Change My Face
Change My Face provides innovative ageing software allowing people to visualise themselves in the future and showing effects of lifestyle such as drinking, smoking, tanning, diet, stress and pollution. We make software for education, science, health, pensions and HR. Our apps have been no.1 in 16 countries, achieving over 1 million downloads and reaching out to a global audience.

Innovative lifestyle software for adults and children

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Should chocolate be classed as a medicine?

👤 🕔 March 27, 2019 Comments Off on Should chocolate be classed as a medicine?

It’s not just the Easter bunny telling us to eat chocolate – Scientists are too. 

When you think of the Easter bunny what image does your mind conjure up? Thanks to a large chocolate brand you may think of a white bunny riding through gardens on a bicycle delivering delicious chocolate wrapped in shiny paper.

And why is our fluffy hero so keen to hand over all the chocolate? Is he keeping all the good stuff for himself, you know all that green tucker that oozes vitamins – the food that we know to be good for us?

According to science the busy bunnies should be keeping some of the chocolate for themselves too.  

Are You In A Good Mood?

If you’ve been eating chocolate, then you’re likely to answer ‘yes’.  You’d be right too as chocolate is a joy stimulant.  The Journal of Psychopharmacology revealed that someone who drinks a polyphenol-rich chocolate drink daily (this being the same as 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate) will feel relaxed and contented.  More so than someone who hasn’t been offered a comforting mug of the chocolatey drink.

It is a known fact that antidepressant’s enhance serotonin or keep this compound in our brains.  As cocoa boosts brain serotonin it’s no surprise that chocolate can lift our mood.  So, here’s another question for you to ponder over – ‘do you crave something sweet or are you simply wanting something to lift your spirits?

Better Health

So, we’ve been able to prove that chocolate can improve our mood, but what about our health? 

We age as a result of our bodies losing their ability to renew and repair themselves.  Chocolate has the unique super-power of activating stem cells allowing our cells to regenerate and heal.  

A clinical study in California gave patients with known heart disease two daily 8oz cups of hot chocolate, made with 70 per cent dark chocolate, for 30 days. The number of stem cells in their blood was measured before and after the trial. It was found that consumption of the hot dark chocolate doubled the stem cells in their circulation. No known medicine has the same effect [1].

The secret to dark chocolate is that it contains high amounts of cocoa solid and less of the unhealthy ingredients present in other types of chocolate.  

Let’s share the bunny’s diet

We have five health defence systems which help our bodies ward off illnesses.  These are:

  • Stems cells to repair and regenerate our organs
  • Healthy gut bacteria for healthy digestion and weight regulation
  • DNA which holds the blueprint of our development, growth, reproduction and function
  • Defence against environmental toxins
  • Immune system to fight disease and infection

Some foods benefit all five of these defence systems: blueberries, carrots, aubergines, coffee and dark chocolate. And the great news is, all of these foods are scrumptious.

Thinking of your future health

We’ve learnt that eating chocolate can reduce feelings of stress.  When stress is present for a period of time it can actually speed up the ageing process in our bodies as it ages the cells that make up our immune system, decreasing their ability to divide or replenish.  I don’t recommend that you solely rely on dark chocolate to reduce feelings of stress but a cup of hot dark chocolate every day will certainly pick you up. Having a positive attitude, socialising with others and plenty of outdoor exercise is the ultimate tonic.

We’ve also learnt that eating dark chocolate is extremely beneficial to our health and our ability to renew and repair. But, like everything in life, moderation is key and should be mixed with a balanced diet.

Happy Easter!

Source [1] The Times March 2019


Tech: The Future of Personalised Health Care

👤 🕔 March 1, 2017 Comments Off on Tech: The Future of Personalised Health Care

Change My Face is now working more with start ups who are accessing our age progression software to flag up warning signs about health and for users of their tech to seek out healthier lifestyles as well as screening.  CXA, Connexion Asia   are unlocking wellness in the workplace with a new app that allows users to input information about their health and see their future selves, as well as having access to screening and information.

