The rise of digital health and quantified self is what happens when tech meets wellness and fitness
Technological advancement is making computing more powerful, cheaper and accessible. Internet penetration is increasing as well as its speed. Data is getting more affordable and the same goes with storage. All this is accelerating the development of the human race. The more we achieve, the more we find the need to achieve. Inevitably, our human abilities would not be sufficient in enabling us to develop at the pace the times’ demand. As a result, we will slowly see the need to start merging with technology itself. To be honest, it’s already happening all around us: self-driving cars, brain implants, wearable technology, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and life intelligence to mention a few.
In Fitness and Wellness, Digital Health and Quantified Self (QS) are accelerating our journey toward the human-technology merge. Wikipedia defines Digital Health as the convergence of digital technologies with health, healthcare, living, and society to enhance the efficiency of healthcare delivery and make medicine more personalised and precise. Other interesting subs and parallel sectors are as follows: Biotech. Mhealth aka Mobile health, Big Data / Analytics, Wearables, Preventive Lifestyle Medicine e.t.c.
Quantified Self simply means self-measurement. Collecting any information in regards to any area of your life is considered Quantified Self. Getting on a weight scale regularly is QS, tracking how many hours you sleep every night is QS, counting the number of steps you take daily is QS. Technology is increasing what is trackable, as a result, we are finding more ways to solve problems faster in regards to our health, fitness and wellness. Digital Health fused with Quantified Self and a lot of big data analytics is driving this change.
Here are a couple of awesome wellness products enabling Human 2.0 that are currently available in the market:
Oura Ring: The Oura ring does all the things that your fitbit can do and more. It is known to be the most accurate sleep tracker currently in the market. It also tracks your body temperature, blood volume, and movement. Oura Ring costs $299.
Dot: Dot is a period tracking app but apart from that, it can help ladies plan a pregnancy or prevent one. As stated on the website, Dot uses Bayesian regression models to predict your risk or chance of pregnancy by comparing your individual data against large data sets from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other sources. Dot is a free IOS app.
The Jupiter+ Mattress: Jupiter+ is a smart bed, a techified mattress to be specific. The bed has sensors that can track your every move throughout the night, including REM sleep, deep sleep, and heart rate. It can also adjust the temperature of the bed, personalising each side based on how you and your sleep-mate like it. The Jupiter+ Mattress cost $1,099
What we are currently experiencing in the wellness space in relation to tech is a lot of data collection to enlighten us to improve ourselves. What we can see happening, within product and services being created by companies working on ambitious projects, is more data aggregation to mine for even greater insights to solve complex health and wellness challenges.
Proteus is a company making wearables and ingestible sensors to track medication adherence. As indicated on the company page, Proteus Discover is comprised of ingestible sensors, a small wearable sensor patch, an application on a mobile device and a provider portal. Once activated, Proteus Discover unlocks incredible insight into patient health patterns and medication treatment effectiveness, leading to more informed healthcare decisions for everyone involved.
Neuralink is Elon Musk’s neurotechnology company which develops implantable brain-machine interfaces. All the future applications for this technology isn’t unknown yet but, in the short term, it would be used to treat serious brain diseases. Long term, Neuralink’s technology will be used to merge humans with Artificial Intelligence to aid human enhancements.
Liferithms is a human potential development company building a life data aggregator platform that collects life data from wearables and apps to formulate insights to help individuals make better decisions towards becoming more successful while achieving optimum health and total wellbeing. Liferithms discovered that a holistic approach to living provides us with the best possible opportunities to attain success and wellness. Liferithms is developing a content platform and an Employee Wellness Marketplace.
The future of wellness is data-driven and it will eventually get us to Human 2.0, a point where humans merge with technology. Will it be an invasive merge? We can’t confidently answer that now, but companies like Neuralink have shown us that connecting computers to the brain via tiny wires is possible. I believe the end-users will have the final say but I also believe companies like Liferithms will be able to help us make more use of our current abilities via lifestyle optimisation to achieve even more than we thought possible. Regardless, the merge is happening. Human 2.0 is our new reality.
Olu is the Co-Founder & CEO of Liferithms, a data-driven human potential development company enhancing human performance, preventing lifestyle diseases and alleviating burnout in the global workforce. Several individuals achieve personal happiness and success using methods created from his 13+ years of research in behavioral psychology. He raced as a college athlete and later as a pro athlete for Team Nigeria, representing the country at the 2011 All African Games in Maputo, Mozambique.