Smartphone health apps, that allow you to monitor and track weight, blood pressure, heart rate, sleep, and other metrics, are increasingly popular. In this module, we look at two short videos about Apple Health, and then a couple of articles that challenge the utility of these apps. We will also look at some new innovations in the "nudge" approach: using social and psychological factors to help us make better choices.

Here is an introduction to Apple Health App:

And a more detailed video

For something a bit more detailed, check out Azumio:

There is certainly an increasing amount of detailed data you can track about yourself! According to this Medical News Today article, there is not a whole lot of evidence that all this activity is useful. What do you think? Think about - how data science could really make this useful, what other information it might be mapped to, and what information you would like to see.

The Nudge approach

The idea that behavior can be influenced for good or bad by subtle, psychological or social nudges has become widespread in the last decade. Data science in general obviously has a big part to play in this - read this article for more about this. This is also related to the field of gamification.

A company called Nudge is taking an integrative approach to doing that, aggregating healthcare metrics and using a nudge approach to helping you make decisions by giving you a "score" that you can compare with your friends.