Image result for cxa app

We are also working with the University of Tokyo which also has funding to develop an app to raise awareness of preventable diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease in Japan – with the emphasis on prevention being better than cure. Personalised medicine, I understand from them, is the future. Stats from the NHS show thousands of people in England could avoid an early death from one of the five most common killers: Cancer, Heart Disease, Stroke, Lung Disease and Liver Disease. A child born today should expect to live a longer, healthier life than ever before. Yet, a Government report, Living Well for Longer (PDF, 1.6Mb), blames the top five killers for more than 150,000 deaths a year among under-75s in England alone and the Department of Health estimates two-thirds of them are entirely avoidable.

This chart shows the premature death toll by illness. Heart disease and stroke are together referred to as cardiovascular disease.

We are fascinated by what lies ahead with regards to modern healthcare such as this futuristic doctor’s surgery innovation project in San Francisco. Could the days be numbered for our outdated doctor’s surgeries? Technology will ultimately supercede and luckily for us the more information we have at our fingertips, smartphone, accessible doctors etc the more pro-active we can be with our own future health.

 

Forward’s rethinking of the doctor’s office includes lots of touch screens, white walls, and wood accents.

Rachel Metz writes…imagine if your doctor’s office was more like an Apple Store mashed up with a fancy gym: a modern white-and-wood aesthetic, replete with fancy gadgets and gleaming touch screens, for which you paid a monthly fee to visit as often as you wished.

Forward’s exam rooms are sleek and modern, with a large touch screen on one wall that doctors use to go over patients’ information.

Forward combines a variety of services—you can get help with your high cholesterol, a pap smear, and a vaccine for an upcoming overseas trip—with data gathered both at the office and, via wearable gadgets and Forward’s smartphone app, at home. The clinic has a built-in pharmacy; the first round of any drugs your Forward doctor prescribes is free. And blood tests that can be performed and quickly analyzed on site are included, too, as are any wearable gadgets the doc wants to send home with you. It does not accept health insurance.

Forward founder and CEO Adrian Aoun says the startup wants to change how patients approach going to the doctor. Most people just make an appointment when they’re sick or have a weird rash. But while you may see a doctor once or twice a year, “your body hasn’t stopped caring about its health in between,” he notes. It’s concierge medicine, Silicon Valley style, for $149 a month.

23 and Me DNA Testing

23 and Me provides DNA kits, a simple mouth swab allows you to unlock pre-determined information from your own DNA and find out how your genetics relate to things like abnormal blood clotting, cystic fibrosis or response to certain medications. Those who buy the kit can also see if their body metabolises caffeine quickly or if you’re likely lactose intolerant. 23andMe in the UK believe the more you know about your DNA, the more you know about yourself.

23andme

 

Change My Face Case Study

👤 🕔 May 29, 2019 Comments Off on Change My Face Case Study

Helping the Mexicans save for retirement

Client: Mexican Government / Ideas42

Duration of pilot scheme: August 2018

Change My Face collaborated with Ideas 42, a New York based company who applies cutting-edge behavioral insights to the world’s toughest social problems and the Mexican Government to deliver a pilot scheme to encourage Mexicans to save towards their retirement. This work was supported by the MetLife Foundation.

To comfortably retire Mexicans need to contribute voluntarily to their retirement accounts.  Less than 0.5% of the nearly 40.5 million registered account holders make at least one contribution each year resulting in approximately 41% of elderly Mexicans living in poverty.  A lack of awareness towards the benefits of saving is having a serious effect on their lives and their health.

The Change My Face software raised awareness through messages and through the use of a visual example.  The software used for the pilot scheme featured an aging photo filter software allowing the user to download a current photo of themselves to see an image of their future self together with savings messages.  The messages highlighted the need to make larger and more regular contributions.

