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Soon, we will all have a near real-time digital representation of our bodies in data, tracking, measuring and monitoring our movements, activities, and key health indicators of health, fitness and wellness.

It’s already happening.

My smart ring can measure body temperature, heart rate, exercise, sleep. My smartwatch monitors activity, exercise, blood pressure, blood oxygen. My phone knows how many steps I’ve taken and if changes in my steps indicate a potential onset of Parkinson’s disease. Small home spectrometers can tell you how your blood sugar or cholesterol levels respond to different diets. Soon my shoes will know why my Achilles is hurting, how efficient my stride is, how high I jump, and whether my walking, running, or jumping is dangerously favoring one side of my body.

“I believe we are rapidly moving into this world of personalized health, wellness, fitness, performance,” Plantiga CEO Quin Sandler said recently in a TechFirst Podcast.

“I think this idea of ​​comparing one person to another is a very old way of looking at everything. I think what’s going to happen here and where we feel like we’re going is actually building the infrastructure to monitor The complexity of the way humans move and, depending on their goals, develop insights, recommendations and interventions – possibly human cycles – that really drive better outcomes. Whether it’s performance, recovery or injury prevention.”

Artificial Intelligence in China pass The country’s National Medical Licensing Exam five years ago, and other In a country of 1.4 billion people and only 3.8 million doctors, doctors are already supporting doctors to deliver health care faster and cheaper.

That doesn’t mean you or I want to see a virtual AI doctor on your next visit: it’s too early. This does mean that technology will have a greater impact on monitoring and delivering healthcare in the future.

Let’s be honest: this is very, very much needed.

One thing is clear, there are multiple devices that collect data from our bodies. Sandler says Plantiga offers a smart sole that fits your shoe and measures 150 different parameters related to how we walk, jump, turn, twist and more. Plantiga developed an artificially intelligent “digital sports coach” named Norman after the CEO’s late father (who also co-founded the company) and set out to dabble in the world of high-performance athletes.

One user: Olympic gold medalist André de Grasse, defending 200m Olympic champion and recent gold medalist in the 4x100m at the 2022 World Championships.

But data about your performance isn’t just about Olympians. This is also for the elderly.

“Ultimately, our goal is to harness the power of analyzing human movement to drive better outcomes,” Sandler said. “Whether it’s someone my mom’s age preventing falls, or someone with a neurodegenerative disease like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, or an athlete recovering from an ACL or hip injury. We move The way speaks volumes about our health.”

And that health is increasingly difficult to achieve.

Whether it’s high costs in the US or overwhelmed national healthcare systems in Canada or the UK, it’s getting harder and harder to provide care to those in need.

Technology can come into play here if we design it well.

I recently contracted Covid after flying home from Mexico. I called the BC Healthline and told them my breathing rate and how it was changing from normal, my temperature, heart rate and other data that helped the triage nurse confirm, yes it was coronavirus, no , it’s not serious, yes I can stay home safely and stay healthy.

In a country where nearly 25 percent of Americans skip medical Because they can’t afford it, and half the world’s population no access How can we provide at least some level of care beyond basic health services?Of course doctors can’t do it alone: ​​we don’t have enough doctors, first of all, we have Literally overwhelmed Amount of existing patient health data.

What we have now is a huge amount of data from a small group of people wearing devices that measure and monitor health metrics. We don’t yet have a way to easily share that data in a secure and privacy-compliant way, or a way to expand the reach of those who can afford these devices.

That might come.

Some believe that by the end of the century, we will have digital twins of the human body.scientists are put up It is conceivable that conceptual models, along with the vast amounts of data we collect every day, will be able to populate these models.

The challenge, of course, is to address privacy concerns, access issues, and the fundamental willingness of people to participate. However, our inability to provide affordable healthcare to billions of people on the planet could be a key driver of this goal.

Of course, Sandler and Plantiga focused on only one aspect: movement.

“I feel like we’re building, and we want to be, in the next five years, the backbone of that world around biomechanics and sports footage that really attracts a quarter of the population dealing with musculoskeletal issues,” he said. “That’s where we’re going, almost like a sports health operating system that can be embedded in a shoe. We can monetize this data. We can build predictive analytics around outcomes, progression, regressions of different diseases like Parkinson’s. This It’s the dataset and what we can do with it, and I think it’s going to be very, very exciting over the next four to five years.”

Monetizing data sounds ominous, although I’m sure it can be done with permission and respecting privacy.

But capturing all the data about our bodies and health from our devices and using it safely and securely to deliver better, faster, and cheaper healthcare outcomes: it’s an interesting goal.

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