Ok, I really am a "techie nerd", after all. Well, at least when it comes to gathering data from things. Given that my career has been built on helping others gather data from many different types of machines / sites, it makes sense that I apply the same logic to my life. This could not be more true than when it comes to my health and fitness.
I have written a few times on how I have used M2M technology to better my health. Basically, I use a variety of applications / sensory gathering devices to let me know just about everything going on with my health, from my caloric intake to the health of my cardiovascular system to how my body is reacting to various exercise.
One only has to look at how many different gadgets / tools I use when I am running. When you combine my iPhone (for tunes / emergencies on trail runs) and water bottle (for runs over an hour), I now accurately look somewhat like this cartoon from Runner's World....
And, not only am I wearing a lot of stuff, but I am creating a ton of data...here is an example:
Withings Pulse: Keeps track of my overall steps throughout the day. It also allows me to track my sleep at night.
Garmin 620 watch: Keeps track of my runs with more data than I could ever want, including my pace, stride length and even how high I move off the ground when I run!...Think I am kidding about the last one? Here is a graph from a recent run:
Blood pressure monitor: Keeps track of my pulse and blood pressure.
Heart rate monitor: Keeps track of my heart rate / calculates VO2 max.
Withings Smart Scale: To record weight and approximate body fat.
To make it worse, I have just as many applications to keep track of things. Sure, there is some overlap. My running applications (RunKeeper) does take my daily weight from my scale's application and it does put in calories burned from exercise directly into my calorie application (FitnessPal). But, neither of these applications easily talks to the Garmin application where all of my running data is!!
So, does the idea of having a single place to put all of this data sound good to me and the millions of others who use them? I think so!
I think Apple and Google's recent move to create a single place for consumers to access all of this data is a great idea. It does not come without its risks, however. The idea of putting all of one's healthcare information in the hands of a big company (especially one like Google that knows how to crunch data better than anyone) is a bit concerning for all of us. However, this may be one time when convenience does override such concerns. I know I am excited for IOS 8!