On Tuesday I attended a 1 day conference about digital healthcare organised by MPOW. The keynote speaker, digital futurist Chris Riddell mentioned 3 big trends in his talk. Wearables, virtual reality and border and time are broken. All interesting topics in themselves. But it was the wearables trend that appealed to me.
I have had a FitBit Charge HR for almost 12 months now and I love it. But not as a motivator to exercise more. I love it because as a data nerd I can look at trends over time.
If I have I got to 9897 steps at the end of a night (like I did on Monday) I don’t spend time pacing around the house until I get to 10,000. I haven’t pushed myself to walk more steps. I don’t care if it doesn’t accurately record my steps down to the last step. I look at my daily step count over days, weeks and months to see what patterns I can see. In my case, the days I exercise, generally Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday I easily reach 10,000 steps. The other days not always. So why was it on those other days I didn’t? Or why was I close to 10,000 steps without doing any formal exercise. Was it my mad shopping dash at lunch that did it?
I also find the trend of my resting heart rate fascinating. I can tell the periods of when I was really stressed as my resting heart rate was higher than normal. It has also been fascinating watching my resting heart rate lower over the past 12 months as my fitness level has increased (not as a result of buying my FitBit by the way).
I do not have any formal methods in place for analysing my Fitbit data. I just do it observationally. Maybe I will in the future. Something to think about.
One of Chris’s points was that of a trend towards ‘well care’ instead of ‘sick’ care. That data trends from wearable devices can be used to guide the development of healthcare in the future (or something like that). I find this an interesting concept that I will like to investigate further some day. But for now I am happy to just make personal observations on my own ‘well’ data.