The aging software created by Change My Face had an immediate impact.  During August 2018 the number of Mexicans making a one-time contribution towards their retirement increased by 13% and raised the average amount contributed in that month by 1,327 MXN.  This equates to an increase in the total amount saved among account holders in the treatment group by 54%.

Auriole Prince, Founder and Director of Change My Face said: “The aging software developed by Change My Face is hugely connected to behavioral change. Visualizing your future self is so powerful, when we see our future selves we make a connection to them and feel empathy; this helps people make better choices, whether that’s to do with their health and wellness, financial health or just making small changes to feel better. Making favorable changes to our lifestyle choices can transform our futures and improve our physical and emotional wellbeing.  We are incredibly proud to have been involved in this project and to see first-hand how our software can make such an immediate and positive impact.”

This pilot scheme stemmed from the research undertaken from Hal Hershfield, an Associate Professor of Marketing, proving that when an individual visualizes their future self they are more likely to make plans for later life. In Hal’s words: “My research asks, ‘How can we help move people from who they are now to who they’ll be in the future in a way that maximizes wellbeing?’”

Hal Hershfield’s Research Into Emotional Responses Influencing Decisions

Giving people vivid examples heightens their emotional responses. Two strong examples to demonstrate this are: 1) when donors hear direct from a victim they are more likely to give more to charity and 2) the fact that pulmonologists smoke less than doctors who specialize in other areas as they see the effects of unhealthy lungs on a daily basis.  

Hal partnered with Daniel Goldstein of Microsoft Research, Jeremy Bailenson of Stanford and other Stanford researchers with the aim to prove that individuals would change their spending and saving preferences when given a vivid example.  

The exercise:  During this research photographs were taken of the participants and used in a controlled exercise.  Using virtual reality technology all participants entered a virtual environment where they saw a reflection of themselves in a mirror: 50% of the participants saw themselves as they are now and 50% saw their future self with jowls, bags under the eyes and gray hair.  

Following the exercise all participants were asked to allocate $1,000 among four options: to buy something nice now, to invest in a retirement fund, plan something fun or put money into a checking account.  

The result:The participants who saw their aged avatars empathized with their future selves and allocated nearly twice as much money into their retirement fund as the other participants who did not see their future selves.  

After allocating the money the participants who saw only their current image were shown the aged avatars of the other participants. Seeing the aged images of others did not affect their choice of allocating money.  This clearly proves that only when we see our own future self are we likely to favor long-term rewards.

Behavioral Science Findings From Pilot Scheme

Using Change My Face’s software in this pilot scheme, Ideas 42 were able to further their studies into human behavior.  

Behavioral science is the study of how people make decisions and act in the real work.  This study draws from decades of social science research to create a realistic model of how to view people.  The standard approach to decision making is that people gather all the information, consider the pros and cons and make the best choice.  The behavioral approach teaches us that individuals do not always choose the option that is best for them and make decisions with imperfect information. 

Ideas 42 work to identify the subtle but important contextual details that can have a disproportionate impact on outcomes.  Behavioral science proves that context matters and that by asking the right questions is critical and that simple solutions are often available.  

In this pilot scheme Ideas 42 reported that empathizing with our future selves improves savings.  To make retirement feel more vivid there needs to be visualization exercises and goal-setting activities, including labeled accounts, personalized reminders and regular feedback.  Utilizing the software available from Change My Face to show digitally aged photos allowed account holders to see their future selves and prompted them to take immediate action and save for their retirement.

Encouraged by the results of the pilot scheme Ideas 42 adapted and customized a future visualization exercise for the account holders’ own smart phones that linked directly to the retirement savings app.    Exposing the user to an image of their future selves helped them connect with their future selves and overcome the tendency to only focus on the present.  These are the three components Ideas 42 took forward to the field:

  1. Users receive message inviting them to ‘meet their future self’ via a link.
  2. The link opens a web page with an aging filter.  The users are encouraged to take a selfie to see their future self.
  3. An empathetic message appears with the aged photo “How much would you like to save for him/her to live well?” together with a link to the savings page.

