Fit-A-Thon: Improve your health with IoT
How many of you would think about running 5 km, 10 km, 21 km or 42.2 km for fun? Apparently quite a few. For a long time, the health conscious in India have been focusing on walking, yoga or gym. Today, amateur running is seeing a boom. Rewind around 10 years and the very first edition of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon comes to mind as the biggest thing. Snap back to now and we have nearly 150 marathons across the country mushrooming with ebullient runner groups.
Being a data and technology nerd at heart, I often wonder how Internet of Things (IoT) and Data Analytics could help track the fitness quotient of these running enthusiasts.
To make a real start, we would need to capture data in real time
Today anyone running a marathon is equipped with a GPS phone and / or watch that can measure splits (minutes per km or mile), steps per minute, blood pressure, and maybe even their heart-rate. Techno-savvy runners may even have sensors on their clothes or shoes. Basic data can be captured for a large portion of the runners during the marathon using any of the biomonitors such as FitBit, Garmin, Misfit etc. This captured data would help us understand what type of training programs, diet routines to be defined for different kinds of runners.
When do we need an IoT and analytics solution?
With an IoT and analytics solution in place, one can collect, analyse and aggregate training and marathon information (ensuring it is all secure and anonymous) and deliver astonishing insights on ideal trainings / work out regimens that would yield successful, injury-free marathons. These insights could also be used to build customized training programs for runners, from first training run to marathon finish line, improving the overall marathon experience. Using this large chunk of data we can even build a predictive models to help runners / participants understand how prepared they are, what to expect on the big day and what all steps to follow in order to achieve the desired outcome.
IoT for runners with disabilities
Marathon is a hard work even if you’re physically fit. But what about runners with disabilities? Can IoT offer any practical help? The hard part about caring of runners with disabilities is – the diversity of the issues that need to be handled. Some runners need help with mobility, others with cognitive function, still others with social interaction.
IoT offers opportunities to increase independence by reducing the need for personal assistance. The GPS tracker along with combination of sensors or fitness tracking devices like fitbit can alert organisers / medical support in case of emergency through a series of short beeps. IoT has the ability to not only improve the health and fitness of the individuals, but also enable early diagnosis and prevention of certain ailments. Adding more advanced wearable medical devices can help doctors monitor their patients and reduce costs of inpatient care.
With the help of a mobile app you can also have an audio map enabled that can alert the runners aurally to the position of the next drinking station, or alerting their family and friends with their location for quick support.
Introducing IoT into the life insurance customer journey
The data collected from these biomonitors for measuring personal fitness, managing busy schedules, and incorporating a healthy lifestyle etc can have application in the life insurance journey of a customer. You may wonder how?
On their own these devices have limited usage, but when they are connected to each other and other systems, the potential that unfolds becomes immensely powerful. The IoT, when coupled with data analytics, enhances decision making power. Sensory devices with access to networks are a perfect example of what the IoT is and does. Life insurers can now use sensory devices for better risk assessment. These devices can generate large amount of data as they communicate themselves through the network. The benefit is that when IoT is combined with data analytics architecture, the result is enhance decision power.
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