Over the past few decades, the relationship between health, data and technology has dramatically evolved, and has increased access to information about health issues. As a result, individuals, communities and companies are becoming more knowledgeable and are better equipped to make healthier choices. At the center of this profound shift is what many have referred to as the Quantified Self movement, which aims to use technology to monitor and collect data about various aspects of daily life including behavior, mood, and health. At the same time, the utilization of “big data” is providing academics, institutions and governments with better tools to inform macro-level decisions regarding health policy and access.
Today, wearable personal tracking devices have taken self-monitoring to the next level, allowing individuals to track fitness, rest and eating habits, which may be used to make lasting behavior changes. Building on the insights of early health monitors for diseases like diabetes and hypertension, today’s devices offer such advantages as speed, accessibility and affordability. By using these tools to monitor trends and fluctuations, people might choose to ingest fewer calories, take the stairs more often or coordinate their schedules to get more REM sleep. read more