Saturday, February 23, 2013

Automating Behavior Change - Social Media Week Presentation (Video)

I had the opportunity to speak on Wednesday on a panel titled: Healthy Living: How Behavior and Patients Can Fix Healthcare. This is a topic near and to to me. I've posted the transcript to my talk below. But the video has the full 90 discussion which starts with Dr. Jay Parkinson's talk, followed my remarks on Automating Behavior Change, and then Derek Flanzraich's presentation on How to make Behavior Change cool. I especially enjoyed the second half of the session which was a conversation moderated my Ki Mae Heussner, from GigaOm.

Watch the full session below or skip around.

Jay Parkinson, Sherpaa - starts at 8:45 mins into video.
Unity Stoakes, StartUp Health - starts at 22:00 mins into video.
Derek Flanzraich, Greatist - starts at 30:50 mins into video.
QA Discussion moderated by Ki Mae Heussner, GigaOm - starts at 44:30 mins into video.


Automating Behavior Change for Good: How Patients, An Army of Entrepreneurs, and Billions of Connected Sensors Will Change Your Health Forever
(by Unity Stoakes, Feb. 21. 2013, Social Media Week talk)

StartUp Health Academy Intro: Thank you. It’s great to be here. Some quick background to put this talk into context. My name is Unity Stoakes, I’m the co-founder of StartUp Health, a national Academy for Health and Wellness Entrepreneurs.

We have a simple plan we believe will transform healthcare: which is to build an army of entrepreneurs (who we call Healthcare Transformers) and layer in the Network Effect.

Over the next 10 years, we are on a mission to help build 1,000 health and wellness tech companies that will help change healthcare forever.

Automating Behavior Change For Good
Today, I’d like to talk about something that I am personally very passionate about: the need to Automate Behavior Change for Healthy Living.

There was an interesting article in the New York Times two days ago about the Food Industry called The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food. Please read it.

You see, the Food Industry, like the Cigarette industry before it, figured out how to Automate Behavior Change a long time ago. And the consequences have been catastrophic. Now, I believe, it’s time to Automate Behavior Change, but in the pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness.

Three Questions 
So, let me start by asking three questions questions:

How many people actively measure your own health or behavior? (Weight, steps, calories, sleep, etc.) How many people would wear a bandaid that would alert you before you were dehydrated or help correct your posture?
How many people would swallow a pill that would painlessly analyze all of your vital signs from the inside your body 24/7?

Everything You Do Will Be Measured and Analyzed
Within the next few years most everything you do will be measured and analyzed by billions of connected sensors, intelligent algorithms, and you.

And if I get my wish, all of this will happen elegantly in the background...invisible, automated and with incredible purpose.

What you do and eat, how you feel, and what your temperature is will be tracked and analyzed. Band aids will alert you before you are dehydrated and help correct your stress levels. Thermometers will indicate when there’s a flu outbreak in your school district. And your shoes and underwear will help improve your balance.

You will have extraordinary access to amazing insights about your life, about your own health and wellness, and also about the ecosystem around you.

Pretty scary isn’t it?! But it’s also pretty incredible. And I believe part of the answer to improving our collective health. 

Right now an army of entrepreneurs, innovators, and empowered patients are re-imagining what’s possible and building these technologies. It’s already happening. Billions of connected sensors are starting to measure, analyze and help change our behavior and thus our health forever. You will be able to track your health and wellness more accurately than your stock portfolio or your Web traffic. Your 24/7 Health Dashboard will show your past, present, and future wellness score. Best of all it will predict, suggest, and motivate you -- one breath -- one bite -- one step at a time to improve your health.

Why Outsource Your Health? Know Thyself!
I’ve often wondered why over the last 100 years so many of us have decided to outsource our health and wellness to someone else. I’m not sure how or why it happened, but it’s almost as if the norm became to outsource our health (to doctors, insurance companies, drugs, the government), leaving others in charge of our well-being. Somewhere along the way, our own health became someone else’s problem, and something to treat tomorrow.

Empowered Patients and the Digital Revolution
The good news is that two significant conditions are different now: First, the rise of the empowered patient. People are taking charge of their health -- both out of necessity and out of personal preference; And second, the digital revolution is finally infiltrating healthcare. With the foundation of the social web and connected sensors everywhere, a new era of innovation is possible. And now thousands of innovators, designers, doctors, and entrepreneurs are in the process of redesigning our future health.

Automating Behavior Change
Empowering people to acknowledge preventive health is a step-by-step process; change is hard. Behavior change is even harder. Fortunately, the social web, data, design, and personalized medicine are helping.

But for the progress I’ve described to truly work, and make a meaningful impact on our health and wellness, I believe there are 10 essential characteristics that innovators will need to tackle to transform our collective health and facilitate behavior change:

The 10 Rules to Automating Behavior Change

1. Natural Design - for the masses to adopt a quantified world the process needs to be beautiful and inspire trust and confidence.
2. Persistent and Automatic - data must be collected continuously and automatically to make the process easy and data set comprehensive.
3. Embedded and Integrated - technology should be seamlessly woven into our clothes, in our car seats, and design to work in and on our bodies.
4. Invisible - the best technology will disappear into the background.
5. Everyday Life - these will not be health and wellness devices. They will be designed into our life: refrigerators, car steering wheels, airplane seats, toilets and so on.
6. Comfortable - make things comfortable or no one will use them.
7. Predictive - It’s one thing to tell you what happened. It’s magic to show you what’s about to happen.
8. Incremental - behavior change is about small steps and incremental progress over time. Let’s help people eat elephants one bite at a time rather than in one sitting as is the case now.
9. Intelligent - the best tools will learn and get more intelligent over time.
10. Useful - technology is not about novelty or games. This is about providing value and making a measurable impact so we can all live happier healthier lives.

We’re very much at the beginning of an exciting new era, where technology, design, and innovation will help us change our behavior and improve our health. When we get this right, this will be one of the most important innovations of our time.