People have always been fascinated by details of their own lives; and self-quantification for tracking health and fitness proves that. In the past, data recording was time-consuming, requiring a commitment that only very few had the patience for. Nowadays, however, due to the plethora of apps and devices in the marketplace, it has become so much easier to track a range of different data; including blood pressure, diet and sleep quality. Smartphones come equipped with location tracking devices and gyroscopes that can record a user’s location, activity and vital data, and there are several leading wearable technologies which provide the user with a platform to record a wide variety of quantifiable data; these kind of advancements are already extremely useful for those who have chronic diseases.
It is obvious the future of self-quantification is extremely bright; it is a market which has huge potential. different advancements with the amount of tracking devices in the market, it is the internal features of apps and tracking devices where radical change is most likely to occur. One of the biggest advancements could be in ‘goal orientation’. At the present time, goal orientated tasks are often provided to people who are already fit or already have a balanced diet, but people who don’t already exercise or have a balanced diet can be very difficult to motivate and set goals for. Targeting groups over individuals is also likely to become more prominent in self-quantification; our Health Heroes app will do this successfully.
The future of self-quantification could also come in the form of automation, rather than manual input. This has already started to be implemented across different platforms, but we may see it becoming even more prominent in the future. One of the most exciting advancements for the future of self-quantification are emotion sensing devices such as the ‘Feel’ wristband. This particular device can track emotions by analysing a user’s blood volume pulse, skin temperature and galvanic skin response biometric data and then can be paired with a companion app to provide data analytics and suggestions on how to reduce stress and improve emotional state.
In the coming years, there is likely to be a huge shift in the world of self-quantifying health data. The most obvious change will be in regards to quantity; there will be more devices with sensors, more devices connected to a cloud service, and more of a community using these devices. Although self-quantifying data has been around for years, the technology to develop the market has only just come to fruition; which means the market is likely to continue growing.
There are so many possibilities as to what the future of self-quantification could hold. Is it a more thorough and personal approach towards self-improvement, such as monitoring fitness, health and diet? Or will it keep on expanding, until people can track literally everything about their health and lifestyle? Only time will tell.
For more information on self-quantification, read NBC's article on the topic.