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Daily social & tech headlines: Has the race begun for our health data?

My top pick today is the news Facebook has bought the  fitness tracking App, Moves. I wrote about the App earlier this year in my post ‘Me, My (Quantified) Self & I‘. Whilst I’d like to think Mark Zuckerberg must have read my positive comments leading to this decision (as if!). I do think this could signal a new race for ownership of our personal health data.

Back in March, there were lots of articles about a new Apple App called Healthbook (including a great piece by 9-5 here) . The App will allegedly track every possible health activity from exercise levels to blood sugar levels. The new rumours of the Apple/Nike indicate they may now have the device that provides this data in real-time.

So with Facebook now entering this arena, does it mean the fight for our health data has just got serious?

If so, it makes sense. The potential benefits to these businesses is far greater than helping us lose weight. For example, if health data is not transferrable between Apps, users will be forced to be loyal as time goes by if they don’t want to lose months or years of historical personal data. There are plenty of partnership opportunities as Apple & Facebook make all this truly mainstream too. Examples include real time medical trackng partnering with big pharma to see the real-time effect of drugs on individuals in the real world – from headache pills to cancer drugs. Trans-media tracking during entertainment experiences e.g. combining GPS with heart-rate tracking at live events, cinema trips or during TV to see what shows have the greatest impact on individuals experiences – and planning new shows accordingly. Aligning gaming on devices to the physical reaction of the user, creating more impactful and addictive experiences. The list goes on….

So in the coming months,  we may find the next big battle won’t just be for increased click-thru-rates on ads, but for ownership of the data from our heart rates.

Top pick:

TechCrunch: Facebook Acquires Fitness And Activity Tracking App Moves

Best of the rest:

ZDNet: IBM launches Watson-based big data services for clinical care

Forbes: From Homelessness To Human Trafficking, How A NYC Nonprofit Is Using Big Data To Make A Difference

Forbes: How Big Data Helps Chains Like Starbucks Pick Store Locations — An (Unsung) Key To Retail Success

Phys.Org: Tackling urban problems with Big Data

Forbes: Solar Power Is Booming, But Will Never Replace Coal. Here’s Why.

ScientificAmerican: Solar Power Grows 400 Percent in Only 4 Years

NPR: Tweet Suits: Social Media And The Law

Forbes: User Driven Design, Appropriate Tech, Invention For Social Good…It’s All About Empathy In Action

Forbes: How To Screw Up On Social Media

Forbes: Is The Future Of Television Social?

Fox: Russian social media CEO quits post, flees country

Mashable: 19 Social Media Facts That Every Marketer Should Know

NYT: Technology Giants Settle Hiring Suit

NPR: Using Technology To Fix The Texting While Driving Problem

TechNewsWorld: The Incredible Shrinking Technology

Quartz: The technology behind tech startups is now their least essential part

Header image taken from Heart rate – Image from

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