Data-Driven Wellness: The future Is in empowering individuals through self-knowledge

Laila Zemrani laila@fitnescity.com

Abstract

Over eighty percent of some of the most common and costly health conditions, such as type II diabetes and heart disease, could be prevented through lifestyle changes.
Wellness data —generated in many formats and from various sources— hold enormous promise for creating more personalized and effective lifestyle interventions. Data from an individual’s health and wellness tracking devices, self-reported measurements, family history and personal genome sequences could be used to make individualized recommendations.

However, this data is vastly underutilized by consumers. Most users lack the motivation and the technical skills to integrate, visualize and make sense of their data. In order to get a holistic view of their wellness, consumers would need to integrate data from several devices all in one place. Consumers would also need to pair this information with unstructured data such as notes, manually-recorded measurements or logs. Most importantly, they would need to match all this data with thousands of sources for evidence-based health and wellness guidelines. Only a small group of individuals,mostly known as Quantified Self enthusiasts or “biohackers”,truly end up using their data to optimize wellness, help prevent disease or improve longevity.

Fitnescity Labs aims at taking Quantified Self tools and techniques mainstream. The idea is to make it extremely easy for individuals to explore their wellness data, extract meaningful insights and pursue informed decisions.
Driven by the mission to empower individuals through self-knowledge, Fitnescity has developed a software platform that integrates multiple-source data and generates individualized, data-driven recommendations.

The platform is based on an interactive visual analytics system that (1) integrates an individual’s wellness data from diverse sources while using thoughtful design, (2) contextualizes the individual within subpopulations (cohorts) and (3) visualizes the contextualized wellness data while automatically generating evidence-based recommendations. As a result, the system allows the user to explore the data and adjust the recommendations through what-if scenarios.

Moreover, graphical perception and behavioral decision theory also inform the design and framing of the company’s visualizations.

Beyond implementing new tools and techniques, Fitnescity hopes to change the way individuals view their wellness. Empowering people to take control of their data could mean the difference between health and chronic disease. Fitnescity aims to be at the forefront of that movement.
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