Following on from my blog post outlining an A-Z of Digital, here is “F is for Fitness Trackers”.
Fitness Trackers are one of the most popular wearables available today. They can take many forms with the most recognisable being ones worn on the wrist, others using capablities on mobile phones or devices worn on the chest or embeded into clothing.
The number of devices being sold in 2017 is estimated by Gartner to be around 176 million, taking the categories that have fitness tracking capabilities.
From a basic pedometer function to recording additional statistics such as Heart Rate, Location, Altitude etc. these devices are collecting and generating a huge amount of data. Mainly used on a personal basis, industries are now tapping into this information bank such as Health Care looking at monitoring the health of patients and Insurance companies looking at how an adaptive health insurance policy can be influenced by our fitness.
The power of this data can be seen in the data collected through a popular application called Strava which connects people together to record and share their activities. in 2016 350 million Strava activies were collected and the data is availble to view via Strava Labs which has clustered the information together over a map of the world. At a high level there doesnt look to be a lot of data highlighted however zooming in shows a lot of data in different areas around the world.
Businesses are starting to utilise these devices to benefit the business and employees by collecting data to monitor and analyse areas such as:
- Employee Health – working in areas of concern
- Monitoring for lone workers
The devices are also adapting and evolving to meeting this growing demand.
The trackers are only one part of a solution for collecting the information as shown in the Strava example an integrated analaytical back end is needed to gain useful meaning to the data.