When I speak about future technologies, I am often asked how these Star Trek-style gadgets are even relevant for everyday health? The reality is that this technology will likely be a big part of your life one day very soon.
Tomorrow’s availability of the iPhone 6 from Apple, pre-loaded with iOS 8’s Health app, should be in the sights of all people who care about their health. First, let’s summarize the new technology that has been talked about by experts and futurists for a long time but is now actually here – and tangible.
The new Apple Watch (available in early 2015) will undoubtedly go through the usual “new sector blues” of leading technology, just like the first iPhone did. But that will rapidly change. Apple’s Health app for iOS 8 gathers personal health information from a diversity of health tracking apps. These data points include heart rate, calories burned, sleep patterns, and blood sugar and cholesterol levels. The Apple HealthKit, when it becomes available, will let the user share this information with their physician and other healthcare practitioners.
With integration of more than 10 sensors, including 2 infrared sensors, Apple’s new smartwatch and iOS allows you to know exactly how much time you spend standing, sitting, walking, working out and everything in between. And with the ability to “plug & play” with other wearable devices that collect health data – such as Fitbit and the iHealth wireless suite – you can also track your weight, steps, blood pressure and even your medications. All these features highlight the growing trend towards daily monitoring of one’s health and fitness signs.
Apple now allows you to integrate all of this information in one place, under your control, on your device.
But the problems is – this doesn’t actually change our health in any way. It just measures it. That’s it. So the real question is, “How do we take that data, interpret it, and create meaningful action to change our health trajectory?” How do we use this data to change our future health?
And this is where the future of health lies. Apple, along with its competitors, will be pushing forward with technology, but the real change in health comes when we can create real-time change in our health status and work towards reducing our risk of disease and improving our quality of life.
Now for the good news – there are apps already starting to come out that can do just that.
ph360 is a new technology backed by a strong medical board and evidence-based research that takes personal health data, such as that gathered by Apple’s new devices, and suggests specific foods, a precise exercise plan, and other health choices for each user’s body, based on instant feedback.
Emerging apps like this, alongside wearable devices and data collection software like Fitbit, Nike and Jawbone – and solid progressive platforms from Apple, Google, and Samsung – are pioneering a major shift in how healthcare is practiced and how interventions are prescribed. The long awaited shift towards a Personalized Health approach, where each individual is able to take ownership of their health and future, has finally arrived.
So the real question is not, “How are these technologies going to be relevant?” Instead, it is, “How can we utilize the amazing personalized insights and data from these technologies to create simple, actionable, effective change for our own health and that of our communities and our nations?”
Learn more about this on Youtube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGqrTNQm6aU.
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