total data points: 480 million
Industry: health & fitness
- iOs: iOS 9.0 or later versions. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
- Android: 4.3 or later versions.
Web version: follow the link to see what a personal dashboard looks like.
Closed beta version: March 2016
Open version for iOS: September 2016
Open version for Android: February 2017
Interface languages: English and Russian
9. About the company
- The company was founded in February 2016. Everything started from the usage of Heart Rate Variability method to measure a stress level. The development team is located in Saint-Petersbourg, Russia. The project was internally funded.
- In March 2016, we released the first version of the app for iPhones and started researching whether or not the measurement results matched people’s subjective feelings, health and lifestyles. Over 500 people took part in the study.
- In the summer of 2016, we started researching interventions (lifestyle adjustments that affect measurement results). Over 1,000 people took part in the study.
- We also attracted the first round of financing $400 000 at this time from business angels in July 2016.
- At the end of September, Welltory made its debut in the AppStore.
- We launched paid services and the Web version in October 2016, and also acquired our first corporate clients.
- In January 2017, we launched an online course on the relationship between lifestyles, productivity and health.
- In February 2017, we launched the Android version of the app.
- In April 2017, we opened the feature of “measurement details” in our app.
- May 2017 was a month when we have launched Academy – online video lectures inside the app.
- June 2017 – Trackable tasks were launched in first version
- July 2017 – the 2nd round of investments for 1 mln USD is closed
- August 2017 – 1M measurements goal was reached
- We want to help hard working people feel energetic, calm, and positive. We want them to find their own work-life balance and be productive without sacrificing their health, family, or personal development.
- We want to help people understand theirs bodies, theirs’ brains and how everything is connected to their habits and lifestyles.
- We want to give people a simple and easy-accessable tool that will help them optimize their lifestyles and monitor their bodies closely.
- We want to provide our customers just objdcyive solutionswith an objective tool based on data to help them manage and change their lives.
Entrepreneur, founder of the major game publisher Alawar, expert on casual & mobile games and gamification. Became interested in stress & energy management on his own, experimenting with different sports and hobbies for a long time. Loves gadgets.Alexander Lyskovsky
IT expert, entrepreneur, former head of QA at Panasonic and head of web/mobile projects with millions of users. Athlete, Quantified Self geek. Prior to Welltory, he headed up the Founder Institute in St. Petersburg and is the co-founder of the startup studio CoffeeLab.vc.Pavel Pravdin
Startup evangelist and geek. Prior to Welltory, Jane was head of the Founder Institute in St. Petersburg and co-founder of the startup studio CoffeeLab.vc. She became interested in stress & energy mangement after years of struggling with entrepreneurial stress and wanting to increase productivity.Jane Smorodnikova
10. Media Kit
You can find media materials in our Dropbox.
- iPhone screenshots
- Android screenshots
- Web version screenshots
- Photos and graphics for articles
- Pictures of the founders
Potential publications about Welltory
- Google Analytics for humans
- Quantified Self techniques
- How to change your life by managing your physiology. No buzzwords, just science.
- Why your lifestyle affects your work much more than you think
- Measure stress with a smartphone camera
- How to banish chronic fatigue with an app
- How to replenish your energy
- Measure and manage: this app makes you more productive
- An app that measures how you feel
- HRV measurements and the app that knows you’re about to catch a cold before you feel any symptoms
- Training for a marathon? This app can help!
- Improve your health with techniques borrowed from astronauts
- Boost employee productivity by 20%
- Simple way to get rid of bad habits
- Find out what type of exercise works for you