Thursday , October 6 2022

Discovery Vitality is starting to demand that you tag out of gyms as well as into them – to stop fake, no-exercise visits



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Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya at Discovery '

Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya at Discovery's head offices in Sandton (Instagram, @discovery_sa)

  • Rewards program Discovery Vitality is rolling out exit scanning at fitness centers nationwide.
  • The system is intended to foil users who scan themselves to gain points – and leave again immediately.
  • Vitality has not disclosed when the new check will be rolled out countrywide – or how long its members will be required to stay at a gym to be awarded points.

Discovery Vitality, South Africa's largest rewards-based health program, is rolling out exit scanning at fitness centers to ensure its members actually exercise when they visit.

At least some of its members are known to have scanned themselves into gyms before leaving immediately, so gaining points without doing the required exercise.

Vitality CEO Dinesh Govender said exits swipes have already been introduced to a number of Planet Fitness centers.

Also read: These are the 5 things the new Discovery Bank wants to make you do, including paying off your home

He did not disclose how long Discovery will require users to spend in gyms, or when exit-scanning will be fully implemented.

"[The exit scan] It provides us with assurance that gym attendance meets the minimum thresholds we have set for workouts to be considered clinically relevant, "Govender told Business Insider South Africa.

"This is imperative for improving health outcomes."

The Vitality program has proven to be extremely lucrative for Discovery, which also administers the South Africa's largest health insurer, the Discovery Medical Scheme.

Also read: Discovery Vitality made a massive R603 million profit last year – as members fail to use their perks

Vitality is now available in over 19 countries, including the United States and United Kingdom, with additional markets planned.

Hospital admission for Discovery Vitality Gold rew

Hospital admission for Discovery Vitality Gold reward members, compared to non-reward members (Supplied, Discovery)

According to Discovery's 2018 annual report, Discovery Vitality Gold reward members – the highest level – were half likely to be admitted to hospital than non-reward members; those members cost the Discovery medical scheme almost 10% less for admission; and they stayed in hospital for shorter periods.

Cost for life for Discovery Vitality rewards Membe

Cost for life for Discovery Vitality rewards members compared to non-rewards members (Supplied, Discovery)

In total, Discovery Vitality Gold member costs Discovery 80% less than no-rewards members, according to its figures.

Discovery plans to launch a bank in South Africa in the middle of 2019 which will use the same methodology as its Vitality program to improve consumer behavior.

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