New generation of fitness tech "could ease pressure on the NHS"
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New generation of fitness tech "could ease pressure on the NHS"

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Emerging fitness technologies could be the "cradle to grave game-changer" for public health in the UK.

That's the message from ukactive CEO Steven Ward, who said that fitness tech could play a vital role in easing the pressure on an overstretched NHS.

"Imagine tech that could break down the barriers to activity for vulnerable populations – young children, pregnant women, the elderly," Ward said.

"Tech that would keep us happy, healthy and out of hospital – easing the long-term pressures stretching our NHS."

Ward was speaking at the launch of ukactive's start-up accelerator programme ActiveLab, which aims to uncover innovations designed to tackle the UK's obesity and inactivity crises.

"The start-ups joining ActiveLab have the potential to help deliver this vision," Ward added.

"These companies prove that technology and innovation can be a force for societal good – helping guide people towards exercise and breaking down barriers to physical activity for vulnerable populations."

This year's ActiveLab cohort features 11 start-ups, selected from 120 applications from across the globe and includes companies from the UK, US, Australia and Belgium.

Among the innovations are a platform that uses Google Street View to help home-bound or hospital-bound individuals get active, a digital wellbeing coach for pregnant mothers and an app that challenges children to compete with friends to be more active.

This year's programme is being backed by international technology firms Jonas Software and Life Fitness, as well as Public Health England – which will be working with some of the start-ups to help children become more physically active through the use of technology.

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Emerging fitness technologies could be the "cradle to grave game-changer" for public health in the UK.
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Ward said fitness tech could play a vital role in easing the pressure on an overstretched NHS / Ukactive

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