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Posts tagged “Digital Health Metrics

Observability for You and for Me

One digital health metric I now track almost religiously

One digital health metric I now track almost religiously

I caught a cold about two weeks ago on a Sunday night. I thought I stayed home to sleep it off on Monday, July 18. But this thing escalated quickly! When I went to see the doctor on Thursday, she told me I was about to get over it and that I just needed to rest to recover. Boy! That recovery took more than a week. Thanks to my trusted Fitbit Charge HR, I was able to track my resting heart rate and feel confident that I was on the path of recovery.

Before I started tracking my RBPM, I had no idea that it’s so much correlated to my overall health. Even though I was just laying in bed all day when I was sick, my resting heart rate went from 64bpm to all way up to 80bpm in just a few days. Clearly my body was fighting valiantly and my one health metric confirmed it for me!

Come to think of it, as an engineer, I know so much more about the machines that I work with in the data centers but I hardly know anything about the most important machine of all aka my body. At Fitbit and at Twitter, we routinely collect thousands and thousands of metrics about any single machine every minute of every day but we hardly know anything about our own bodies. Here’s a video of a short talk about the Observability Team at Twitter talking about how many metrics or times series they collect very minute. (Hint: it’s in the billions!)

So why do we know so much about computers in data centers but so little about ourselves? Wouldn’t it be nice to have metrics collected continuously about our bodies so we can analyze their patterns and create alerts for potential health issues? Wouldn’t knowing exactly how our bodies have been behaving make it easier for doctors to treat us when we’re sick? Today Fitness tracker is just in its very infant stage. I can’t wait until the day when we know as much about our bodies as we do about the machines around us. Digital health metrics are coming! Mark my word. 🙂