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Tracking Your Health: Do You Know Your Numbers?

By Jeff Arnold, CEO and Chairman

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to sit down with a truly transformative leader in medicine, Dr. Thomas Graham, Chief Innovation Officer at the Cleveland Clinic, to kickoff of the institution’s annual Medical Innovation Summit at a special inaugural program called Innovation Base Camp. The purpose of this part of the program was to prepare Summit attendees with an enhanced understanding of the guiding principles of innovation and collaborative relationship-building, and guide future innovators from across all industries to uncover the tools necessary for inspiring a culture of vibrant, innovative collaboration and implementing cutting-edge industry solutions at their own organization.

What struck me about my and Dr. Graham’s conversation – and the several others that he moderated throughout the day – is how critical self-awareness is for consumers and their health, and how important a role digital tools like apps, health trackers and wearables are going to have on our overall health. I’m not talking about the “wired” fitness junkie that has every health related gadget known to man. I refer to these kinds of folks as “the willing,” people who need little to no convincing to track every step, calorie and bead of sweat they generate. You may even be a little tired of seeing Facebook posts about all the marathons they run.

In all seriousness, what we must do to affect real, positive change in healthcare is to figure out a way to bring “the less willing” into this revolution. But to do that means the execution has to be incredibly simple, I would argue frictionless, to encourage widespread participation in the phenomenon known as the quantified self. That’s where developers – like Sharecare – are uniquely positioned to help smooth out the bumps in the road people will experience on their personal health journey. And I hope the latest innovation from Sharecare does just that.

Starting today, you may notice a new Health Trackers tab on your Sharecare profile – I encourage you to give it a look, play around with it, and let us know what you think. If you’re new to this whole tracking thing, we also have some great content about Health Trackers that can help you understand the types of metrics you can track and the best tools for you to do that. While this new feature is in beta, we think it’s important for you to know that we have another tool for you to use in your pursuit of health.

Even if you’re not convinced that “tracking” is for you right now, take a look at this infographic we created with some eye-opening data – like just 20 minutes of daily activity can reduce the risk of early stage breast cancer by nearly 40 percent. I think this information might help put the importance of tracking into perspective, whether you’re using a Fitbit, a Bluetooth-enabled blood pressure monitor or no device at all. No matter when, how or to what degree you get started, we hope our new Health Trackers feature helps you know – and understand – your numbers.