My biggest take away from the videos and articles was that people are now faced with an immense amount of data about every part of their health and life. You can measure how many steps you take, your caloric intake, your pulse and heart rate and any number of things. The one Ted Talk by Gary Wolf explained that the purpose of all the measurements and gadgets was ultimately a simple reason; to know ourselves better. Technology is the modern equivalent of Maslow’s self actualization. We have all these tools at our disposal to measure and quantify each part of our health and the most important reason is to better out health.
I was particularly intrigued by the ability of average people, not just those in the medical field to develop useful and beneficial apps. A patient who has trouble keeping track of medications can use an app that does that for him or her. A doctor who needs assistance with a diagnosis can use an app that is full o photos of the condition he or she may be trying to diagnose. I found a site on the web created with $15 million from the federal government and an initiative by Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard to assist people to develop useful health related apps. Smart app is a site that not only helps people build apps it has multiple apps available that have been developed using the program. I am sure that there are many additional apps that can be developed that will improve people’s lives and health.
Ultimately the development of uses for the data about health makes people active participants in their health and more aware of the control one can have over their body. No longer does the yearly doctor visit determine the state of one’s health, rather people are monitoring and adjusting behavior so that improvements can be made without waiting until the annual doctor visit.