The Human audit trail has arrived or I should say will arrive in January.  Will we someday all be walking around with a device like this imageclipped to our clothing?  This looks like an item that could be integrated in to one of the online Personal Healthcare Records programs as a next step.  More and more products and software devices are finding their way to the PHR as a common area to store and maintain records of such.  Food information would be entered in to the dashboard of the program. Fitbit is the next fitness bot on the scene. 

Did I get enough exercise today? How many calories did I burn? Am I getting good quality sleep? How many steps and miles did I walk today?

imageFor Dietary reasons, I can see whereby this might help keep track of the calories one has burned for the day as well as how much exercise we had for the day. The interesting part about all of this is that it has a social area built in, whereby you can check up and see how those in a group are doing as well, your friends, etc. that have been brought in to the group, telling you if your friends have met their goals.  As this comes out I can see some areas too where as you might want to determine what you want public and not public information for your friends, as you could in essence get a “blasting” email from a friend asking you what are you doing wrong and how come you are not getting enough sleep?  On the other hand you could get a nice email saying “way to go”. 

image You want to know what you do in your sleep?  Some might, but if you want to know it will tell you how long it took you to fall asleep, how many times you woke up throughout the night and the actual time you were asleep versus the time you were in, just get hooked up with the wristband and it will analyze that for you too.  I don’t know it might be a little too much information for me, but it could be image helpful for those with sleep disorders to help analyze what goes on a night.  Obviously, there will be instances where one’s better sense might suggest detaching the unit, or heck who knows they might want to know what goes on and how many calories one burns during sex, well maybe we might have a true answer now, but be careful with the wristbands or you could strap on the belt holster carrier that comes with the product.  Since it is tracking your walking habits, I guess you might even have a report available there, like how many trips you made during the evening to the bathroom?  Is this phenomena going to have a new jet set of consumers being hooked up before bedtime at night with a wristband or wearing a belt with the holster carrier attached.

Even without the wristband it appears to still be able to monitor some type of physical activity, so perhaps one could think about taping imagethe device to your body if necessary if inquiring minds are interested in these types of statistics if the belt gets in the way.  The battery will run around 10 days too, so it looks like it goes beyond normal battery life of let’s say a cell phone. 

As the technology is released we will all learn more and one potentially dangerous downside I can see though is with the battle for health insurance as I couldn’t imagine something like this not being entertained into use for determining eligibility or discounts on premiums if one were to succumb to some level of sharing this information with the insurance companies as they run their complicated algorithms already and this would give additional information to add to the process of risk assignment, and I say this as so many insurance companies are pushing the employee/employer counselors and their individual wellness programs. 

We are already seeing all kinds of strange programs coming out in this vain and there is no real regulation in some of these areas, like the program where Aetna in a pilot program is paying consumers in a lottery to take their pills for an example. You can read how they are already collecting and receiving prescription data from this former post using some 3rd party reporting services.  Related reading here on the the 2 Hot Words in Healthcare, Whistleblowers and Algorithms. 

Again, not to put a damper on some potentially useful and helpful technology, but there’s nothing out there that regulates how it is used so the the health insurance marketing schema and pursuit for more data, it seem that this could be an item that just somehow slips in there as a potential tool for their use in risk assessment if they had access to such data on each one of us, and it is hard enough as it is to meet the qualifications as it is, and there have been numerous posts here on the blog on that topic of conversation.  let’s just hope the product is marketed properly and not used as a tool for the insurers to add more to their already complicated algorithms for calculating risk. 

Information and software like this can be helpful and useful of marketed correctly and the control kept in the hands of the consumers on where and how it should be collected and shared, through perhaps either HealthVault or Google Health, and not marketed to where it becomes intrusive technology through incentives where there is money to be made with health insurance companies and add more headaches for employers on having to push this type of technology with the promise of getting lower premiums for employees. 

The Fitbit Tracker contains a motion sensor like the ones found in the Nintendo Wii. The Tracker senses your motion in three dimensions and converts this into useful information about your daily activities. The Tracker measures the intensity and duration of your physical activities, calories burned, steps taken, distance traveled, how long it took you to fall asleep, the number of times you woke up throughout the night and how long you were actually asleep vs. just lying in bed. You can wear the Tracker loosely in your pocket or clipped to your clothing, even bras.

imageThe system will work for both Windows and Apple users so nobody appears to be left out here, imagine an entire family of reports and this could also lead to some interesting conversations between parents and kids after the information has been analyzed. The device is going to sell for $99.00, so it’s not going to cost an arm and a leg.  All you need to do is get within range to submit the data, so while you are going about your day, away from the transmitting center, the device will be recording and synchronize all data once you are in range. 

When you get into bed, you slide the Fitbit Tracker onto a wristband that is provided with the Tracker. As you fall in and out of sleep, the Fitbit tracks the movements that your body makes and can tell you how long it took you to fall asleep, how many times you woke up throughout the night and the actual time you were asleep versus the time you were in bed.

Multiple devices can coexist in the same household and can sync to the same base station or multiple base stations. In your house, at a minimum, you will only need to hook up one base station to a computer. Each Fitbit has a unique id, so that data will upload automatically to the proper person's account. 

No, the Fitbit can record detailed daily data (minute by minute calorie burn and sleep data) for 7 days and summarized daily data (daily steps, calories and distance) for 30 days. Once the Fitbit is within range, it will automatically upload any stored data that it has recorded.image

So if all of this has made you a bit crazy, you might want to think about plants, similar process to monitor the health of your plants, certainly much less controversial and could be fun.  With Easybloom you can figure out how to better care for your plants and have a digital green thumb.  BD



Fitbit - Automatically Track  Your Fitness and Sleep

Hat Tip:  MarketIntelNow


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