Designing for Data-Driven Health and Wellness

Earlier this week John Doerr, Bing Gordon and Mark Pincus took the stage at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco to talk about Internet treasures [an Internet-related company that makes us all proud to be alive now, a company that should be nourished and curated and that brings to life products that we can’t imagine life without].

In the course of the discussion Mark revealed an interesting insight into his social gaming company, Zynga. In essence they are data junkies–they’ve taken a different approach to games and are very data-driven rather than hit-based.  For example, they monitor in real-time each user’s net promoter score–a measure of value that the companies bring to their users, based on a standardized survey of the user base measuring whether each user will promote or detract from one of their games at any given moment.

You might be wondering at this stage what this has to do with health and wellness? As the conversation progressed between the two Kleiner Perkins partners and the CEO of one of their portfolio companies, a really interesting point emerged:

Health is waiting for someone to turn it into a product that’s useful.

This comment, together with the emphasis that Mark’s business places on data really got me thinking. We are so data-driven in so many areas of our lives, but when it comes to US, as Individuals, we know next to zero about our bodies, our health and wellness, how we are tracking, how what we do or don’t do impacts on how our body operates and how our minds feel–this is a major issue.

It is good to see, however, that activity is starting to emerge where the meaning [from a design point of view] within health and wellness is taking the individual more into account. Take for example the video below, in which Worrell brings together a doctor and a patient to discuss the future for health.

[Via Fastcodesign]

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