Quantum Self – Cavan Canavan, CEO / Co-Founder, Focus Trainr

Author: Matt Godson

I’m often asked about what I am most excited about with the new Quantified Self space, the new devices and sensors coming to the market, and the health portals coming from the large players like Samsung and Apple. The easy answer is that it enables large format, non laboratory-based gathering of health data that was previously unobtainable; it also creates an incredible opportunity to make sense of it. However, the more complicated answer; the more fun answer, is a bigger leap mentally. One of the most exciting things I think that’s going to evolve out of the Quantified Self movement is what we refer to internally as the concept of “Quantum Self.”

The personal health space is in its infancy. We’re seeing hackers and data geeks gather everything they can, any way that they can. This counting and recording spawned the Quantified Self movement, which is Phase 1. The next evolution, which we’re approaching like a bullet, is Phase 2 or the “Understood Self” where we take the data from the past and forecast for you specifically how to reach your specific goals in the future. Devices and applications will be used to not just track but to help you. You’ll become more efficient and effective with your health. We’ll use fatigue points and predictive models to map the best routine for you.

The 3rd Phase, Quantum Self, is a little deeper. It’s where we take years of data around individuals and their health paths, decisions, and outcomes, and we begin to map deep correlations. We begin to look for ourselves in the data. If I am Cavan right now, where is Cavan 10 years from now? We’ll begin to extrapolate behavioral patterns and coaching techniques that worked well for some people but not as well for others. We’ll begin to temporally map your outcome based on your current state, activities, statistics, and more. The reason we named this Quantum Health is for the multiple outcomes that a human may pursue once armed with this information and the ability to map future outcomes over time.

A very quick example of this would work like this:
Imagine 20 years from now: Kelly is trying to lose weight, but he’s having difficulty. She’s 55 years old, 5’9” and weighs 225lbs. She works a 9-5 job, has 3 children, sleeps about 6 hours a night on average. She leads a sedentary lifestyle and consumes more calories than she expends. Temporally mapped, her doctor has shown that her current lifestyle will lead to diabetes and a 99% probabilistic death at 63 due to major health complications. This data was obtained by matching 20 years of data with Kelly’s demographic and health information. This isn’t just an estimate, the doctor, without naming any patient specifically, can point to more than 100,000 individuals that represent this lifestyle. There are 100,000 Kelly’s who have lived and died on this schedule. Each of these expired Kellys used devices to compiled their health data. They either released this data upon their deaths for research or they volunteered while still living; contributing to the worlds temporal health database.

This initially sounds very doomsday, but it works in the inverse just as well. Using this same data, the doctor is able to pinpoint specific life paths that Kelly can pursue that will help her. These aren’t recommendations; these are specific paths that other Kelly’s have used in the past. The doctor finds more than 20,000 Kelly’s that were in the same situation at the same time that took specific measures, given specific means, time, location, capacities, and motivations. These Kelly’s overcame their state and lived to be 75 (so far). Kelly will even be able to understand roadblocks and hardships in the process that she can anticipate. She has not only a full view of her least optimal path, but also her most optimal outcome and the direct path to reach it. She may even figure out a method that works better for her that helps future Kelly’s.

This works for athletes as well. Say you’re a Freshman in high school and you want to be a better point guard for basketball? You’ll be able to compare yourself to hundreds of thousands of similar athletes with similar health, demographic, and socio-economic profiles. You’ll find an optimum path, or you may find that you’ll hit a strength and growth spurt your Junior year and that you’re better suited as a power forward.

This evolution of the Quantum Self will give never before seen access to our future health and physical potential based on current activities and behaviors.

Quantum Self will lead to the ability to see yourself in the future and choose a path. Everyone that lives will contribute to this database. It will enable highly accurate predictions of outcomes over time. As illustrated above, consumers will be able to view their paths and make changes that result in the most positive outcomes. At the same time, the negative reinforcements will be immediate, tangible, and easily referenced. Doctors and patients and individuals will be able to make informed decisions based on trillions of real-world data points that were never before accessible.

Cavan will be presenting at the forthcoming Pivot Conference at the Nasdaq Marketsite in NY, October 16-17, 2014

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