When they hired us their name was Health Equity Labs. They were about to launch an app that tests health knowledge and provides special rate life insurance for health conscious people. It was critical to find a name that could define a category - a new term that would be adopted by the public, much like Google, Kleenex or Xerox. Since I.Q. is a universally understood way to measure knowledge, it was clear Health I.Q. would get instant traction. Securing a trademark in the crowded health sector would seem daunting, but Health I.Q. was free and clear for trademark registration. Having a short name was another driver, as an app has very little physical space to get a message across.
Adding a new tune to the chorus of health and wellness startups, Health IQ is emerging from stealth with an app and funding.
Unlike Fitbit Inc., MyFitnessPal Inc. and dozens of other startups that enable users to count steps and track eating habits, Health I.Q. tests health knowledge. The hypothesis is that the more users know, the better choices they will make.
The free app functions like a game with players completing quizzes and competing against others for mastery of nutrition, exercise, medical conditions and other topics. The quizzes, which prompt players to connect to articles from the Mayo Clinic, Wikipedia and other sources to learn more, include more than 10,000 questions across 300 topic areas. They test everything from the healthiest items to order at amusement parks to how to prevent osteoporosis.
"Everybody skipped a step in the quantified-self movement. The first step is education," Health I.Q. Co-founder and Chief Executive Munjal Shah said. "With this (app) we want to create a true instrument that improves knowledge that then helps with health."
For Mr. Shah, a serial entrepreneur who sold his last company to Google in 2010, Hi.Q is as much a professional quest as it is a personal one.
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