Understanding how people react when provided with vivid examples and targeted messages is key to the success of all future schemes helping to improve societies’ health, wealth and wellbeing.

Beauty, skin & ageing

👤 🕔 February 18, 2019 Comments Off on Beauty, skin & ageing

When to start a beauty regime for great skin What about yesterday? Skin is amazing, it has the most important job of acting as a barrier between our bodies and the environment. So, why is it we neglect our skin before it’s too late? Probably because we don’t have a connection to our future selves – the person who will look back at us in the mirror in years to come is a stranger to us. Let’s see what we should be doing and when. We’re exposed to the sun’s harmful rays from the moment that cosy, warm feeling hits our skin for the first time. We know that from birth we need to use protection against UVA and UVB rays but the lure of a bronzed instagrammable body often overtakes the need for healthy skin. As teenage skin can be a little chaotic, this is the time we should start to exfoliate to help reduce the onset of spots and minimise pores. It’s also a crucial time to start the daily routine of cleansing, toning and moisturising. Conveniently, social media filters can eliminate blemishes so maybe an outbreak will go unnoticed to their ‘followers’. In our 20s we should step up the beauty regime and focus on more than just our faces. Lifestyle can have a great impact on the skin, although we feel indestructible in our 20’s, smoking, drinking and diet can affect the skin by accelerating the ageing process, creating a lacklustre palor and deepened wrinkles.

How to boost employee engagement in your Corporate Wellbeing Scheme  

👤 🕔 December 18, 2018 Comments Off on How to boost employee engagement in your Corporate Wellbeing Scheme  

The Independent surveyed 2000 office workers from the UK during the summer of 2018 and discovered that on average an office worker will spend almost 1,700 hours a year in front of their screen and spend around six and a half hours sitting at their desk Monday to Friday.   This inactivity is no good for health and certainly no good for morale or productivity.

 To kickstart a healthy workforce many corporate agendas now include health and wellbeing packages to encourage active lifestyles; these wellness initiatives can include:

  • Discounts for local gyms
  • Walking groups – just 30 minutes spent walking around a business park during a lunch break can make a big difference
  • Group yoga sessions for mindfulness in the workplace
  • Collaborations with other corporate wellbeing providers to bring an array of interesting schemes
  • Healthy lunchtime options to make the workforce more resilient to illness and injury

 So, with all this support available at an employee’s fingertips why are so many not taking their employer up on these initiatives? It’s probably got something to do with the ‘I’ll start on Monday’ attitude.  But what if employees could see their future selves?

Reverse engineering definition [verb].  To examine the construction or composition of an object in order to recreate or improve it. 

Reverse engineering can hold the key to boost the numbers of individuals actively taking part in their organisation’s activities. The Change My Face age progression software when used alongside a wellness strategy will allow employees to see what their future holds for them if they don’t take action now to improve their health.  And if they don’t like what they see, they are likely to take positive steps to reverse the effects.

The Cost of an Unhealthy Workforce

👤 🕔 December 13, 2018 Comments Off on The Cost of an Unhealthy Workforce

The cost of an unhealthy workforce

 It’s no surprise that the most common New Year’s resolutions are those connected to our health and wellbeing.  But these pledges are often short-lived, with old habits returning around the 14th February when irresistible heart-shaped chocolates become the staple diet.  So why are we so bad at sticking to our best intentions?

More and more companies are creating bespoke corporate wellness packages as part of their agenda to encourage workforces to get fit, both physically and mentally.  Unhealthy lifestyles inevitably lead to sick days; around 140 million working days are lost every year costing the UK tax payer over £60 billion, not to mention the significant cost to the business – a cost that could be unnecessary.

