Martin Blinder, founder and CEO of Tictrac, discusses why health tech platforms like Tictrac are needed and how they are transforming the way we approach healthcare
There’s a huge volume of health data out there being collected through wearables, smart devices and other technologies, which has the potential to give people a better understanding of their own health and lifestyle and assist health professionals with patient recommendations. However, the insights these data provide are still not being utilised to their full extent.
Consumers can analyse and dissect the information in order to lead healthier lives and prevent conditions before they become a serious medical issue but, there’s such a density of information, it’s difficult to know where to start. As a result, this intelligence often goes to waste when it could be empowering people to live healthier lives, whilst simultaneously reducing the burden on the healthcare system.
Analysing data collected from multiple devices and turning it into actionable insight can be difficult, not to mention time-consuming. Users of these devices and apps are effectively being told what they’re doing, but not necessarily understanding the why or being provided with informed solutions they can act upon.
A sleep monitoring app might tell an individual their sleep pattern is irregular, for example, but how do they understand how best to rectify this? Is it because they haven’t been exercising recently? Or perhaps it’s down to how much sugar they’ve consumed. By pulling the data together from all their devices into one place, it’s a lot easier to look at patterns and draw accurate conclusions.
That’s why I believe platforms like ours are cementing their rightful place as the next phase of progression in the health tech space. People want to understand more about what makes them tick, but they need the right tools to make sense of all the lifestyle data they generate every day.
Our platform connects to over 1,000 apps, wearables and connected devices, enabling users to bring all their health and lifestyle data into one place. The platform’s algorithms then use these data to uncover trends in the user’s behaviour and lifestyle, and provides personalised and actionable feedback. Most importantly, these insights help people understand the lifestyle habits that may be hindering them from achieving their health goals and are a cornerstone of driving the necessary behaviour change that is paramount to preventing serious conditions like Diabetes (Type 2).
The first time someone uses the Tictrac platform, they’re prompted to enter their height, weight and age, and asked specific questions so their current health and wellness status can be assessed. They’re then prompted to ‘plug in’ any apps, devices or wearables they use – smartphone, Fitbit, Pillow etc – that feeds their lifestyle data into the platform. The more apps and devices people connect to the platform the better, as this will enable it to garner a fuller understanding of their lifestyle and provide personalised recommendations. Users are finally asked to specify the health objectives they would like to achieve, such as weight loss, enabling the platform to deliver bespoke guidance to each individual.
Based on the insights generated about each user, our platform provides prompts with the right, personalised actions or ‘Habits’ that are beneficial for them specifically; such as avoiding sugary juices in the morning, stretching before bed, or avoiding caffeine after lunchtime. The platform then monitors if people succeed in establishing these good habits, and tailors future guidance based on their feedback.
There are so many of people out there with the view that healthcare is something they should be freely provided with and, to an extent, this is absolutely true. However, with treatment so readily available and accessible, people have gained a sense of entitlement to professional care, rather than taking responsibility for their own health and doing what they can to prevent issues before they require treatment. This puts additional pressure on health services which are already being strained; so it’s one of our goals to help relieve this by engaging people with their own health and empowering them to take control by becoming self-accountable.
Transforming how we interact with our personal health is imperative as we strive to live healthier, more empowered lives whilst ensuring a more sustainable future for our health services. Technology is the key ingredient to influence this change; not only by gathering the masses of data individuals generate each day, but by making sense of it and providing solutions