Reimagine your health

What is Open Health?

Find out in just 3 minutes from Stephen Penman, Dr Michelle Woolhouse, Prof Felice Jacka, Prof Marc Cohen and Dr Ganesha Param. And read more below.

Roadmap to launch Open Health

February 14th, 2019|0 Comments

Five years after this 'passion project' officially kicked off, we're excited to announce that Open Health will hold it's first pilot programs in 2020.  Read on for the back story and please do consider [...]

Register your interest and we’ll keep you in the loop!

What is Open Health?

Open Health is a social enterprise to develop, trial and launch a world-first comprehensive lifestyle change platform into our health system, and into the social context of everyday life.

It’s ground-breaking because we’re combining the psychology and clinical application of health behaviour with communication technology in a more sophisticated and interactive way than has been attempted before.

It’s innovative because its being developed as a ‘startup’ social enterprise, using social learning and the latest technology, designed to be able to connect with many thousands of people at the same time.

It’s ‘open’ because it will be widely accessible and inclusive.  It will be available on your mobile, tablet or notebook, however you like to connect, with email, sms and push notifications just how you like them.

Open Health is for everyone; twenty and thirty-somethings, mums and dads, health practitioners and their patients, and for organisations as a workplace health and wellbeing solution.

“We can’t solve problems by using
the same kind of thinking
we used when we created them.”

Albert Einstein

The challenge

Australia, like other western countries, is in the midst of an epidemic of preventable lifestyle-related and chronic conditions.

It’s increasingly common for us to take medication to lower blood pressure, cholesterol or blood sugar without addressing the underlying causes of those conditions. And to accept being overweight, inactive, under-slept, stressed-out and generally below par as ‘normal’.

If current trends continue, 3/4 of Australian adults and 1/3 of all children will be overweight or obese by 2020. Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer are on the increase, and with our ageing population, so is dementia.

Unfortunately, our health system is poorly equipped to support people who want to improve their health, despite repeated high level reports calling for greater prevention, early intervention and self-management of healthcare. Instead we see reducing investment in prevention and a system swamped by symptom resolution and disease management.

It’s clear that we need to take charge of our own health, and the health of our families now.

Are you interested in using the platform?

A disruptive solution

At the heart of Open Health is a comprehensive online health enhancement program designed to tackle everything from high blood pressure, blood sugar or cholesterol, to overweight, stress, sleep and environmental factors.

The program has been derived from an analysis of the most effective models and programs around the world in health, education, psychology and online engagement. Users set their own goals and priorities, all while remaining private and anonymous in their facilitated small online peer groups.

In startup lingo, it’s disruptive health tech. Disruptive means something that changes the status quo.

In medical terminology, it’s an evidence-based tailored online comprehensive lifestyle change program with peer support and personalised feedback. It’s also a chronic disease self-management (CDSM) program.

In the education world, it’s a lot like a MOOC, that is, a Massive Online Open Course, aimed at widespread participation.

In popular terms, it’s an opportunity for a health and wellbeing transformation.

What’s inside?

& self-efficacy

Lifestyle change starts with self-empowerment to take charge of our health and enhancing self-efficacy to achieve our goals.


The more time spent sitting, the shorter we live. Movement is the key. Try walking, swimming, dancing, gardening, and perhaps even ‘exercise’.

Diet &

We often think we have a ‘good diet’, but can easily fall short of the nutritional requirements for physical, mental and emotional health.

Excesses &

Whether it’s sugar, salt and saturated fats, refined foods, smoking, or too much alcohol too often, it’s easy to get out of balance.


Stress is a normal part of life but in our society, it’s well off the scale, resulting in low-level inflammation and reduced immune response.

& exposures

Ensuring we get enough sunlight is as important as reducing exposure to toxins found in pesticides, food packaging and pollution.

Sleep debt
& quality

Sleep debt is rife in our ‘always on’ society and linked to a range of health problems. Sleep disorders are also common.


Psychological tools include goal setting, reinforcement, readiness to change, positive psychology, happiness and self-esteem.


Resilience comes from effective coping mechanisms and techniques to manage emotional strain, frustration, pain, fatigue or isolation.

& community

Humans thrive on social and community engagement, love and intimacy. Altruism (being of service) is also health enhancing.

& purpose

Connection with nature, culture and identity, and a sense of meaning and purpose are all important to health and well-being.

Virtual peer
group support

Everyone’s needs and goals are different, but you will feel supported by a private, moderated virtual peer group to achieve lasting change.