Facing the future.  Using the Change My Face app as part of a corporate wellbeing strategy will provide an emotional attachment that can drive positive change.  Allowing employees to download a photo of themselves to see an illustration of what they will look in years to come if they continue to lead inactive lives will get them logging on to your company’s wellness page and looking the other way when that box of Valentine chocolates makes its way around the office.

Team Spirit.  As you’ll no doubt be aware, fit and healthy employees feel good about themselves, they get on better with their colleagues, make smarter decisions, work at a faster pace resulting in a valuable contribution to the workplace.  Investing in the wellbeing of your workforce has so many benefits:

  • Lowers absenteeism levels
  • Increases productivity
  • Boosts morale
  • Reduces stress in the workplace
  • Provides a positive image for your company
  • Fitter and healthier workforce
  • Improves staff retention

Can you afford not to offer such a worthwhile initiative and make it the best it can be?

Behavioural Science helps Mexicans Save More for Retirement

👤 🕔 November 20, 2018 Comments Off on Behavioural Science helps Mexicans Save More for Retirement

An extraordinary 41% of Mexico’s elderly currently live in poverty. Working with Ideas 42, who have had the honor of systematically applying their behavioural science across a major government financial system, which is the first of its kind in Mexico, we have incorporated our ageing software for those using the app to be able to visualise their future selves.

Saving for retirement is a challenge for most people. It feels far in the future, and it’s natural to focus on more immediate financial needs. That’s not to say we don’t recognize the importance of setting up a retirement account and starting to save early, but even with that knowledge it’s easy to be deterred by unpleasant or complicated tasks, difficult decisions, or the multi-step process for getting started.

Result! We were proud to discover that using the aging photo filter increased the number of account holders who made a one-time contribution in August by 13%, and raised the average amount contributed in that month by 1,327 MXN (from an average amount of 3,063 MXN).30 Taking into account the greater number of contributors and size of the contributions made, in aggregate our intervention increased the total amount saved among account holders in the treatment group by 54% (1,675,974 MXN) compared to the control (1,087,422 MXN). Including the aging filter along with savings messages induced not only more contributions, but also much larger ones.

Read the whole report here.

Prevention rather than Cure

👤 🕔 November 9, 2018 Comments Off on Prevention rather than Cure

Three cheers for the NHS. The plan is to place more resources into prevention rather than waiting for the population to succumb to the big diseases (heart, diabetes, cancer etc). This is a great leap forward – I was starting to worry when attending a Science Festival talk last year, one particular panel was discussing new health innovations and how to detect disease earlier, and as if reading my mind, a gentleman in the audience asked how the NHS could help advise people to live healthier lifestyles. The barrage he received back from a GP who is very high up in the NHS, was extraordinary. She was adamant the responsibility did not lie with the NHS to do this, and that if someone could be so stupid as to live unhealthily that it was their problem. Well, as the NHS have finally concluded it has very become their own financial problem.

As the BBC reported, people in England are being told to cut back on alcohol, sugar, salt and fat in a bid to boost the nation’s healthy life expectancy by five years. Health Secretary Matt Hancock is setting out his long-term vision for the NHS on Monday – and the focus is on preventing illness. He says that 10 times more money is spent on treating disease than prevention – which “doesn’t stack up”. The plan also recommends that bosses should do more to keep staff healthy.

Mr Hancock told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme there needed to be a shift in culture and in the way resources are balanced. “For too long the NHS has seen itself as essentially the National Hospital Service, with primary care and GPs round the side,” he said. “I want to see it as the health service of the nation, helping people to stay healthier.”

The plan also includes ambitions to: halve childhood obesity by 2030, reduce loneliness by making “social prescribing”, when doctors or nurses prescribe community activities – more widespread diagnosing 75% of cancers at stages one and two by 2028 use technology to predict patients’ illnesses and target advice at sections of the population.

Go Go Go NHS, we support you all the way.

