Thanks to digital and mobile health technologies, patients assume a bigger role in addressing their health care needs. Sensors, smartphone attachments and sophisticated mobile applications begin to replace the traditional checkup, tracking everything from heart rate and calories burned to sleep patterns. Self-tracking data make individuals more receptive to behavioral nudges and are used by policymakers and insurance providers to reward healthy lifestyles.
In the future, the quantified self relies on the IoT stack to reach its true potential. The IoT stack consists of:
Local Sensing: At this local level of the IoT, the activity tracker is typically connected to one or a few other devices (smartphone or laptop) for simple actions and data gathering.
Integration: Health activity trackers increasingly supply data not just to you, but to your social network, your physician, your hospital, and your health insurance company—this forms the integration layer.
Analytics of things: Technologies such as “complex event processing” and “event stream processing” bring the data to the analysis capability, where they are processed in real time, and then results are sent back where they are needed.
Cognitive action: Mechanisms of cognitive actionfocus on driving change—taking action based on the results of analyzed sensor data. For instance, the reminder from your fitness tracker to complete your targets nudges action.
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Curious, a platform from the creators of 23andMe aggregates and analyzes self-tracking health data from users. The platform allows people to share questions about what’s going on in their lives, and use these questions to identify a solution or a next step. The platform is currently being beta tested on several communities with serious but rare diseases.