Commentary

Diets, Data Points: How Tech Keeps Us Healthier

As winter ends, many of us are continuing with the season of self-improvement. The challenge that comes with shedding a few pounds could be expedited by looking toward mobile first interactions and the rise of quantified health.

Trends are shaping the definition of “wellness.” Sure, mass adoption of new technologies, such as Fitbits and Apple Watches, has evolved what health and wellness mean today, monitoring our movements and heart rates. However, technology has also enabled demands and solutions for more well-rounded, healthier states of being.

Whether that be physical, mental, financial or even nutritional, we can’t deny how much we rely on technology to help us to achieve a better us from head to toe. Here are a few examples.

Step to It.

Speaking of toes, while step counting is not new, quantifying the quality of those steps is a current trend. Enter Sensoria, a start-up that evolves the traditional step count. It tracks and gives feedback using smart socks that track foot strike quality as well as the standard tracking of heart rate, cadence and speed.

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As if that technology wasn’t functional enough, the tech in Sensoria socks is so revolutionary, it has partnered with Orthotics Holdings, Inc., a leader in orthotics, to develop the Smart Moore Balance Brace, which helps prevent falls for those 65 with balance and stability issues.

Fiscally Fit.

From smart socks to smart stocks, wellness isn’t only triggered by physical needs when one of life’s biggest stressors impacting well-being is financial health. With new investment services, such as Robinhood, Betterment, or Weathfront to full-fledged online banks such as Mondo or Ally, (all who value mobile), the application of algorithms and analytics to tone up our financial fitness is a fantastic category new stress reliever.

Online Om.

Although financial security aids stress relief, increasingly demanding careers and always-on lifestyles take a toll on our psyches and a focus on mental health has become both a mainstream concern and a start-up focus.

Startups like Headspace and boutique meditation studios such as MNDFL have brought meditation to the masses through mobile and highly accessible experiences. For those who desire more guidance and support for mental wellness, even the idea of consultative therapy has evolved through technology.

Moodnotes is an app that enables you to track your mental state throughout the day in a subtle, simple, yet effective user experience on your phone then share with a mental health professional, whereas the start-up Talkspace lets you bypass the mental monitoring and provides a pathway to simply text a therapist anytime for “unlimited messaging therapy” for a nominal monthly fee.

Stomach of Silicon Valley.

As far as diet goes, “biohacking” has left the halls and commissaries of Silicon Valley and has become an accessible mainstream methods of nutrition. New company Habit promises prepped meals that are from “test to table,” which are received after customers take a test at home which looks at their DNA and blood work.

There is also a ‘metabolic challenge,’ which is a shake that that gives a holistic picture of how a subscriber metabolizes fats, carbs, and proteins to further dial in their perfect diet.

The wellness industry seems to be exploding at the moment and looks like it will be ripe for reinvention in the years to come. With the rise and acceptance of movements like biohacking, quantified self and the continued distrust of big banks, it’s as good a time as any to introduce smarter, more accessible, data-driven solutions to evolve the basics — eating, exercising, saving, finding our Zen.

Namaste.
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