Monday, October 3, 2011

Meet Tonic's Creator: Rajiv Mehta

If you've been in an app store lately - whether Apple or Droid - you know there's no shortage of apps for your health. So it takes something pretty special to stand out among the thousands. That's what Rajiv Mehta has achieved in creating the Tonic self-care app, which has been recognized in MIT's Technology Review, Shape magazine, and as winner of the “Best Mobile Health Solution for Behavior Change” at this year's Mobile Health 2011 conference. Raj's earlier work has also been featured in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Here's a short Q&A with Raj about how Tonic came to be, and what it aims to do:

Q: There are so many apps out there, and, as you know, a rapidly growing number of health-related apps: Why did you create Tonic - what was missing in the marketplace?

Rajiv Mehta: Most health apps provide content. Of the rest, those that do support reminders or tracking are invariably narrowly focused; they just focus on diabetes, or medications, or pain, for instance. In contrast, Tonic helps you remember and record all of your health activities. No other app that I know of provides the flexibility necessary to support real-world health. In the real world, we often have multiple conditions and varied activities (medications, diet, exercise, etc.) Only Tonic supports all of this.

Q: Why did you choose the name Tonic?

Raj: Tonic has many good attributes for a name. It’s evocative, something that is uplifting and invigorating. It has a nice sound, and feels good as you say it. It is also memorable, and different from the thousands of prosaically-named health and wellness apps.

Q: If you could tell people using this app one thing, what would it be?

Raj: Make full use of Tonic’s flexibility to support your life. Remember that while you’re using it for ongoing, chronic health issues, it can also support you in managing temporary problems like colds, flus, and sprained ankles. One user told me today that she even uses Tonic to track her car mileage along with her meds!

Q: As you know, a tonic is something that enhances your vigor or well-being - Tell us: What's your Tonic?

Raj: A game of Ticket To Ride with the family. This is a fantastic board game where you compete to complete the most and longest train routes.

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