Future Salon – Future of Health: Adam Bosworth, Christine Peterson, and Faheem Ahmed
November 2, 2012
Christine Peterson started out the talks with a presentation on Quantified Self, life extension, and personalized medicine. The audience was mostly aware of QS already, but some expressed disdain for the life extension idea during the Q&A. One audience member complained that the fountain of youth has been sought for centuries but no one has delivered on the promise of extended life span. I thought that this was a bit ironic given the steady increase in life span over time and the fact that QS and modern life extension techniques haven’t really been in use long enough to show a longevity effect. However, Peterson responded with sympathy and actually said that she was more interested in health extension. She mentioned concierge doctors as a good resource to help with this.
Bosworth talked about his new startup Keas which is a corporate wellness app that uses gamefication to achieve captology. He pointed out that personalization is unhelpful in a team environment. Having just a few core health goals gives everyone a common experience to share. He listed four activities to achieve better heath: eat less food overall, eat more greens, reduce stress, and exercise more. He dismissed QS as being for Silicon Valley data geeks who were mostly healthy already. His focus is on the average American who is overweight, stressed, eats a poor diet, and neglects exercise because that is where he feels he can do the most good. He mentioned that he wanted to set aside his work on “legos for adults” and do something to help humanity.
Ahmed talked about his own experience as a care giver for older members of his family as well as his son. He presented an app he led the development of at SAP called Care Circles. This app helps care givers manage their care plans and team members. It provides assistance in building care strategies as well as journals and customizable data trackers. The social elements allow care givers to share medical data with anyone they want which bypasses HIPAA barriers to social apps that most health providers face. Ahmed mentioned that generation X was a sandwich generation having a larger population of baby boomers to care for as well as a large generation Y. I sympathized with this, having had to help with the care giving my girlfriend did during her sister’s cancer. This tool would have been really useful to keep track of progress and tasklists.