Disruptive Health Technologies

The U.S. pays more for health and health care than any other industrialized nation but consistently falls short on actual health status.1 At the same time, affordable, widely available and empowering new technologies are poised to advance health and well-being in ways that were once thought improbable. Canyon Ranch Institute is embarking on an effort to use and evaluate disruptive health technologies, and to prove best practices that can be successfully replicated through culturally competent, health literate methods.


Technology is changing our lives. In the area of health and wellness, new technology offers enormous potential to help more people from all sectors of society live happier, healthier lives. Canyon Ranch Institute is working to identify existing evidence-based disruptive health technologies such as fitness wearables and apps, and to create new ones that empower people to take charge of their health and well-being and improve health outcomes.

To advance our mission, CRI is focusing on:

  • Identifying, developing, and proving best practices in the use of disruptive health technologies that can be successfully replicated across diverse communities through culturally competent, health literate methods.
  • Catalyzing the possibility of optimal health for all people due to the use of disruptive health technologies.
  • Striving to become a recognized global leader in developing best-practice public health models and partnerships that incorporate disruptive health technologies.

How We’re making a Difference

Canyon Ranch Institute is using and exploring disruptive health technologies to help our partners and the communities they serve improve health and well-being in a number of ways:

  • Using web-conferencing video solutions for more effective remote meetings, bringing together our partners from around the nation to continually develop and define best practices.
  • Conducting a pilot project with partner Urban Health Plan in the South Bronx, NY, using the Misfit Shine device to measure physical activity of their patients who are participating in CRI programming.
  • Designing and conducting a pilot project with CRI partner Berkshire Health Systems to evaluate the physical activity of participants of CRI Life Enhancement Program at BHS using Fitbits.
  • Creating and implementing a cloud-based portal to collect health, fitness, and wellness data from disruptive health technology devices such as wearables. This will allow for in-depth analysis of real-time health measurements of participants from around the world.


Canyon Ranch Institute always includes an evaluation of the health outcomes associated with each of our programs and partnerships. As data become available from our use of disruptive health technology, we will share that information via scholarly publications, presentations, and here on our website.

¹ The Henry Kaiser Family Foundation. Health Care Costs: A Primer – How Much Does the US Spend on Health and How Has It Changed? 2010.

Disruptive Health Technologies Advisory Group

CRI’s has brought together experts from academia, research, non-profits, and industry to provide guidance on the use of disruptive health technologies to improve health and well-being. The group includes:

Ted Vickey, Chair Senior Advisor Disruptive Health Technology Canyon Ranch Institute
Anthony Wall Director of Professional Education American Council on Exercise
Brian Carlson Director Patient Experience Vanderbilt Medical Center
Michael Soule Senior Vice President The Virgin Group
Stephen Yang, Ph.D. Professor SUNY Cortland
Tom Blackadar CTO FitLinxx
Bryan O’Rourke President Fitness Technology Council
Kristin Schneider, Ph.D. Professor Rosalind Franklin University
Juan Pablo Risso Founder Think Make Lab
Melissa Johnson Principal  MJX Global Health Works
Lee Jordan  Founder  Fullest Living, Inc.

CRI is always open to learning about potential new partnerships and approaches to including disruptive health technologies in our work. Please contact us at