Its been said that data leads to knowledge, and knowledge leads to action. Yet overall, humans have been slow to the party as regards leveraging that personal data ourselves to create actionable insight about our own health. We are literally surrounded and ensconced in sensors in almost every aspect of our life. Our automobiles contain hundreds of sensors, traffic cameras at intersections, “ez-pass” transponders and so forth. On the factory floor, networked vibration sensors warn that a bearing is beginning to fail. Networks of wireless humidity sensors monitor fire danger in remote forests. We can measure heart rate, electrical voltage, gas, light, sound, temperature, and distance effortlessly.
As sensor devices become more ubiquitous, humans will increasingly outfit themselves with these tools to bridge the analog biological and digital worlds. As sensor technology gets less invasive, “sensoring” will begin to become the modern vaccination of the human baby. At birth, a child may be “sensored” for his/her health KPIs, based on his/her DNA mutations and perhaps have the equivalent of a human IP address. Who knows, maybe port 8080 will be the port to the heart? Is this scary? Or is this exactly what we all wished we had? Or are we are simple strangled by the epistemology of “foreign objects” in the body?
There are tens of millions of humans with some form of medical device implanted in them living healthy lives today. (Yes, we corrected for breast implants.) We are going to move to sensors for knowledge, insight and action to create prevention based health care. Human beings will join the internet of things.