I’ve been a huge fan of the Quantified Self movement for many years, I’ve been logging my sleep, my activities, scores of physical and mental well-being for 15 years every single day. When I recently saw an article about a neuroscientist who is getting a brain scan twice every week for a year to see how neural networks behave over time, I knew we are getting into a new phase in this area.
Every day, he tracks his mood and mental state, what he ate, and how much time he spent outdoors. Twice a week, he gets his brain scanned in an MRI machine. And once a week, he has his blood drawn so that it can be analyzed for hormones and gene activity levels. Poldrack plans to gather a year’s worth of brain and body data to answer an unexplored question in the neuroscience community: how do brain networks behave and change over a year?
Moreover, according to mobile health and wellness sensor reports, in 2017, 515 million sensors for wearable, implantable or mobile health and fitness devices will be shipped globally, up from 107 million in 2012!
We can expect that in a few years’ time, patients will be able to measure everything about themselves from blood count and blood glucose content to ECG and even genomics data. Are medical professionals, payers and pharmaceutical companies ready for such a world?