Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Rise in Consumer Health Mobile Apps

What new health technologies are consumers using, and how do they help? Rajiv Mehta, co-creator of the Tonic Self-Care App, covered this topic at a recent panel discussion on mobile health technologies held in Silicon Valley, in California.

"Self-quantifiers are at the forefront of managing their health, by taking advantage of the latest technologies," said Rajiv. Self-quantifiers, such as those that participate in the Quantified Self, keep track of various aspects of themselves and their lives, with the expectation that they will learn something, and often experiment with small changes in their lifestyle, diet, medications, and more to see if they can improve their health. Some focus on specific issues such as pain and sleep, while others are more concerned about more general conditions such as alertness and mood.

Rajiv went on to give an overview of the thousands of mobile tools available today, each generally focused on some specific issue. There are devices for tracking physical activity such as Philips DirectLife, FitBit, BodyMedia, and Basis; for tracking sleep such as Zeo and WakeMate; as well as improved devices for common measurements such as weight and blood pressure from Withings. And tracking apps like LoseIt! for weight and diet, RunKeeper for exercise, Foursquare for location, Equanimity for meditation, GlucoseBuddy for glucose and insulin, and I'm Expecting for pregnancy.

Health is something we deal with every day, and though it is commonplace, it is incredibly, and increasingly, complex, stressed Rajiv. "The fact is that many people have much more than just a single specific health issue to deal with," he said, noting that Tonic addresses this need for simplifying the complex, adding that there's a need for both tools like Tonic, that provide the foundation for day-to-day self-care, and for rich, focused tools like those above that are used as needed for specific problems.

You can watch the full video here;, Rajiv's talk begins at 42:20.

Or you can view the slides from the presentation here:

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