In the vast leadership landscape, women have emerged as guiding stars, illuminating the next generation’s path. Their accomplishments shine like …
Tackling Chronic Conditions with science & Technology | Grace McNamara
Healthcare is a unique industry, where professionals and companies collaborating, can produce a better experience and health outcomes for all involved. While collaborating with Sport England in 2018, Grace McNamara came across a unique concept brought forward in the form of EXI: Exercise Intelligence. Knowing that if the idea could become a scalable product, it could be a game-changer in the Health & Fitness arena and to the many companies she was working with, that were looking at health solutions with technology at the core.
Having worked with Apple for over 12 years, leading up all areas of health and fitness for Apple employees in EMEIA, before leading Apple’s Health and Fitness Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships in EMEIA, Grace knew EXI had the potential to strategically align with many opportunities in the industry.
In 2018, when Vitality and Rand Europe published the largest global study on incentives and behavior change, it was the results for the population with existing chronic conditions that were the most exciting to Grace. Combining the exercise science with the best behavior change science was now possible and proven to be effective in hundreds of thousands of people. This quickly began the next phase of EXI, who already had an app getting traction in the NHS.
The Science in the palm of your hand
“Healthcare systems around the world are in an unsustainable situation and I’m determined to be part of the solution”. The integration of lifestyle medicine into every clinical pathway is well established and is now being implemented more and more across the industry. For years, research has shown the benefits of physical activity, but according to Grace, the tools to release its full potential need to be improved. EXI is bringing together 3 aspects under 1 solution: exercise science, behavior science, and technology. Most healthcare professionals have been able to give recommendations but not personalized prescriptions for every person. They can provide advice but not monitor real-time adherence. There has never been a seamless way to use exercise as a targeted treatment for all. EXI makes prescribing exercise accessible, combining decades of scientific knowledge with pioneering technology to create the future of AI-powered healthcare. Their intelligent platform allows healthcare professionals to prescribe tailored programs in a way that’s easy, effective, and scalable.
How does this platform work? It is all thanks to data. With the rapid transformation of society, data can be found everywhere as technology has become an integral part of human lives. Every device generates data from smartphones to watches to other wearables, which EXI is utilizing to personalize healthcare. “The data we carry daily has value beyond what most of us can imagine. EXI wants to put that data to good use and improve healthcare delivery and an individual’s self-care practices,” says Grace.
EXI is classified as a medical device in app form, prescribing variable intensity with multiple conditions in mind (up to 23 conditions). It’s an evidence-based, progressive, automated prescription. The EXI platform connects people and professionals seamlessly by making it easy to share and view real-time data from wearables and smartphones in a user-friendly way. Therefore, EXI is the ultimate partner for professionals and organisations who want to engage people who need to be more active for health reasons. By uniting science with sophisticated motivational systems, care providers can achieve lasting behavioral changes for all, including those needing it the most. By combining science, technology, and incentives, EXI is reversing the trends for long-term conditions, and they won’t stop until every person can take control of their health and change the trajectory of their condition. It’s about each person being empowered and having the necessary tools and knowledge.
As healthcare professionals are just starting to use the average person’s data in their pocket, EXI, under the aegis of Grace, can be the much-needed solution for numerous health problems. The company’s platform is already integrated with the Apple Health app and Google Fit. They are working on expanding the value they can return from that data to patients and professionals. “For the future, we will be focusing on enhancing the data collected, use cases, and impact of the data available for healthcare professionals to see, at a glance, what the data can tell them. That will enable us to become central to the health-/fitness professional workflow and to aid better care delivery and health outcomes,” explains Grace.
More than A Leader
Outside of EXI, Grace is a co-founder of a not-for-profit organization focused on empowering females to reach their potential in the fitness industry, RISE – Females in Fitness Collective. At the same time, Grace is chair of a female sports organization in Ireland. Grace is also an advisor to SportsTech Ireland to support start-ups.
She believes the link between team sports and leadership are obvious and should be harnessed so we can see more women in leadership. All roles involve facilitating and inspiring females in business to achieve their highest potential and not settle under an imaginary ‘glass ceiling’. “I believe sports and business are intrinsically linked. The lessons learned and the discipline to push for excellence transfer across both sport and business,” says Grace. “I surround myself with passionate and intelligent people who are driving positive change in the world. It’s impossible to not be inspired when our collective energy is a force that pulls us all together. As others have empowered me in the past, I feel I have a duty to facilitate empowering others. Luckily, I have the privilege to do both in my professional and personal capacity.”
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