Connectivity Starts from Self: Spearheading the Quantified Self-Revolution Through IoMT

Date:February 29, 2024

Author name:Guruprasad S

Date:February 29, 2024

Author designation: Vice President and Director, Healthcare

Spearheading the quantified self-revolution through IoMT

“The world is changing” – J R R Tolkien (Author – The lord of the rings)

Tolkien could have never been more right, as we continue to see unprecedented change all around us. In such a transformation, people only tend to become more empowered to take control of something which conventional wisdom has always renegaded is not ours to understand: “our health”! How many steps have we walked today? How has my glucose levels fluctuated in the last workday? Today with the onset of a quantified self-revolution, these questions have a simple answer with the technology enablement coming by.

The Quantified-Self revolution is about using personal data and information to gain awareness and a greater understanding of “who we are and what we do”, with an aim to transform ourselves. Quantified-Self intends to explore the deeper meaning of “us”.

Advances in Digital Healthcare powered by innovative sensors (be it body worn, implantable or ingestible) are able to capture, analyze and quantify our “biological happenings” at run time there by giving discreet handles to the complex life machine ever in motion. Data collection is allowing us to quantify biometrics that we never knew existed. These measurements tend to be factual and devoid of biases from human cognition, rationalizing reality to one’s own convenience (e.g. perception of physical activity vs real activity tracking monitors, perception of healthy eating vs. actual calorific value measured by food monitors). In addition, these passive monitors have taken a quantum leap to provide corrective actions where necessary. For example, when we have been sitting for too long, we get an alert to move around; when we have forgotten our pills, we get a reminder to take them. Continuous monitoring has thus already started making inroads into the world of healthcare more so to begin with in “wellness and preventive care”.

quantified self-revolution

As more and more of such monitors make inroads into our lives, it is inevitable for sub-conscious acceptability of their omnipresence. The future of Quantified Self is when these monitors get connected to a central superhighway and diverse data gatherings get into a passive rhythm. By comparing with the fast evolving advances in human science aided by new breakthroughs and discoveries, battalions of intelligent algorithms would present their “key insights” by catching early trends and correlations at an individual as well as for population cohorts. Where there are trends, there are opportunities for betterment. Human spirit rather comes in handy here.

For the above to become a democratic reality to the billions on this planet, few aspects that would have to play a significant role:

  • Sensors (monitors) would possibly have to acquire computational intelligence in the form of “edge computing” capabilities.
  • Many things (monitors) within a single individual may necessitate unified “body area networks” (BAN) to localize the whole process without undue network loading.
  • BANs from Individuals will have to connect onto existing “communication gateways” and handshake their information bringing the millions of individual things to a central system.
  • Standardized communication and connectivity protocols with “token-based” identity management have to become the order of the day for a reliable and efficient transfer of individual data to the central system and back to the individual.
  • Finally, the central superhighway has to be possibly powered by technologies like “Internet of Things”. IoMT (Intenet of Medical Things) would be the Internet of Things to the medical and life sciences world.

The Quantified Self-Revolution thus has the potential to augment the “biological” (and finally psychological!) capabilities of self (and the system) by leveraging upon advances in “physics”.

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