The Quantified Self
Trends Briefing: 24th June 2021 | 9am-10am | Register here
As you read this invitation on your computer screen or on your smartphone your heart is beating, your lungs are expanding and contracting, your blood is absorbing oxygen and glucose and you are processing millions, perhaps billions, of different pieces of information both consciously and autonomously all at the same time.
We currently stand on a precipice when it comes to understanding these processes.
Where previously the quantified self might have meant counting steps or how many hours you’ve slept, today a wide range of highly advanced services capable of constantly monitoring everything from your heart rate to your internal temperature, your level of REM sleep to your blood glucose levels, are available off the shelf for any consumer.
The implications are vast, with increasingly health conscious consumers better able to see both the positive effect of exercising, and the negative effect of damaging behaviours like drinking alcohol, on their physiological processes. As consumers better understand these relationships – and as intuitive understandings of why we feel tired or hungover become data-driven certainties – there is significant potential for behavioural change.
These shifts are not limited to physiological processes, with advanced analytics and artificial intelligence increasingly capable of capturing and drawing conclusions from a wide range of behaviours; the quantified self will lead to a revolution in how we understand our physiology, but also the decisions we make regarding our finances, the way we socialise, or the impact we make on the environment.
For businesses, this could spell a period of enormous disruption, of opportunity and challenge. Pioneering businesses in the health and life insurance industries are already using these technologies to better understand the risk involved in insuring individuals, while in the healthcare sector, advanced wearables indicate the potential for early detection – and early intervention – when it comes to medical emergencies or chronic illnesses.
These examples are just scratching the surface when it comes to the future of these technologies.