LifeGadget

Tracking

We all instinctively have a "gut feel" for how much we sleep, exercise, drink, etc. but studies consistently show that our gut is an unreliable measuring stick. Basing personal decisions on this flawed insight leads to poor feedback loops and poor results. This is where the value of tracking comes in. Being numerically explicit about our behaviors and our body's measurements starts to build a baseline of where our bodies really are, what effects them, and by how much.

The important benefits of tracking is not a new concept to high-end athletics. Tracking metrics have been a core part of almost all competitive sport teams for decades. However, for the average person, the effort involved in executing a metric-based tracking regime was significant which meant it was the preserve of a small fringe of over-achievers, cronic pain suffers, or similarly motivated groups.

Today all that has changed as a result of advancements in science, affordable sensors, ubiquitous mobile computing, and better software analytics and visualisation tools. This combinatorial set of changes has critically effected three aspects to tracking:

  1. The process of tracking has been made far easier
  2. The increased accuracy of the data gives it far greater utility
  3. The quantity of measurements that can be tracked by the individual

We are entering a golden-era of personal data. What was once the pervue of olympic athletes (e.g., achieving new physical boundaries) and large retailers (e.g., tracking customer buying behavior) has suddenly become available to consumers in a way that they can consume it effectively (e.g., easy to use, cost effective, demonstrable value, etc.). In order to thrive in this new era, however, we will need better ways to manage this data. LifeGadget will provide the following critical features to trackers:

  1. Allow consumers to switch between tracking products without losing their data
  2. Provide the visibility that comes with having all data on a single platform
  3. Allow individuals to maintain data ownership
  4. Ensure the growth of personal data does not increase the effort required in managing and owning this data.

Insights

Two words that get an lot of airplay when talking about personal data are "context" and "insights". Context relates to the idea that meaningful observations must have enough surrounding data (e.g., meta-data and connected data) to allow for the analysis to become contextual rather than just being the outcome of a simple statistical function.

Ultimately the outcome of this contextual analysis is intended to lead to personal insights. Insights are, in essence, the currency for creating and evaluating personal optimisation. Insights may take the form of a fact ("I have lost 30 pounds this winter"), a hypothesis ("my current job has significantly impacted my sleep schedule"), a compartive observation ("my anaerobic threshold is significantly higher than men my age"), a risk assessment ("I am in a high risk group for cardio-vascular disease"), or many other forms. In each case these insights represent important ideas which can become the focal point for behavior change/optimisation.

Clearly insights are highly desirable and yet historicaly they have proven quite elusive. Technology, however, has started to make an impact and LifeGadget improves this process by bringing the following functionality together:

  • Data Aggregation. At the heart of insight is a need to bring disperate data together into a contextual whole. LifeGadget is designed to seamlessly bring the leading hardware and software sensor data into a centralised repository. It also provides mobile and desktop clients to add virtually any data about the individual into the profile in a fast and intuitive fashion.
  • Visualisation. LifeGadget allows an individual's personal data to be viewed through a large assortment of pre-configured visual lenses. This starts with the standard toolkit of tables and charts, goes further into force diagrams, calendar views, bullet charts, and many other emerging visualisation types, and also provides a technical framework to allow the technical inclined to extend into their own bespoke visualisations.
  • Population/Reference Data. Knowning how an individual's data fits into the broader populations data or into recommendeed ranges can provide important context that goes beyond just personal aggregation. LifeGadget will use industry benchmarks as well as a aggregate data samples to provide customers with up-to-date comparisons for their data to viewed against.
  • Machine Learning. You would have had to have lived in a cave for the past three years not to hear the growing chorus of things that machine learnings will be bringing us. LifeGadget will use algorithms to provide users effective defaults ("on tuesday morning you're most likely to be doing these three things", etc.), filling in data (using seasonality and other patterns to fill gaps more intelligently than just linear extrapolation), or filtering out outlier data. Where possible we will also hope to use statistical techniques to provide direct insights that might have otherwise have been missed.
  • Professional Analysis. Whereas machine learning can provide important nuance and shortcuts, real humans trained in health, wellness, and performance can provide an even bigger boost. It is common in today's technology driven society to over focus on technology and ignore highly proven techniques. Insight analysis is a classic case-in-point and LifeGadget's technology is focused on connecting the human expertise to the generation and monitoring of insights.

