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Data, health and me: the future of people-powered healthcare - 17 Mar 2014

Smart phone cameras are also heart rate monitors. Contact lenses can measure blood sugar levels. We are moving into an era when we can all collect physiological data about ourselves.

At the moment we unconsciously give away data about our behaviour, whether that’s through website cookies or supermarket reward points.

But what will happen when big data gets physical? Can we use this as an opportunity to make conscious decisions about where and how our data is analysed? Could this rich, new data set revolutionise the way we are understand human health and wellbeing?

But what motivates patient-led data sharing, and how could a people-powered health system do more to encourage and respond to these motivations? How could it deliver more sophisticated tools for prevention, participation, diagnosis and medical treatment?

Through a series of interactive sessions, Nesta invited policymakers, designers, researchers and the data science community to explore the future of personal data collection and its transformative potential.

During the event we imagined different ways to harness the value of data we collect about our own bodies, through six future scenarios and prototype wearables. The event was set a decade in advance, with the aim of developing stories about the future to broaden public debate about the value of harnessing this data that we collect (often unknowingly) about our own bodies.

The potential health data marketplace

Watch an interview with digital health futurist Maneesh Juneja: