Social Media Week: The Future of Health, Food, and Tech

Where is the future of food and tech headed? What do we need to measure so that we can make positive changes? Many apps track fitness like FitBit and calories like DailyBurn but what is the core of major health change and how is tech going to answer the question? This week in NYC for Social Media Week 2011 HealthTechFood explored the future of health and why measuring health with technology devices is going to save humanity. Each speaker touched on different angles of how to implement massive health changes across local and international. All agreed that mobile and apps could move the future but each speaker had a different area they felt was important to review.

MEASURING

Steven K. Dean (@sgdean) founder of The Quantified Self talked about the measurement as the future. He believes that metrics can shape the future but technology will also need to be careful to not hook us too much, “If we can measure it, we can improve it” but he continued “we need to make sure to avoid SMS overload.”

AWARENESS

Slowfood, Jerusha Klemperer (@slowfoodusa) theorized that evaluating food systems and processes were important. She mentioned understanding the difference between Foodshed (the difference between where food is produced and consumed) and also food waste. In modern times she said its important to “understand where food is coming from” and to not be naive about how processed food comes to life.

MOBILE

Why Mobile? Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, (@healthythinker) an economist and member of Health Populi talked about health and not being afraid to use programs that people have access to. She talked about mobile apps to help people date and have safe sex like Cupid Me and how 1 in 4 americans don’t have landlines. Despite economic seperations most people have access to mobile so she argued the focus of health int he future should be mobile.

TECHNOLOGY

TED lecturer and inventor of the K1 syringe, Marc Koska stated some grave statistics. While funding flows to Africa and lesser developed countries he broke down the future of health relief very simply: vaccines and shots are killing humanity. He argues that 20MM people a year are injected with HIV from the lack of sanitation and 62% of injections cause some illnesses. He doesn’t tweet but he believes that making large health change will require clean technologies that don’t require massive societal change just product change.