Friday, 9 March 2018

The great health data giveaway.

I’ve started running. To get over the shock, I've decided to do data-driven running, to quantify my improvements. But health gadget vendors aren't making it easy. 

Data-driven running is a great motivator. I'm in competition with me, and I know that I can beat me. Better yet, I don't feel bad losing to me. This competition is whole lot more healthy (in all senses) than with my wife (who can out-fit me every time).  

I measure time, pace, distance, heart rate. Trouble is, due to the product choices that I've made, I have 3 separate devices. Each device has its own service, and none integrate with another. My heart rate monitor is through my Jabra elite sport ear buds (incidentally, a great product because of the in-ear coaching) with the data viewable in its iPhone app. I also use the HRM in my Nokia smart watch since it is collated with my other personal metrics (weight, body composition, blood pressure, steps, sleep) via Nokia Health app to give a more comprehensive picture of me. Post-run analysis (if you don't post it, it didn't happen) is from the Strava app on the iPhone. Finally, the data is archived in the Apple health app. So that's 3 devices and 4 apps. 

The value is in combining this information, then analysing to show actionable trends. If my muscle percentage is decreasing, I should increase my weights intensity. If the training effect of my runs are decreasing, I should attack more hills. So it's extremely frustrating that my data is in 3 closed ecosystems. Why deny me the ability to get best of breed devices and apps to work together?  

There's a deeper point. This is my data, and it's very personal data about me. Vendors are very welcome to provide me the tools to measure and analyse myself, but don't act as if you own my data. You should provide me the tools to manage my data without prejudice. Exporting, importing, integrating, and safeguarding data should be at the core of what you do. You don't own my data, because you don't own me. 

Anyone want a nearly new smart watch?

No comments:

Post a Comment

It's always great to hear what you think. Please leave a comment, and start a conversation!