The Necessity of the Connected Self

Everyone who knows my passion for the intersection of Health and Technology reached out to me recently to get my thoughts on the Apple Watch. Does it seem like a sound investment? Will it be a FitBit & Jawbone killer? With all the fancy new features, will I finally be able to lose those last stubborn 10 pounds? Honestly, my excitement for the Apple Watch is tempered for the time being. It seems like a well-designed piece of hardware, but just collecting data is not enough to actually improve someone's health. More value will result from behavior change software that harnesses all this data to provide individuals with actionable insight. And with a price point starting at $349, it may be a few years until this type of device goes mainstream.

Peter Drucker readers know quite well that “what gets measured gets managed.” This was the original allure of the “Quantified Self" movement: If I can track my health metrics automatically, I should be able to get healthier. But health is a complicated combination of factors and just collecting data about your steps doesn’t paint the whole picture, especially if you’re eating a Snickers bar while taking a walk.

That’s why I’m much more excited about the potential of HealthKit, GoogleFit, and other connectivity platforms that promise to centralize previously disparate sources of data in the growing Health and Fitness application ecosystem. Hopefully, by enabling both medical professionals and developers with the opportunity to paint a more complete picture of an individual’s health, we can drive real outcomes in the healthcare system.

This is the promise of the “Connected Self”, a new frontier in Health and Wellness. I’m excited to see what these new technologies can accomplish.