The ability to discover trends and correlations in our physical movements and health measurements will push analytical tools towards a centralization of tracker data. Funding for this emerging sector is exploding.After Google’s recent unveiling of Android Wear and Apple’s 2013 introduction of the iPhone 5S’ M7 co-processor dedicated to motion tracking, the notion of the “quantified self” has taken an enormous step towards mainstream adoption and acceptance. While previously constrained to dedicated devices, such as the Nike+iPod kits and Fitbit activity trackers, introduced in 2006 and late-2008 respectively, tracking our physical movements and activities at a very granular level will likely become even more pervasive as developers begin to utilize both of these new platforms.
Widespread dissemination of physical data collection hardware is vital to the next crop of startups that aim to harvest and analyze both individuals’ as well as society’s collective physical data-stream. This post will outline what may transpire in the shift from the “quantified self” to the “quantified collective” and which startups stand to benefit from the explosion of wearables.
The Quantified CollectiveQuantified self devices can primarily be characterized as those that are worn or clipped to one’s person and automatically measure (steps, distance, stairs, sleep, etc) and sync their data to a mobile device or computer for additional analysis or viewing. Several great examples surfaced with the Datafox platform include Fitbit, Basis, Jawbone, Withings, Misfit Wearables, Nike, and even Garmin. While there have been several attempts to utilize the enormous amounts of tracker data in a collective fashion (Fitbit’s benchmarking comparison), the vast majority of information has remained siloed away in each tracker manufacturer’s data warehouse.
As additional tracking devices come to market, the ability to discover trends and correlations in our physical movements and health measurements will push analytical tools towards a centralization of tracker data. As a recent digital health report by RockHealth indicates, funding for this sector is exploding. Several startups on the Datafox platform have already begun to explore this new frontier:
To A More Quantified SocietyWhile these startups bring together disparate data sources of individuals, health care policy has yet to allow the comprehensive aggregation of societal health data due to potential privacy ramifications. This combination of society-wide quantified self-data, correlated with electronic medical records and patients’ histories, will be an incredible resource for healthcare researchers after privacy standards are finalized.
Be sure to check out the full Datafox Watchlist which compiles over 15 companies in the quantified self space.
Want more exclusive insights? Signup for the FREE weekly DataFox Digest!