At CES this year, attendees and onlookers loudly (and pretty proudly) deemed 2013 the year of the Quantified Self. The CEA reported 40 percent growth in the digital health footprint, and the show floor was bursting with gadgets and people. From med tech, smart sports equipment and anti-aging sensors, to wearables and real-time monitoring, there was one theme they all had in common: Give us the data to help get us healthy. We’re in the age of the consumerization of healthcare and the masses are coming to understand what we at WellnessFX were founded upon – if you have the data, you can influence the outcomes.
It’s about finally putting your health data in your pocket.
Because of digital and mobile growth and innovation, entrepreneurs and tech giants alike have never been so poised and hungry to transform healthcare. The shift and increased focus in innovation is churning out tons of solutions in preventative care, early detection, and patient care – whether you’re in the doctor’s office or from the comfort of your own home. “From games that reinforce healthy behaviors, body sensors that let people take
more responsibility for their health, and revolutionary programs employers are implementing using digital health, real-time medicine monitoring,” reported CEA.
This year’s shiny ponies are also all about connecting. Connecting clinicians with patients, devices to bodies, and friends to friends to even strangers, with the biggest underlying connection of all: A person to their data. Remember when treadmills with TVs bolted onto the front were the latest in fitness innovation? This is not your mama’s exercise Betamax. These gadgets are meant to empower you to rewrite your health story. Among the goodies that made their debut (or at least sustained some hang time) at CES this year were
- Activity trackers: Epson’s Pulsense records your heart rate, Movea’s G-series claims to be the most accurate fitness tracker in the world. Well-known Garmin announced the Vivofit which boasts not having to be charged for up to a year, and Sony announced Core. On top of activity tracking, also let’s you create “life bookmarks.” (We weren’t sure what those were right away, either)
- Elegant wearables: CSR’s Bluetooth Smart Jewelry, which combines smart LEDs with “glanceable” notifications, and Netatmo’s UV-monitoring June Bracelet (not a bad idea, considering an astounding one billion worldwide are deficient in vitamin D)
- Med devices: Reebok’s concussion detector, MD Lives’ medical scopes, and a brain-sensing head band are said to be available later in 2014
- Smart watches: The LifeBand Touch answers phone calls and reads smartphone notifications, Razer’s not-as-pricey-as-the-other-guys’ Nabu smartband, and the Pebble Steel (which could also be argued as a candidate for the elegant category)
In the wake of this digital deluge, we’d be remiss if we didn’t bring to light that gadgets are only part of the solution. One size does not fit all, as we know from personal systems biology – it’s why we test so specifically and across a range of panels. Everyone’s internal makeup, just like their exterior, is unique. Everyone holds their own set of individual biomarker stats and resulting risk factors. Gadgets do, however, complement the overall picture. When combined with comprehensive lab testing and the creation sustainment of healthy habits, it pieces together the puzzle to unlock total body health, especially for those participating in their New Year’s resolutions. (btw, how’s your Lift Quantified Diet going?)
Not sure which app or gadget to test and invest in? Let’s start here with some simple ways to just get moving. Cheers to your healthy 2014.
The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.