As we move into a digital ‘super-world’, technology is now being used to improve our everyday health, with wearable tech leading this movement. We spoke to EVP of Digital Strategy at McCann Health, Eric Pilkington, about what’s to come for health and tech.
With the rise in activity trackers and health apps, do you think this is the way to go to monitor health? What would you keep/change?
I firmly believe in the promise of wearables, that they can and will inevitably make us healthier. But I also think that the services behind these trackers need to invest in immediacy by providing useful information in real time, so that we can optimise the wealth of data for personalised action. After all, what use is data without knowing what you individually can do to alter and optimise behaviour in the quest for better health?
What piece of health/fitness tech caught your eye at this year’s CES and why?
CES 2014 featured a veritable explosion of wearable tech, with mainstream companies like LG and Sony adding to the current proliferation of trackers already available on the market. Many others also added their respective hats to the ring, including JayBird, Garmin (who launched two trackers in the Vivocki and Vivofit), GlassUp, and a slew of other Glass-type eyewear). At best however, each of these devices only edged forward the potential of the wearable space. It was only fitting that perhaps the most remarkable device announced at this year’s show was the Pebble Steel and Meta – two products that look more like classic mechanical timepieces than wearable tech. Both serve as a reminder that wearable tech is perhaps in the midst of a transitional period, moving away from fanciful, off-the-wall ideas to more refined products for the real world.
As health data is becoming digital, do you think cloud computing has an important role to play regarding security?
In terms of the cloud, wearable technology will form an integral part of the ‘Internet of Things’, (a growing network of devices from wearable tech to smartphones and other sensors) that will allow us to constantly connect with and share data in real time (think Google and Nest). Clearly security and privacy concerns will arise. But in the end these concerns will prove to be a fallacy, as more consumers will inevitably store and share data freely as part of a genuine value exchange for better health. The more data we gather about ourselves, the more we will be able to understand how fit and healthy we really are.
And there you have it! What do you think is in store for digital health? Do you believe that wearable technology will serve a vital role in terms of the cloud? Keep up to date with Eric Pilkington’s Twitter updates on tech and the digital world here https://twitter.com/epilkington and stay tuned to Iguane Solutions’ happenings on the cloud.