Pam Baker is one of our favorite writers about big data and health tech, and she pulls the two strands together nicely in an article that talks about how hard it is to get meaningful healthcare data out of wearables.
The problem, she argues, isn’t so much one of use case as it is one of data standards. Every database has its own needs and expectations, and they in turn rarely line up to the data that wearable tech makes available. In the most trivial case: is temperature information expressed in Fahrenheit or Centigrade? Or is distance expressed in steps, feet, miles, or meters? Now imagine if every health database had its own spec — because they do.
If you’re interested in the larger picture of health care data, this is worth reading, because it expresses an important infrastructure issue that needs to be considered if not resolved.