GARMIN TEAMS UP WITH CHILDREN’S MERCY KANSAS CITY TO KEEP CHILDREN ACTIVE DURING COVID-19
Garmin® International, Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), is working with Children’s Mercy Kansas City – one of the top pediatric health systems in the country – to help support the Children’s Mercy Stay Active Program, a community-based program that supports students’ learning, overall health and development.
Several Kansas City area elementary schools are collaborating with Children’s Mercy Kansas City to bring the Stay Active Program to their students this school year. As part of the Stay Active program, physical activity instructors will deliver engaging, structured activity lessons to 4th and 5th grade virtual classrooms using a video conferencing platform. Parents and kids can rely on their Garmin wearable fitness tracker to support their fitness goals by monitoring step count, activity minutes and more. Participants will also receive text messages on their phone providing words of encouragement and rewards as they meet activity milestones. Parents will be given tips and resources on how to help their children stay active throughout the day.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created numerous challenges for families trying to engage in healthy lifestyles, especially as many students head back to school online. Garmin is excited to support Children’s Mercy Kansas City and continue our mission to help improve pediatric health and outcomes,” said Joe Schrick, vice president of Garmin fitness segment. “The Stay Active program is the embodiment of Garmin’s commitment to provide products and services that help children and parents lead a healthy, active lifestyle.”
Jordan Carlson, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics, Center for Children’s Healthy Lifestyles and Nutrition at Children’s Mercy, is leading the effort: “The school setting is such an essential source of children’s physical activity that moving school education from in-person to online could eliminate over half of their daily physical activity. The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating socioeconomic disparities, which has major implications for long term health, so it is more important than ever to provide safe opportunities for children from lower-resourced communities to engage in active lifestyles.”
Through the Children’s Mercy Center for Pediatric Innovation, Garmin and Children’s Mercy have formed a strategic alliance and are collaborating on several projects to help improve pediatric health outcomes, such as the use of Garmin wearable fitness trackers to monitor activity levels for Type 1 Diabetes patients. The biometric information from Garmin wearables assists clinicians during telehealth appointments and could someday help drive predictive analytics capable of identifying risk factors for diabetic events before they happen.
Additionally, Garmin and Children’s Mercy are working on research projects to profile the accuracy of these biometrics when worn by children. This validation will support the use of Garmin wearable fitness trackers as they provide meaningful endpoints in remote monitoring solutions. The biometric data will be integrated with the Children’s Mercy infrastructure through use of the Garmin Health API and become part of the clinical flow.
Mark Clements, PhD and MD, Endocrinology and Diabetes, has been leading these efforts: “Remote monitoring is an essential capability for telehealth and chronic disease management. We are planning to integrate Garmin devices into diabetes care to help improve our ability to predict future clinical outcomes and to help us provide more personalized treatments. It is the future of health care, and we are excited to be working with Garmin to bring these resources to our patients and families.”
Dr. Carlson’s Stay Active Program is also funded by a grant from the Claire Giannini Fund.