July 16, 2013Published by: Drew Benvie

Boom time for digital health

george osborne jawbone up

In the last few days a couple of high profile moves have been made in the digital health and quantified self space. First George Osborne the UK chancellor was snapped repeatedly wearing a Jawbone UP, a device I also personally invested in not too long ago. Then last week Yahoo's new CEO the ex-Google tech aristocrat Marissa Mayer announced that she will be giving all 11,000 of Yahoos staff Jawbone UP wristbands. All of a sudden people now know what I'm wearing around my wrist.

Marissa Mayer Jawbone UP

My interest in digital health and the quantified self started early last year. I started a blog, looking at how digital health technologies are starting to reshape how companies organise themselves, listen to their customers and what they do with all this new information. And last summer I also rolled out digital health technology to all staff at the company I worked at back then - we went for the, then, market leader, the Fitbit.

Why are people and companies doing this kind of thing now? A few reasons. The quick wins first of all: A move like this gives off a progressive, pro-innovation stance and one of being tech savvy. And we all know geeks now rule the planet, so that's a no-brainer. Use a scheme like this well though, and you will be able to increase happiness around the office, health and wellbeing levels will rise and it's good for team building. I've seen all of this first hand.

Most importantly though, when using or implementing digital health tech in the workplace we should look for ways to learn from how we work, ways that aren't apparent to the naked eye, and use this technology to make positive changes in new and innovative ways. That takes attention and effort. Not just a bit of tech bling.

I for one think that what we are seeing with the quantified self, digital health and wearable tech boom is a new era of interaction between us as individuals with the environment around us. This includes interactions with companies, products and services. The smart organisations will be the ones that embrace and innovate in this boom time in a way that can give them a step up in the game.



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