Internet of Things could transform our health, futurist says

The internet could soon help us to live longer (and happier) lives, Anders Sorman-Nilsson says.

The year is 2025. 

Picture this: everyone around you is wearing weird-looking gadgets that appear to be monitoring their health, from their vital signs to their mood, food intake and hormone levels; fad diets are something your grandparents did, before we all knew better, and, presumably, Trump is no longer president. Sounds pretty good, right?

This is the future – or at least, a potential version of it – according to Anders Sorman-Nilsson. The global futurist and innovation strategist is an expert when it comes to the “Internet of Things” (IoT): the interconnection via the internet of computing devices embedded in everyday new objects, enabling them to exchange data. 

According to Sorman-Nilsson, a TED talk alumnus who once shared a stage with Hillary Clinton, the IoT could play a pivotal role in radically improving our health, and life expectancy, in the not-too distant future – from personalised meal plans and smart fridges, to enhancing human connection which could in turn, he adds, help to lower escalating rates of depression.

Image: iStock

“Anything or anyone that can be monitored can be measured and managed.” he tells bodyandsoul.com.au. “Wearable technology and IoT in the home can monitor all our vital signs, moods, food intake, hormone levels, and in an aged care context can provide the elderly with digital companions, and connections to the outside world, including with family and friends, which could help the skyrocketing in depression found in nursing and aged care homes.” He adds that these technologies could also help with mental health and drug adherence through alerts and information services.

“The digitised [and] quantified-self movement is turning all of us into healthy cyborgs (people whose mental and physical abilities are extended courtesy of technology),” he continues. “Wearable technology and smart clothing can provide us with informative data to optimise our health regimes, and interconnect with our smart fridges and weekly meal plans. Wellness will become further personalised and might integrate with DNA-based diets to ensure your energy inputs and outputs are ideally balanced.”

Anders Sorman-Nilsson. Image: Supplied.

Just as smart watches can give you feedback on the restfulness of your sleep, IoT in the future might also provide you feedback on the amount of meditative “flow” state you have been in during the week and advise ways of spending more time in this creative state, he says.

Unlike the present day, in which keto and fasting reign supreme, Sorman-Nilsson says fad diets will be probably a thing of the past, specifically, that “we will be less likely to accept fad diets which are not scientifically based or backed up by data”. He adds, “Diet and fitness culture will have to be data-centric in order to be able to claim that it is human-centric.”

While data shows women are less convinced by the concept of IoT than men – men are nearly twice as likely to embrace it – the good news is, he says, it could lead us to live not only longer lives but also, better lives.

“The trend is already promising. IoT will provide us with both increased life expectancy but also important more ‘quality of life’ in the additional years we can expect to be alive.”

Fad diet-free and better mental health – what a time to be alive!

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