My Body, My Data, My Health
Whether it is a Fitbit in your pocket, a Hexoskin undergarment on your torso, or a microchip inserted in your brain or pancreas, the amount of data (literally) coming out of your body is set to take off. Our ability to keep track of some of the goings-on in our bodies has expanded rapidly in the last 12 months and the pace of advancement will only increase.
It is a very exciting time for those who like to know what’s happening inside. We spend lots of time pouring over tools such as Google Analytics and Webtrends, are we at the dawn of a version of Google Analytics for the body?
The answer is clearly yes and it is coming fast. The technologies and devices that will help us to compile, combine and coordinate this information will eventually be the most sought-after and “must-have” apps. Today, you track your Fitbit activities on Fitbit’s website and you track your jogging progress with Cardio Trainer (or the like). Moving forward, we will get much more important information—about our blood sugar levels, our heart health, our thyroid activity (or over activity) and on and on. This information, in order to be manageable and actionable, will need to be compiled and simplified for each of us to make real sense out of it.
Hooking your physician(s) in with your data will be another exciting piece of the puzzle. Submitting updates directly into your electronic health records (EHRs) will allow for a far more complete medical history. Our physicians will have a much fuller picture of how our systems are working over longer periods of time, and they should be able to identify healthy and unhealthy patterns more easily.
Think of the warning bells that can be sounded by devices that effectively monitor internal organs and their functionality. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to your health—ignorance of your body is just that, ignorance. What we don’t know, can hurt us, so once these tools become more commercially viable and can more effectively speak to each other, the ability to self-monitor will be an advancement no one can or should ignore.
How we make sense of all the new data, how we use it to inform our decisions on a daily, monthly and yearly basis—all of that will come once we start to gather and organize the data. Apps will help, healthcare providers will help, trainers will help. In the meantime, start eating better and exercising more…the monitors are coming! And it will be a great day.