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Understanding Fitness Deserts

A couple months ago, Good had a great feature about the idea of a fitness desert--essentially, a place where, due to some combination of environmental and social factors, getting out, walking around, and exercising is unusually difficult. As far as I can tell, the piece, by Alex Schmidt, is one of the first to use the term fitness desert--and I'd guess, in part, this is because coming up with any sort of clear definition of one is complex.

5 Innovations Inspired by Liberation of Data



The air was electric. Voices buzzed in anticipation. I had never seen so many people in once place that were all excited about health data. I actually felt a bit giddy.

Crowdsourcing health research

CureTogether recently announced that using only patient-reported data, it has confirmed the infertility-asthma association that has previously been explored only in clinical studies.  In an analysis of 324 patients, those who report infertility are 1.9x more likely to report having asthma than patients who don't report infertility. 

Within the 34 people reporting infertility, 13 (38%) reported having asthma (the remaining 21 out of 34 specifically said they did NOT have asthma). Within the 290 people reporting quot;no infertility", 58 (20%) reported having asthma (the remaining 232 specifically reported NOT having asthma). This 38% vs. 20% relative risk is statistically significant, with a 95% confidence interval of 1.4 - 2.6.

CureTogether is "a collaboration of people from around the world volunteering to solve real problems in chronic conditions" by self-reporting and rating symptoms and treatments for over 360 conditions. The website enables people to track their health, compare their experiences to others, and make more informed health decisions based on this self-knowledge and collective wisdom.

CureTogether co-founder Alexandra Carmichael participated on a panel about "Building the Health Commons" at our HC2020 Spring Conference, during which we discussed the culture of participation, cooperation, and commons thinking that may be needed to address the challenges of the future of health and health care.  I have also blogged about Alex and self-tracking here.

Getting Paid to Lose Weight

Would you lose weight for $1,000? HealthyWage, a company that announced its public launch this week, believes that the promise of a financial incentive will encourage people to set health goals, such as losing weight, and stick with them for an extended period of time, and that they can create a viable business by offering these incentives.
According to TechCrunch, here's how HealthyWage works:

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