This post is part of a PSFK Consulting project aimed at providing insight into the Future of Health. Wellness Tracking is one trend of fifteen that appears in our exploration of how technology and access to information play a vital role in the ways that people will understand, manage and receive care whether that’s at home, in hospitals and clinics or in doctor’s offices.
Technologies are being developed to help people self-monitor their health from any location, tracking and delivering basic biometric data and performance statistics. Apps are taking advantage of the sensors in mobile phones to provide real-time, personalized feedback to individuals that they can then share with their healthcare providers and families. When linked to action, this information can help people lead healthier lifestyles.
- Ambient Tracking – Passive tracking technologies allow people to collect important stats without interrupting normal activities.
- Virtual Medical Records – Patients can carry their personal medical record easily, allowing access to medical history at any hospital or health clinic.
- Instant Diagnosis – Frequent updates enable users to pinpoint problems in real-time. Constant updates allow for early detection and prevention.
- Easy-to-Learn – Introducing technology will be easier because it requires less effort and requires a smaller learning curve for users.
Supporting Examples for Wellness Tracking
Wear-Everywhere Device Monitors Fitness Data
The FitBit is a small device that users wear to monitor their levels of activity throughout the day. The device tracks data with motion sensors and wirelessly transmits the results online whenever it is within 15 meters of a base station.
Mobile App Tracks Daily Nutrition
DailyBurn’s FoodScannner application leverages a database of over 200,000 foods to provide users with on-the-go nutrition information. Users simply scan product bar codes using their phone’s camera to pull up relevant entries and submit through the app to catalog their eating habits.
Tracking Your Fitness Routines
RunMeter is an iPhone app that helps athlete track, visualize, share, and improve their workouts. Not limited to running, this app can also be used by cyclists, skiers, walkers and more. Key features include recording routes on a map, announcing progress during workouts, and the ability to export all data for further analysis.
The Google Vitamins concept by Andrew Kim proposes a suite of vitamin pills that are taken when a prompt is sent via email. The system recommends and dispenses accurate dosages according to individual body requirements, along with long-term personal monitoring to help optimize a user’s nutritional intake.
Scale Helps People Improve Weight Over Time
France based Withings has developed an internet-enabled scale that wirelessly transmits weight measurements to computers or connected mobile devices, creating a visual history of individual weight over time. By receiving feedback about their progress, users can get a better understanding of their weight and make adjustments to their diet and fitneess accordingly.
Life-Logging Glasses Capture Everything A Wearer Sees
Sony Computer Science Laboratories has created a device that tracks the movement of the human eye, using the resulting data to position a glasses-mounted camera. These glasses constantly capture video through an embedded camera intended for frequent, long-term use to build a life-logged database of everything in the wearer’s field of vision.
About PSFK’s Future Of Health Report
PSFK’s Future of Health Report details 15 trends that will impact health and wellness around the world. Simple advances such as off-the-grid energy and the introduction of gaming into healthcare service offerings sit alongside more future-forward developments such as bio-medical printing. The report includes concepts for UNICEF based on the trends provided by the world’s leading advertising and design agencies. It is our hope that this report will inspire your thinking and lead to services, applications and technologies which will allow for more available, quality healthcare.