Author: Andrew Lee
With the rise of wearable technology, tech companies like Apple and Fitbit have access to unprecedented data about our health. They collect information such as sleep patterns, heart rate, and daily activity levels that could create a powerful public health tool.
By utilizing this data, they could help protect people from various health issues, such as obesity and diabetes. In this article, we look at the potential applications of this data and how it can improve public health.
How Can your Data Help to improve Public Health?
Digital health solutions may better capture the factors that affect public health by considering social and community issues. Several global health models currently use data from activity trackers and other digital sources for the entire society.
Companies like Apple or Fitbit offer reports that, for instance, highlight the areas where individuals exercise the most. The location of a cell phone can be useful for showing the map of epidemic outbreaks. These tools and data may be extremely helpful to the people and organizations in charge of conserving and enhancing human health.
Public health practitioners have benefited for generations from compiled health data representing factors affecting the entire population. It enabled them to implement basic changes that positively influenced people’s lives.
Numerous problems with public health still exist, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. However, we now have new tools, such as big databases of health data and powerful AI methods. It may be possible to effectively handle these enormous difficulties by utilizing available resources to improve health-related technologies.
Community and social data use in digital health solutions face numerous challenges. Some users may have privacy concerns when sharing data with businesses or public health organizations. To overcome these obstacles, it may be necessary to create open-source standards for data management transparency or ensure that individuals have control over when and with which agencies their data is shared.
Now, those who tend to buy digital health goods are probably wealthier and, as a result, healthier. This is consistent with historical trends where new technologies, like computers, initially serve a small group of people before becoming more widely available.
The next stage for digital health enterprises could be a greater desire to look beyond a personalized idea of health and collaborate with public health organizations to legitimately claim that they are improving people’s health. By doing this, digital health solutions have the potential to positively impact a far wider segment of society. This also includes people who don’t wear wearables.
The implications of wearable technology for public health are clear. By utilizing the data collected from these devices, tech companies can help protect people from various health issues. It’s important to recognize this potential and for tech companies to take the necessary steps to ensure that this data is used responsibly and ethically. With this in mind, let’s all work together to ensure that wearable technology is used as a powerful tool for public health.