I run regularly and a lot of my runner friends are hugely turned on by personal metrics with GPS enabled devices!   

We use numbers to optimize a business decision. Why not use numbers on ourselves? The “quantified self” is an emerging trend in the digital health space. My personal data has become "hot & happening".

The Spanish philosopher, George Santayana said “Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” Our lives are getting more digital & that allows us to remember the past & also use that powerful information to help us lead better, healthier lives.

Smartphones are already packed with sensors, from cameras and GPS to accelerometers and gyroscopes. A huge range of cheap consumer gadgets aimed specifically at self-trackers is being launched, such as the Zeo, which monitors sleep cycles, and the fitbit, which measures physical activity and estimates calorie burn. Nike+ system, one of the first personal speedometers, has been used by more than 2.5 million runners since its release in 2006.

 Personal data

Here is an interesting Ted Talk by Wired correspondent Gary Wolf:


Also here is an extract from a post written by Reid Hoffman, Ali Rosenthal and James Slavet from Greylock Partners.

The “quantified self” is an emerging trend in the digital health space. Early adopters and fitness buffs are wearing devices like Fitbits and Nike FuelBands to track their heart rates, calories burned, quality of sleep and more, so that they can measure and improve their health and performance. The cloud-connected credit card will also deliver a stream of valuable intelligence based on your transaction behavior. Your health data stream alone could include how much of your diet is fast food, how often you actually visited your health club, and how many times you stopped for coffee (aka “your caffeinated self”). Your card can also deliver you informed insights on your spending activities across other life categories so that you can optimize decisions and be your best self.

Are companies driven equally by quant & metrics? Some companies seem to be far savvier than others. If as consumers we are getting savvier at using data, how will this impact us in our business avatars?  Would analytics as a discipline get adopted faster in our personal lives than our corporate world.

Are we seeing a trend where people will start getting savvier than companies at using data? And as this becomes a reality, how will companies allow consumers to access their own personal data & make smarter choices because of that extra information.

Do we see Credit card companies sharing their data with my telecom provider to give me a more meaningful "one view" of my life! Would companies allow the bargaining power of "personal data" to move towards the consumer!! Willl this allow me to improve, do good & become a better human being? 

 Would love to hear your thoughts about this!