After two years in stealth, Adam Bosworth is finally ready to start talking about his health startup Keas. Keas is not a Mint for health, although it began that way. Bosworth, who previously launched Google Health at Google and before that was known as the father of XML at Microsoft, founded Keas two years ago with $10 million from Ignition Partners and Atlas Venture. He thought he would build a Mint for health, but discovered that people don’t want to measure their health. So instead, he turned it into a game.
Keas is a game that keeps you healthy. You pick three goals a week, which can range from exercise to eating more fruits and vegetables to reducing stress. You get points for accomplishing your goals and for taking health quizes. If your company signs up for it, you can get rewards as well, including cash (HR departments are willing to pay for programs that will keep employees healthy and productive).
Bosworth came by the TCTV studios in New York City earlier this week for an interview, which you can watch above. He already has 10 companies including Quest Diagnostics and Novartis with about 1,000 employees each testing out the system in a private beta. But it is now public, and you can play here.
One of the key differences between Keas and something like Virgin Health is that Keas is inherently social. You join a team of your co-workers and everyone has to achieve goals together in order to level up in the game, so that encourages players to support each other.
Keas also takes a completely different approach than Google Health, which Bosworth helped to start. I asked Bosworth why Google Health never really took off. His answer in the video clip below is that Google Health never asked, “What could they do that people would want?” Instead. “they basically offerd a placeto store data.” People don’t want to store data, they want to have fun.