Weekly MaxWellness - 4/11
The absolute latest in wellness, from #wearables to #mhealth.
What you need to know this week in the world of wellness, compiled by our in-house mobile wellness geek extraordinaire, Taylor Pechacek. If you want this automatically delivered to your email address once a week, go ahead and subscribe here.
- Digital health funding reached nearly $700 million in the first quarter of 2014,according to a Rock Health report that only looked at companies that raised more than $2 million. The total funding this quarter grew 87 percent compared to the first quarter of 2013.
- An Indiegogo campaign for a gorgeous piece of wearable tech, shown off in a slick video with some great visuals. It’s called the ‘GoBe’ and it does everything a Fitbit can but so, so much more. Using Healbe’s “Flow” technology – pressure and impedance sensors mixed with an accelerometer – the device is capable of reading glucose levels through your skin to give an accurate calorie count of everything you’ve eaten, against all the energy we’ve burnt.
- Now, a survey by Willis North America’s Human Capital Practice (a unit of Willis Group Holdings) offers more support for Parry’s position. Gathering input from 900 employers, the study found that 61 percent listed employee health habits as their top health cost-control challenge. Should the health insurance link to the worker be broken, those habits would be extremely difficult to influence.
- For the Quantified Self movement to become truly useful, our gadgets will have to move beyond the novelty of gratuitous behavioral data, which we might call a ‘first degree of meaning.’ They’ll have to address a second degree of meaning, where self-tracking helps motivate people toward self-improvement, and a third degree of meaning, where people can use data to make better choices in the moments when a decision is actually being made. We’re moving closer to those goals, but we’re still not thinking rigorously about the challenges involved. So let’s start.
- We are moving into an era of data-driven, crowdsourced, participatory, genomics-based medicine. Just as our bathroom scales give us instant readings of our weight, wearable devices will monitor our health and warn us when we are about to get sick. Our doctors — or their artificial intelligence replacements — will prescribe medicines or lifestyle changes based on our full medical history, holistic self, and genetic composition.
- Unfortunately, it's everywhere. Hospitals, clinics and doctor's offices all keep close tabs on their information – as do departments within the hospital or health network. Digital health devices and services silo their data, and let's not even talk about EHR vendors. In short, everyone in healthcare these days has control over a certain subset of data, and they're not into sharing.