Healthcare // Mobile & Wireless
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6/4/2014
09:06 AM
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Mobile Health Devices: Public Health Trend Spotters?

Health Data Exploration Project sees research gold in mining consumer health data from pedometers, fitness bands, and other gadgets.

Most consumers are willing to consider sharing their personal health data for research purposes (Source: Personal Data for the Public Good report)
Most consumers are willing to consider sharing their personal health data for research purposes (Source: Personal Data for the Public Good report)

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Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
6/4/2014 | 5:31:38 PM
Re: Would you share your personal health data for research?
I think I would -- but I'd prefer having the option of opting in or out than not knowing whether I was doing it or not. It's the lack of control or being taken for granted I don't like, that idea of 'ask forgiveness, not permission!'
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
6/4/2014 | 5:30:14 PM
Re: Garbage In...
That's interesting, @Gary_El. I'm no statistician and have no idea how that fascinating study works, but the theory makes sense. You'd imagine there's some kind of computerized model that could make even the most "off" numbers meaningful, at least en masse. And trend info must be valid - as in, people are walking more/less than in prior times, for example.
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
6/4/2014 | 4:45:48 PM
Re: Garbage In...
Way back in ancient times, when I took courses with statistics as part of the syllabus, I remember some commentary that in certain types of cases, even if each data point was itself invalid, there were advanced techniques available to "normalize" the data so some valid information could be gleaned from it. Computers were young in those days, and the amount of data available then was tiny compared to what these types of devices will make available now and in the future. And, more powerful computers means more powerful numerical methods can be employed today, also. So, there may be something of great worth here.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
6/4/2014 | 10:55:17 AM
Would you share your personal health data for research?
Curious how many people would gladly share their personal health data for research. I think if that was a checkbox on the signup page for a Fitbit or a wireless blood pressure monitor, I'd check it without hesitation if I believed it would help somebody somewhere. No skin off my nose.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
6/4/2014 | 10:36:52 AM
Privacy Implications
Britain's The Guardian has an interesting article on how wearable tech developers are using and selling our data for their APIs. This is an important issue and one that hasn't got enough attention, I don't believe. Some businesses make a sizable chunk of change from personal information users freely give, information that's very private. I don't believe wearers of these devices often recognize what happens to their data once some developers receive it and I want to see more clarity, contracts written in non-legalese, a way for users to freely and easily access their own data at will, and opt-out (or preferably opt in) to research/marketing/any other databases.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
6/4/2014 | 10:08:57 AM
Garbage In...
From what I gather, some devices are notably incorrect in their data. While that may not matter if it encourages someone to walk -- does it really make a difference if they really walk 10,000 steps or 14,000 steps? -- I hope researchers take these big discrepancies into account.
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