Dirk Knemeyer

The future of health tracking

The future of health tracking, November 13, 2014

A short comment contextualizing the prediction could go right here

Yeah, I mean this topic covers a few different factors. On the privacy side, we’ve talked about on previous shows that at this point I’m just kind of … for the moment I don’t care, which is to say that there are none of the companies that I would buy and use the products for. That seems so Big Brother-ish to me that I’m concerned about manipulating or hurting me with data that I give them. I’m just not concerned about that at the moment so I don’t even think about it.

It’s like I’m going to try these things out, I’m going to use these things; they’re going to be a part of my life. Privacy, yeah, if the world seemed more gloomy and grim from the standpoint of these … again, very liberal companies that I tend to buy the stuff of, then it might be a concern, but for now I’m just mailing it in. It’s like, “Uh, it is what it is.” Maybe that will be proven to be stupid if that gets down the road for me or my followers, my children, future generations; but I’m just going to go with the flow for the moment.

To the ecosystem, to the product category, itself, it’s another one as a consumer that I’m really not interested in. Five years ago I think we started to experiment with products like these, really when it was Quantified Self Movement was just getting started, very nascent and trying these things out.

What I’ve figured out from using them, from thinking about them is they’re going to be a curiosity, they’re going to be something just to uber geek or the uber athlete or the uber something until one of two things is realized.

One, either instead of the device being a new device, it is part of your phone or part of your digital device is that you go around the day with. That it’s not this extra clumsy thing that gets in the way when you’re using your computer that has to be taken off in some cases when you take a shower; that is sort of odd when you’re being intimate or whatever it might be.

One of the paths is integration into the phone or some other device we already otherwise carry. The technology is going to keep moving forward. Could it be in your credit card, right? Like could it be integrated, I mean that’s not the best solution, but my point is that you’d have to look at what is all the stuff that people will continue to carry around and how can it be integrated directly into that, instead of this really odd, heavy, chunky bracelet that you’re wearing around.

Or the second path and the one that I’m more interested in, which I also think is the scarier one for most people is embedded. I want an embedded device that does all of that stuff. The first company that can prove biological safety as well as reliability to some device they put in under your skin that never comes out, that’s always cranking, that captures a lot of metrics and puts them in the Cloud and gives them to my doctor, like I am onboard, that’s the killer app right there.

All the stuff are just different shades of clumsy that are coming out right now. People who are just sort of discovering them for the first time are excited about them just like I was when I was discovering them for the first time. There are different types of people that are sort of minority groups who find them useful on a day-to-day basis even in their current form, but the hockey stick comes when it’s again, either in your phone or equivalents or it’s subdermal and for me subdermal is the cool one.