The Future of Beauty

👤 🕔 September 25, 2018 Comments Off on The Future of Beauty

Today’s choices of skin creams and cosmetics could not be more abundant or confusing. In the past there has been a hit or miss approach to buying new products that sees many of us spending hard earned cash on ingredients that aren’t necessarily the best for our own skin. However, the future of beauty lies in the consumer becoming more in control of what they buy and how they buy it. Personalised cosmetics, apps and technology being used by new brands will allow us to have more knowledge and make better choices when shopping for beauty and skin care creams.

Many new smaller cosmetic companies are being discovered on Instagram and the visualisation of branding and products is helping us to see what would work for us.

Instagram has become a thriving environment for cult beauty brands, with 44% of cosmetics and skincare purchases influenced by beauty brands on social media (source: Facebook IQ). Beauty Futures

In the age of the Selfie, if your images are not altogether perfect you can improve them with countless apps that smooth out wrinkles, and imperfections.

Alternatively, newer brands are challenging this notion of a common ‘look’ that we’re all aiming for and are calling the diversity card. We are of course all different in our own way, after all. Low-cost brand Sleek MakeUP is challenging beauty standards with its initiative, My Face, My Rules. The campaign aims to defend everyone’s right to wear as little or as much make-up as they want. (BF)

As outlined in the Beauty Futures 2018 report the Future Lab reveals its research into 2019’s beauty trends:

  1. Digital tools are altering consumers’ perception of beauty.

Snapchat and Instagram filters may seem innocuous, but are creating a skewed sense of self, where it is more important to be beautiful online than in real life. Plan your product and marketing strategies carefully to address both aspects of your customers’ personalities.

  1. Non-invasive aesthetic procedures are becoming routine.

Beauty treatments are no longer confined to the dressing table or the spa. Consider how you can become best placed to integrate into this hybrid space.

  1. Beauty consumers are looking for expert influencers.

While dermatologist brands are still popular, emerging science-backed brands need to have a unique point of view to differentiate themselves, and female doctors are becoming a popular voice of expertise.

Beauty Futures 2018 : 22

Age Progression moves back to the future

👤 🕔 September 15, 2017 Comments Off on Age Progression moves back to the future

Having recently met Professor Hassan Ugail at Bradford University we see it is now possible to age progress and regress long term missing persons with a good degree of accuracy. In the past determining how a missing person may look for use in publicity has placed the responsibility on a forensic artist’s personal opinion of how they may look, albeit using reference photos of parents and siblings. By placing the emphasis on algorithms and giving that responsibility to a machine to calculate how a person’s face will age will create a uniform result each time. This does not take away what the forensic artist can do, because the skill and training that a forensic artist has is valid, and there’s a human element that gives a degree of believability, creating a ‘lifelike’ portrait of how the person could look, with updated hairstyles and clothing, and as to date the machine cannot yet do this, but surely this is only a matter of time.

Can we predict time of death?

👤 🕔 September 14, 2017 Comments Off on Can we predict time of death?

There is a discrepency between the human lifespan which say could average 120 years and the human life expectancy which does average 80 years. So, where did the missing 40 years go? Factors such as obesity, smoking, drinking and stress have an effect on our lifespan shortening it – the growing effect of obesity in children and adults means that the ‘big’ diseases will kick in sooner, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Research and data taken from hundreds and thousands of people and analysed shows that drinking too much alcohol is bad for us, but not drinking at all is worse than drinking a glass of wine or beer a few evenings a week. Being uncomfortable is good for us, so being a bit stressed (but not too much), getting cold and hungry kickstarts the body’s system into repair mode. The ever popular 5:2 fasting diet really does work and has recently shown to start reversing symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes. Get fit in your 50’s…it’s the best time for your body and means that if you haven’t exercised massively in your earlier years, you won’t experience so much injury. Lastly, eat cheese, because so far the research has shown that it has not detrimental effect on shortening our lives, good news for cheese lovers around the world.