Some may wonder why my regular 5 to 8 daily posts suddenly dried up 4 days back (and some may not which is all fine as I prefer to focus on tech stuff and not my own daily lessons in life). For the second time in 32 years I was hit by an extreme viral infection (only detected by high fever and blood tests). This time around though I was wearing a Fitbit with 24/7 heart rate monitoring, so I've got some tech stuff to dig into now while I recuperate.
The future of wearables is not just about tracking fitness, it also needs to be about early detection and identifying disease and illness from the patterns detected, whether at rest or while exercising. There is a wealth of big data sitting with Garmin, Fitbit, Polar, Jawbone, and others which include current heart rate, resting heart rate, perspiration, temperature, altitude, sleep patterns, state of activity, etc. Matching this to known patterns over time could be extremely useful.
In my own case I can now see the small dip in resting heart rate just before the symptoms struck (about 6+ hours). And if I had bothered (I did not feel like it later on) to confirm by Saturday I would have seen the alarming increase in my resting heart rate (I was in bed and not walking around) and may not have waited to Sunday to check into hospital (I have an idiosyncrasy in that I rarely know when I'm ill as my heart rate is usually on the higher side and if I have a rare headache it is usually from blocked sinuses and hayfever).
The question though really is, there is all this health data tied up in proprietary databases, and the data is getting better and better, but is there any serious drive towards it being available for mass analysis? Fitbit for example does not even have an "activity" classed as "illness" where we could enter details eg. flu, cold, etc. It just seems such a waste of data collection and not at all in the public good? In many industries the cost of doing business includes either a payment to some central fund (levy like tobacco or fuel) or otherwise the provision of statistics. How come the fitness tracking market does not have to contribute anything except income tax? Health and fighting disease should be a public priority and we should all be standing together, not separating around profit and locking others out. I know there are some initiatives like Achu, which I just deleted now as it gave zero indication to me despite me sharing my data to their app.