Data produced by wearable devices are providing users with a new view on how they can maintain a healthy lifestyle.
What is your ideal vision of health and how do you measure it? Whatever metric you may use, it’s likely a different standard than the person standing next to you. Over the years, people have counted calories and reps to benchmark and compare their relative fitness, but as our understanding of health has evolved, there are more and more stats to track. Thankfully, with an explosion of wearable technology and mobile apps, much of that work has moved from manual entries in notebooks and spreadsheets to a level of automated tracking.
In fact, we’re at a point where our devices are not only able to seamlessly monitor a wider range of activities and behaviors from sleep and steps to stress, but make sense of that data though meaningful stories and visualizations, supporting us on our individual journey to healthier living. This trend of Holistic Tracking is featured in PSFK Labs‘ Future of Health report, further exploring the devices, metrics and visualizations that companies are using to educate consumers and help them actively manage their health.
While the demographics of the global market are continually expanding and becoming more diverse, one unifying factor in the quest for greater health is the relationship between access to information and behavior change. In a 2013 study from Pew Research, 46% of people who tracked their health say that this activity has changed their overall approach to maintaining their health or the health of someone for whom they provide care.
In a conversation with Travis Bogard, Jawbone’s VP of Product Management & Strategy, he noted, “We see this huge gap that exists between intention and action ‑‑ what people think they’re doing, and what they’re actually doing ‑‑ and I think the transparency of seeing that starts to help people understand what their patterns are, and where can they make adjustments to live the life that they really want to.”
As brands and healthcare providers look to engage consumers around the Holistic Tracking trend, the PSFK Labs’ team suggests considering the following questions:
- What are the next wave of personal metrics that are going to be essential for maintaing good health?
- How do we move from historical tracking to predictive warnings, and what lifestyle behaviors should be the focus?
- How do we standardize the data being gathered and make it shareable with the wider healthcare system?
- As this data is shared with insurance companies and providers, how do we ensure that consumers maintain ownership and receive greater value?
- What new services will be needed to connect and analyze a wider range of data sources, and deliver deeper meaning?
- How can we tap into “in the moment” achievements or long-term goals to support consumers on their goal to better health?
With the help of our partner Boehringer Ingelheim, PSFK Labs has released the latest Future of Health Report, which highlights the four major themes and 13 emerging trends shaping the evolving global landscape of healthcare. To see more insights and thoughts on the Future of Health visit the PSFK page.
Contributed by: Wesley Robison
Images via: Utest