Insights are the "big deal" outcomes that people use as the foundation of their personal success story and LifeGadget will ensure that these building blocks are built off a comprehensive data platform while also allowing for leverage of a professional coaching network to pull out the harder to find insights and resultant strategies.

Coaching

"Self empowerment" does not mean you must do everything yourself!

There has been a huge increase in the ways that individuals can engage in their health and wellness:

  • The Apple and Google app stores have thousands of apps that can tell you how much you slept, how loud you snored, what your mood was, remember what you did in the past, gamify your health, and much more.
  • A simple shopping session on Amazaon can result in home testing for glucose, blood pressure, hormone levels, cholesterol.
  • Sports watches can not only tell you how far you went, how fast travelled, but also how recovered your muscles are, and how long you should rest before your next session.
  • Online communities allow people to research disaase, connect with others individual with common ailments, and help the self-diagnosis of ailments or the forulation of self-improvement programs

This is an amazing era for the healthy (or at least the health striving) individual. One trap, however, is to start to believe that we and we alone must manage our health and well being. This is unnecessarily self-limiting. There are whole industries that already exist to help people be more successful in their personal ambitions. This includes:

  • Personal Trainers
  • Dieticians
  • Physio Therapists
  • Life Coaches
  • Psychologists

These professionals have undeniable track records in helping people. If you truely committed to making a positive change in your or your families health there is no single thing that will be more impactful than bringing in other PEOPLE into the process. While these people can be "family and friends" ... they can really only help in the social aspects of change ... but the numbers really start to stack up in your favor when you are willing to engage with professional coaching.

The recent problem, however, has been that while people have more data (and the tools to analyize it themselves), there has not been an effective way for professional coaches to participate in the analysis and insight generation. This is a significant loss and while higher end service providers have tried to work around this by imposing specific tools on their clientele, this is a sub-optimal for both parties.

LifeGadget has been designed to help address this current dislocation between individuals and professional coaches. With LifeGadget, building a data-connected relationship with a coach is simplified to the press of a button. In this newly formed partnership, benefits include:

  • Information not Products. Individuals are free to use the products that work for them; the trainer no longer has to worry about what "device" is being used but instead just gets the information that is useful for them coach
  • Ownership, Visibility and Deferral. The data that is shared with various professionals is by default a well thought out subset of an individuals data portfolio which is meant to convey important factors while maintaining privacy. Furthermore, the responsibility of actual entry of measurements/tracking can be deferred to the coach. This puts the responsibility more
  • Relationship Lifecycle. A coaching relationship can last for years but it is equally likely that these relationships will come and go as individual needs are surfaced or met. LifeGadget will allow you to enter, exit, re-enter, refer others, and manage all aspects of the lifecycle of a relationship.

It is aspirational to control your own destiny and coaching is a successful strategy of this aspirational path, not an alternate path. LifeGadget will ensure that engaging in this strategy is straight forward and rewarding.

Life Optimisation

Your life can be better. Intrinsically you know it. Experientially you see the success of others. Although doubt and ambiguity derail many, those who are determined to improve their life now have the tools to achieve personal success.

What success looks like varies greatly by individual but it might include:

  • Focus
    • lowered mental fatigue
    • reduction of "brain fog"
  • Fitness
    • Faster
    • Stronger
    • Less injury prone
  • Body Shaping
    • Weight loss
    • Fat loss
    • Better body shape/composition
  • Wellbeing
    • Greater understanding of self
    • Feeling of inner peace or contentment
    • Greater confidence
  • Reduced Risk
    • Diabetes
    • Cardio-vascular disease
    • Dimentia

LifeGadget can help you manage your personal information, produce meaningful insights and motivation, and connect you to a modern coaching network. We're working out the details as we speak but if you're interested in what we're doing why not add your email to our mailing list and we'll make sure you stay current on our progress.