The rise of “Generation Health” – partly thanks to smartphones

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After rising for a decade, life expectancy in America has begun leveling off and has even declined for some groups.

Diabetes, heart disease and obesity along with stress, anxiety, and depression are now major issues. The situation is almost as if the technologies that have improved life in so many ways are now slowly killing us. Meanwhile, maverick quantified

Meanwhile, maverick believers in the quantified-self manage to diagnose themselves successfully.

The future, fortunately, looks more promising.According to the CEO of Johnson & Johnson, the world’s leading healthcare company, ‘we have the opportunity to make the generation born now the healthiest generation in history – “Gen H”.

Last month, a group of forward-thinking innovators gathered at the first ‘Wellness-as-a-Service’ event named HyperWellBeing at the iconic Computer History Museum in Mountain View.

Key ideas emerged rapidly: the future of healthcare could shift from sick care to a new industry of ‘Scientific Wellness’, helping us live to our full potential for well-being. Also used was the expression ‘P4 Medicine’: Predictive, Personalized, Preventive and Participatory. The targets are to prevent our sicknesses, increase our longevity and optimize our health and wellness.

The ‘Clinical Study Of One’ is coming: by collecting thousands or millions of data points per person per year (rather than a yearly check-up) and by mixing data and AI, we will move from a ‘discrete’ to a continuous ‘health function’.

Health Tech Devices To The Rescue

When talking about health tech, we often hear of big data, telemedicine and genomics (with CRISPR). While this is important, it doesn’t give a full picture: software only works when data comes in. For health, this requires learning from our bodies and minds. This is where health devices come in.

This trend started about two years ago, as key sensors were becoming commoditized – partly thanks to smartphones – and the costs and risks of building high-tech hardware startups were falling. Biomedical engineers, doctors and entrepreneurs started to jump into the fray.

Today, startups want to track, prevent, diagnose and heal both physical and mental conditions. They want us to be more than well, and this is serious business.

 

Read the source article at TechCrunch.