Personal Healthcare & Data

sensewear

Advertising Age has a summary of the best Health & Wellness products  at CES09. I have been fascinated by the industrial and interaction design work, done by my friends from Carnegie Mellon (Ivo Stivoric & Chris Kasabach), at BodyMedia. The product has developed significantly since the early days in 1999 where they were focused on the initial design and consumer adoption. It’s great to see the development of a multi-focused products built on similar technologies with offerings for: research; clinical applications; personal fitness; and club-based fitness. But it looks like there is an explosion of competition at CES.

polar-ft80 Since I suffered a heart attack in 2006, I’ve been thinking about buying a heart rate monitor (the meds now keep my heart rate artificially low). I’ve been thinking about purchasing a Polar FT80. It’s probably feature overkill, but the device and user experience is beautiful. I am curious about the integration to Polar Personal Trainer supports the software+services development and business models (it’s too bad that Polar hasn’t completely opened their API to support other applications like TrailRunner).

fitbit-inhand Fitbit, which launched at the TechCrunch50, was the category winner at CES. They are a wellness tracker. It tracks data about a persons activities including calories burned, sleep quality, and distance travelled (the calories burned and sleep quality must be interpreted numbers). It’s a great concept, that is similar to BodyMedia’s GoWear science of tracking your galvanic skin response, acceleration, skin temperature and heat flux.

It’s the data, stupid

There is a lot of focus on big when it comes to health care. HealthVault and Google Health are big solutions from multi-billion dollar companies. (Wow, I think the Polar RT80 connects to HealthVault, it’s not explicitly listed but I’m hoping it works). However, I’m wondering if there is a need to focus on individuals. The focus on individuals and individual responsibility can be seen with the appointment of Dr. Sanjay Gupta as the leading candidate for the Surgeon General. What better than a physician with broadcast experience to reach out to promote health and prevent disease for the American people.

With the development of devices like the GoWear, the FitBit and the Nike+Plus, it is possible for consumers to start collecting their own bio-signs. And begin monitoring, analyzing and altering their behaviour. Like the accelerometers have proven with innovative  iPhone interfaces (think UrbanSpoon read about accessing the GPS and accelerometer APIs),  the importance is in the sensors and the data. The Canary Foundation (thanks WIRED) uses simple tests and data to identify cancer at it’s earliest stages. I wonder if the tools around heart rate, metabolism, sleep combined with social networking can be used to change behaviour and alter the courses for obesity, diabetes, heart and blood vessel disease.

What other automated data collection could your personal healthcare devices collect? How could it be used to improve your quality of life? Or reduce your risk of disease?

11 thoughts on “Personal Healthcare & Data”

  1. Hi David, There's also WalkingSpree, a Canadian startup that also does online tracking with the Omron USB pedometer, that is also an accelerometer (in full disclosure, I'm one of the founders). Not only are individuals interested in tracking data, corporations looking to reduce health care costs are providing online health tracking to their employees and essentially are tracking their corporate health data. I think we'll continue to see an increasing interest in tracking health metrics online with even more advanced devices over time.

  2. Organizations like Canadian Medical Association (one of our clients) has online tools that allow patients to submit data like blood pressure and receive feedback. This approach has multiple benefits for both the medical professionals and the patients. Personally I see so many ways the medical world can utilize digital technology, starting at least with digitalizing records. The thought of paper-based records scare me – afterall, your health record is one of the most important files in your life.

  3. Organizations like Canadian Medical Association (one of our clients) has online tools that allow patients to submit data like blood pressure and receive feedback. This approach has multiple benefits for both the medical professionals and the patients. Personally I see so many ways the medical world can utilize digital technology, starting at least with digitalizing records. The thought of paper-based records scare me – afterall, your health record is one of the most important files in your life.

  4. Hi David, There's also WalkingSpree, a Canadian startup that also does online tracking with the Omron USB pedometer, that is also an accelerometer (in full disclosure, I'm one of the founders). Not only are individuals interested in tracking data, corporations looking to reduce health care costs are providing online health tracking to their employees and essentially are tracking their corporate health data. I think we'll continue to see an increasing interest in tracking health metrics online with even more advanced devices over time.

  5. Hi David, I was wondering if you&rsquo;d be interested in having live stock quotes on your blog. We just launched a free tool that allows bloggers to have updated prices next to any mention of a company or its ticker, for example – Goldman Sachs (GS 88.78 &uarr;2.33%). We&rsquo;d be thrilled to have David Crow as one of our launch partners. Please click the link below to find out more: <a href="http://www.wikinvest.com/blogger/Wikinvest_livequotes&quot; target="_blank"><a href="http://www.wikinvest.com/blogger/Wikinvest_livequ…</a>" target="_blank">http://www.wikinvest.com/blogger/Wikinvest_livequ…</a></a> Thank you for reading this and have a great day! Marcus marcus@wikinvest.com

  6. Hi David,

    I was wondering if you’d be interested in having live stock quotes on your blog. We just launched a free tool that allows bloggers to have updated prices next to any mention of a company or its ticker, for example – Goldman Sachs (GS 88.78 ↑2.33%). We’d be thrilled to have David Crow as one of our launch partners.

    Please click the link below to find out more:

    http://www.wikinvest.com/blogger/Wikinvest_livequ

    Thank you for reading this and have a great day!

    Marcus
    marcus@wikinvest.com

  7. There's incredible opportunity in the area of healthcare and UX and interaction design. I was fascinated with what Adaptive Path did with their Charmr concept: <a href="http://www.adaptivepath.com/charmr/&quot; target="_blank"><a href="http://www.adaptivepath.com/charmr/</a>&quot; target="_blank">http://www.adaptivepath.com/charmr/</a></a&gt; Peter Merholz and Andrew Crow talked a lot about this at the conference, and I think it's a great example about how improving the UX can make a substantial difference in peoples' lives. The video accompanying the Charmr is also a great exercise in telling a product's story 🙂

  8. There's incredible opportunity in the area of healthcare and UX and interaction design. I was fascinated with what Adaptive Path did with their Charmr concept:

    http://www.adaptivepath.com/charmr/

    Peter Merholz and Andrew Crow talked a lot about this at the conference, and I think it's a great example about how improving the UX can make a substantial difference in peoples' lives.

    The video accompanying the Charmr is also a great exercise in telling a product's story 🙂

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