Data Driven Society

Will the wearables make the world more active?


The need to tackle the obesity problem is just the same as fighting the worlds hunger. The question is how. Let's see the input of technology to this case.

Can technology turn
the trend of obesity
in the direction of sport
and health?

Did you know that there are more people suffering from obesity than from hunger? The problem is more serious than it seems at first. Overweight might cause the depression and low self-esteem, which results in lower quality of life, mental health, educational achievement and employment prospects. The epidemic can be disastrous. To understand the size of problem have a look at statistics from World Obesity Federation:

We collect
more data

Big Data and Internet of Things will have a large impact on solving many health-related problems. In the example of obesity trending, finding a solution should start with finding the cause. In his speech on Ted conference, Peter Attila assumed that an over-weight might be not the cause of diabetes or insulin resistance. Controversy, obese might be a symptom of diseases mentioned. Thanks to the development of technology (for instance, using wearables), scientists and doctors will have full access to the patients' health state in real life making research faster, more accurate and efficient. More details about Revolution in Health data collection is described in our previous article (click here to read).

Collected data from wearables, like watches and other sensors, will be notified straight to the owner as well. A person will be in charge of his or hers calories consumed and spent, exercise needed to stay healthy and even motivated to maintain healthily. The plates and glasses will share the information of containing fat, vitamins, minerals to, for example, the phone making fast calculations to provide the outcomes of consuming this food. At the end of the day, the person will get personalized estimation of how to stay fit and healthy doing usual think as today.

According to the research conducted by Endeavour Partners, in January 2014 every tenth American over age 18 owned an activity tracker. As reported by Statista, the market on activity gadgets is growing. By 2018, wearable technology market will be worth some 12.6 billion U.S. dollars, comparing to 5.16 billion U.S. dollars in 2014. Devices in the future will include products such as Google Glass and the iWatch as well as other medical technology. For example, Nike launched Nike+ Fuelband and app to track and motivate physical activities of their customers. The app alerts users to make a movement if they have been sitting for a 45 minutes - "win an hour" by moving at least 5 minutes. Moreover, such approach increases efficiency at work. This technique was designed when Nike analysed a data coming from users' wearables providing with the insight that even when people tend to exercise regularly, they spent 8 hours a day sitting at their working place.

There are different strategies to motivate people to move more and take care of their health conditions. The data from various stepometer apps, like Fitbit, shows that users take 43 percent more steps a day they before they have downloaded an app. This social phenomenon is called Hawthorn effect, in which people perform better when being observed. Another motivating side is that whenever you get minimum steps a day, phone notifies you that "The goal is achieved!". Users feedbacks claim that they try to hit the goal daily to feel that they have won themselves.

However, different motivation techniques work for different people. Therefore, apps are connected straight to the social media enabling users to share their achievements with the world online. Moreover, if this is not inspiring enough, there is an application called Pact. This app rewards healthy behavior in the form of cold, hard cash — 30 cents to $5 a week on average. Users name their activity goal and the amount they are willing to pay if fall short of the goal. Checking in at the gym, using a GPS to track runs, and earning cash from other members who fail to reach their objects is always motivating.

Will it decrease
the obesity level?

Future gadgets will be irreplaceable for people who need to look after their nutrition and amount of exercise. Wearables will help doctors to improve the performance of patients and to determine the best suitable treatment. What is more, collected data will open new horizons for new advanced nutrition formulas tailed with personal needs. It can be one of the keys to solving the problem to feed future mega-cities with millions of inhabitants.

Insight Box

Technologies go Smart for every industry, including health sector. First real challenge will be to change the direction of global obesity trend from growth to decline. Implementing different motivation techniques, app and wearables will inspire people to do more sport and maintain their health conditions. Moreover, collected data will transform the medical research. Finally, creation new advanced nutrition formulas basing on the data from the patients' gadgets might draw new light on food manufacturing in the future cities.

#wearables #sport #motivation #fightingobesity #iot #internetofthings #smarttechnologies #internetofeverything #digitalisation #future

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About the category

Nowadays humanity produces twice as much data as through all the time till 2007. Existence of massive volume of structured and unstructured difficult to process data is the game changer. Big Data is a statistical instrument with potential to improve world’s operations, increase its speed, make more intelligent decisions, and, consequently, forecast the future.

Punda investigates how Big Data influences on our daily life and business environment, which obstacles does it bring and ways to overtake them.

Eventually, world turns to data-driven society. It is essential to know how to operate and use the data we produce.

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