(Written as part of Fjord IxD Writing, shared with Fjord New York studio)


Inspired by Mahin’s email a few days ago, I will write a few words about the proliferating health devices.

“Fewer than 20% of people keep using things like trackers and wellness apps – and the dropoff tends to happen within just a few months. And the ones who keep using them need them the least. It’s a huge problem.”

I see two things that drive this trend.

1. Lack of user motivation

It’s the classic example of “because technology can but I never really wanted one”.

When it comes to improving health, what I am missing is motivation, not a series of numbers. I don’t need device to know I haven’t moved much today and I need more exercise. But once I am motivated, numbers start to matter. Now, I want the measurements because they help you think where you fail and what you can do better next time. one interesting article from the provider but not really your favorite topic.

For me, someone who is not motivated to move more, my calorie burn reports are just one more email that stack up unread in my inbox – I agreed to subscribe a few years ago because of one interesting article from the provider but not really your favorite topic.

2. Disconnected dots.

You don’t become a healthy person just by moving a lot, but also by thinking positively and socially active.

You buy these devices and the premise that this will make you more aware of your health, but you get to see only one aspect of it (physical movement is the most popular data type). But human beings are way complex that one data element cannot possibly measure/represent it’s state. So you try these devices a couple month and may see your calorie burns trends up. But you still won’t know why you are not any healthier then you give up.

(This is our big learning from a 2 year long project, Macaw)