The Next Big Health App Needs to Do More Than Just Track Our Numbers

March 21, 2014

The first app that comes along and combines all of our health and fitness data has the opportunity to do the same thing. It can make your heart rate data more powerful by looking at, for example, how fluctuations in your sleep affect it, or show the immediate and long terms effects exercise has on your blood pressure. It won’t do that, however, if it’s just charting and turning numbers into infoporn.

Absolutely. There’s a lot of good to be found in the “quantified self” lifestyle, but it’s a mistake to be fooled into thinking that merely tracking numbers about yourself will negate the need to implement some critical thinking about health and fitness.

On a slightly-related note: people, please, stop calling them fitness trackers. They might track your sleep. They might track your steps. They might estimate calories burned. That is not fitness.