Smacktive App Aims to Improve Health by Fostering Community

Social media has been blamed for the increased isolation people experience, but apps like Smacktive could help counteract that isolation by encouraging people to get out and be active together.

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It may seem counter intuitive, but in this more connected world of ours social networks are often blamed for making us more isolated and less social. There’s even been a trend toward celebrating introversion, especially on TumblrSmacktive hopes to engage users in outdoor activity by providing an easy way to connect to like minded people in their community.

The app allows users to post status updates indicating their desire to engage in a range of activities, with a particular focus on outdoor and sporting activities. The app also provides users with a list of status updates from others within 100 miles of them, so users should be less likely to be at a loss for something to do.

Users can use hashtags in their status updates to indicate what they’re in the mood for. The app also includes IM features to facilitate meetups.

Currently the app is focused in New York and New Jersey, and while Smacktive isn’t officially releasing user numbers, Smacktive CMO Vanessa Branco told Forbes that the app hopes to reach a “critical mass” of 100,000 before going national.

One of the primary goals of the app is combating loneliness, which is one of the biggest problems in healthcare at the moment. “The idea here is to try and get people to take the initiative and provide a tool for them to not be lonely” said Peter Moore, Smacktive’s creator, in a video from the 2015 Health Matters Conference. He added “I hope it changes a lot of people’s lives.”

The 2015 Health Matters Conference spent a great deal of time examining innovation in the health care and technology space. Mayor of La Quinta, Calif. Linda Evans praised Smacktive and others in an interview at the conference for helping to solve the isolation problem among users. She also expressed hope that Smacktive could be brought to her community to help residents become more active.

Social media may be blamed for creating some of the isolation people experience, but apps like Smacktive could help counteract that isolation. While other innovative startups may be focused on streamlining the healthcare industry, apps that cater to wellness and illness support could have more impact in communities across the country.