From DIY health to ‘data myning’

From DIY health to ‘data myning’

Last week I began to write about trends for 2013. This week I will conclude the trends issue with two new mega trends.

Do-it-yourself-style health management is a rising trend thanks to all the information available on all media outlets from the Internet to TV shows like Dr. Oz.

According to, in 2013, expect consumers to turn to the medical profession and medical institutions to certify and curate these products, with doctors also “prescribing” them, much as they prescribe medicines, as part of a course of treatment. And for health providers, these digital “medicines” promise to reduce costs by making consumers more aware of their health, improve compliance and allow remote monitoring that can pick up warning signals earlier.

Here are a few examples of this trend: Happtique (a subsidiary of the Greater New York Hospital Association) is a healthcare app store developed by and for healthcare professionals. In August 2012 Happtique launched a pilot program for an electronic prescription app, mRx, which enables medical practitioners to prescribe certified apps to patients, and then track which patients have downloaded prescribed apps and send reminders to those whose apps aren’t downloaded. In July 2012, the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. granted Proteus Digital Health premarket clearance for their ingestible sensor that can monitor whether a patient is taking their medicine. The sensor is activated (and powered) by stomach fluid, and the patient’s physiological data is output to an accompanying smartphone app that will alert them if a medicine isn’t taken as scheduled.

Data mining has been a hot issue for years, but now it is taking a whole new dimension. If data is the new resource, expect consumers in 2013 to start demanding their share of its value. To date, the “big data” discussion has focused on the value of customer data to businesses. Now, increasingly savvy consumers will start to reverse the flow: seeking to own and make the most of their lifestyle data, and turning to brands that use this data proactively to offer customers help and advice on how to improve their behavior and/or save money. Brands will have to walk a fine line between offering consumers valuable (and ideally seamless) service, and freaking them out with aggressive if not downright scary “services.” Yes, consumers want to feel served, but they don’t like to be watched.

Movenbank launched in October 2012 with the aim of creating a financial services platform that encourages customers to improve their financial behavior and rewards them for doing so. The service is based on a user’s CRED score, which is boosted by managing spending and saving, as well as by “social influence.” Customers with higher CRED scores can benefit from reduced fees and access additional products.

From DIY health to “data myning,” consumers are striking back. There will be no more extra financial gain due to the knowledge gap between the institutions and customers. All firms should be aware of this.