The Now Report is a snapshot of our favourite stuff from the world of digital, emerging tech, and health/consumer trends. With content sourced and written by FleishmanHillard staff, it provides an editorial filter to inspire discussion among your teams, and encourage ideas and innovation.
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Obesity is preventable, hunger is solvable
Fitness tracker organisations team up with Weightless Project to take on the challenge of slimming Western waistlines to tackle world hunger.
With 2014 being tipped to be Year of the Wearable, this project manages to bridge the all-important gap in the wearable tech loop, which is doing something useful with the data that is generated. For Weightless Project it is using your personal tracker data to tackle two of the most serious public health crises of our time. The solution is simple. For every 1000 calories you burn $1 is donated to the project’s food aid project of choice. The more you work out, the more money they will generate for those who desperately need to gain weight. The project seeks to partner with health and fitness brands, social organizations and philanthropic foundations to collect funds that will be used to monetise calories burnt. Consumer wearable device brands Jawbone and Fitbit have signed up initially with more on the way. Hopefully, an altruistic end goal to tracking your exercise will help spark further ideas for making this consumer trend an answer to health issues.
Care.data delay: a victory for privacy or a communications crisis damaging health outcomes?
As the communications crisis unraveled, Care.data, the proposed giant database of medical records that seeks to extract and upload patient data stored in GP databases into centralised datasets, has been postponed by six months. Has a concept designed to improve patient care been tarnished beyond repair?
In the UK, hospital data has proven invaluable in improving care whether helping to uncover the Bristol heart and Mid-Staffordshire hospital scandals or providing evidence that led to targeted bowel cancer screening. Expanding hospital databases to include what happens to patients when they are under the care of GPs should help researchers develop new treatments and improve the performance of National Healthcare Services. However, a bungled communications plan, confused messaging and further scandals has allowed privacy groups to dominate the conversation and possibly bury a concept designed to create a healthcare system focused on patient care.
Charge your phone while you sleep and help cure cancer
A new Android alarm app backed by Samsung helps researchers fight disease while you sleep by using your phone’s unused computing cycles for scientific research.
Smartphones do not do very much when you’re asleep, apart from charging overnight, but a new app will put your Android phone to good use while you get some much-needed rest. Samsung and the University of Vienna thought this downtime could be used to fight diseases. Power Sleep doubles as an alarm clock designed to replace whatever alarm people were using before. Once set, the app begins grabbing packets of data to crunch from University of Vienna servers, which are about 1MB in size, and calculates them while you sleep. Once your alarm goes off the process is complete and it sends them back to the researchers’ database. The app doesn’t collect any personal data from you, which should ease the inevitable privacy fears that come with data collection.
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January 21, 2021