Updated on 17 September 2013
Smartphones are at the heart of the 'self-monitored healthcare revolution'
Wearable technology is changing the face of sport. It is also having an immense impact on the field of health and fitness. If there is one word that describes what micro and nanotechnology embedded devices are bringing to a rapidly growing segment of the population, it is ‘empowerment.'
You can only change what you measure. Tracking metrics in the pursuit of a goal is not a new idea. Institutions have long used metrics to gauge strengths, weaknesses, and the impact of changes. Governments monitor unemployment rates, companies monitor profit margins, and schools monitor student grades. But what about measuring yourself? Certainly self-monitoring is not unknown. Athletes have been measuring their training and race performance for years in pursuit of the podium. And bathroom scales have become a mainstay in most people's homes. These are classical forms of self-monitoring. However, today, everything we do generates data. We are on the cusp of a revolution in how we approach our health.
The more we learn about factors that affect our well being, the more we want to know. We are drawn into an information exchange involving elite and casual athletes as well as ordinary people experiencing the benefits of wellness awareness and control. Armed with in-depth details about our physical, mental and emotional risks and condition, we begin to share and compare. Which explains why the new monitoring devices are creating a community of fitness and wellness driven people who may never run a marathon, but who are excited about exploring the intricacies and meeting the demands of the remarkable one and only body they own.
By 2016, over 80 million monitoring devices will be delivering key performance data to dedicated fitness enthusiasts. In the same time frame, sales of wearable technology related to healthcare will pass $2.9 billion.