Designing Habits From Big Data to Small Changes

Notes from the SXSW session moderated by Michael Copeland, Wired Sr Editor. Panel included Steph Habif, Stanford Healthcare Prof, Trae Vassallo, KPCB Systems Partner and Jeff Holove, Basis Science CEO.

Synopsis: We all know there are vast amounts of data about our lives – our spending, our browsing, our activity – being collected daily. With the recent explosion in inexpensive sensors and self-tracking apps, we can capture new insights in personal health and activity data. However, the data is only truly valuable if it can be turned into positive behavior change. The panel discussed the key enablers to tackling this challenge: the use of visualization to make volumes of data easily understandable to the average consumer, leveraging gamification and social mechanics to keep users engaged, and the science of habit design to actually create behavior change.

Health behavior campaigns of the recent past included the Nancy Reagan “Just say no” campaign and Michelle Obama’s new nutrition plate. Very low touch, engagement campaigns.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, an example of a high touch campaign would be working with a health coach. A real story from Steph who created a custom behavior change program for a woman named Lucy. Lucy was 5’4″, 224 lbs. Steph came in as a health coach and designed lots of tiny habits. Over 7 months, Lucy dropped to 178 lbs. Her metabolism increased 50%. She finished the NY marathon.

What is between Nancy Reagan and Steph? Can technology/wearables fill the gap with the masses?

Thoughts:
1. For success, you need to engage with the data not just look at the data.
2. Social pressure works. Like OPower comparison of energy usage.
3. Extroverts need more tasks and dopamine than Introverts.
4. Gender differences. Read coaching books about the difference between coaching men and women.
5. When a man can’t figure out a new technology, they assume it’s the technologies fault. When a woman can’t figure technology out, they assume they are not smart enough.
6. Need a diversity of real-time information and triggers to get user action – although not studied well.
7. Identify a behavior that already exists and build on it.
8. Wearable tech give us a comfortable, always on “iPhone.”

Basic Approach:
Step 1: Follow the Dr BJ Fogg BehaviorGrid.com There are several tools on this site.
Step 2: Apply “The hook” from Nir Eyal (nirandfar.com) to help operationalize. @nireyal

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How Self-Tracking Geeks are Shaping our Future

Notes from the SXSW session featuring GE CMO, Lisa Kennedy.

Synopsis: Imagine a world in which everything you say and do, and how your body responds, is tracked and analyzed. This panel featured speakers who have imagined that world and worked to create it as entrepreneurs, executives, investors, organizers and fanatics.

Set-up from Peter Zandan @zzandan
Self-tracking is mainstream. Apple store has 20 self-tracking products
14.5% of US population is self tracking. Way more than who is on Twitter.
Les than half of US society trusts science. However 80% of us believe in miracles!

Lisa Kennedy @gehealthy
1. Health 3.0 is self diagnosing hardware. smaller, cheaper devices.
2. The rise of ambient intelligence that can map your “Behavioral Genome.”
3. Clothing being made with sensors. Comfortable technology is changing our perception of technology.
4. In the future, women can wear continuous breast cancer screening monitors. First Warning Systems has this for $1000.
5. DIY individual Telomere testing is a predictor of DNA instability or damage and loss of cell and tissues function.
6. We are 30-50 years behind in the study of the brain organ vs other organs. NeuroVigil’s iBrain device is a new monitor. Stephan Hawking is testing. Essentially this is fundamental mind reading.
7. First shooter games are actually good for you! Helps with focus.
8. Lisa believes Data = the currency of health.

Sonny Vu, CEO of Misfit Wearables @sonnyvu
Self tracking technology will be truly mainstream when it stops making you look like Tron.
Tech must be fashion agnostic. misfitwearables.com

Gary Wolf, Quantified Self Founder @agaricus
Quantified Self is self knowledge through numbers.
See quantifiedself.com for local meet-ups.
QS users should share their experiences which can help craft where this world goes.
The Zombi meme idea.
Seems like QS members are not narcissists.