The Future of Wellness

Posted in: behavior change, habit design, health, human behavior- Sep 22, 2011 No Comments

Above image courtesy of QuantDoctor.com, @PaulAbramsonMD

LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman is noted for his theories surrounding Web 3.0, which combine our real identities with the massive amounts of active and passive data we are generating. Amazon, for example, can make smart recommendations to you based on what you buy and what people with similar shopping experiences buy. Now, imagine a system that operates like that around your health that will make the world healthier as more aspects of our lives are tied into the platform. [Source: TNW]

A snapshot of my physical activity as recorded by BodyMedia

I have become increasingly active and interested in the realm of habit design and the role technology can play in behavior change. I’ve been going to the Habit Design Meetups and the Quantified Self Meetups, and recently attended the Medicine 2.0 conference and the Venture Innovation Program Symposium on Digital Health: “Interactions, Games, & Incentives in Healthcare” (woo! #mouthful). And while I swore I wouldn’t go to one more event with “2.0” in its title, I’m really bummed to miss the Health 2.0 Conference.

This is such an exciting movement—and yes, I’ll call it a movement. It’s a multi-faceted movement—like tributaries all feeding into a major river—the river of wellness (visualize the Mississippi River). Its disciplines include neuroscience, psychology, game design, and mobile technology (to name a few) and its outputs are limitless—from changing how doctors interact with their patients to helping you make that meaningful change in your life.

The common thread is data and using that date for self-awareness, insight, customization, and motivation.

My one red flag: as more and more data is gathered on our activities, lifestyles, and health, there is a greater opportunity for that data to be used against us. Health insurance companies being the most obvious.

My hope is that the people at the forefront of this movement will be prescient enough to name the cons while prosthelytizing the many many great pros.

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