Humans are living longer, but are they living better? AI and Deep Learning can measure various wellness indicators like chronic inflammation and recommend a series of lifestyle changes for better health.
What if you had the ability to predict when your health was deteriorating?
being able to regularly monitor the proteins, white blood cells, or
cortisol levels in your body to know if you’re prone to suffering from
cardiovascular diseases or diabetes.
What if you could use this information to make major lifestyle alterations to stay healthy?
What if you could also measure the efficacy of those alterations?
likely that you think these are far-flung what ifs. That the human body
is too complex for anyone to calibrate wellness over the results of a
few tests. But whoever concedes defeat because of this complexity has
not looked at how emerging technologies can look at our cellular
structure and predict wellness in granular manner.
cells in our bodies are not static. They communicate with each other by
secreting proteins and releasing them into the extracellular space.
Scientists measure a wide range of these signalling proteins to
understand inflammation and how inflammation affects health.
inflammation is part of the body’s natural healing system in response
to an injury or illness. But human bodies also respond by triggering
inflammation when you are too stressed, don’t eat or sleep well, and
barely exercise — this is termed chronic inflammation. Inflammation at a
chronic level can be dangerous for the body.
might have heard about chronic inflammation in the passing, how certain
drinks, green tea, for instance, can help reduce it. But it should be
taken more seriously than that: New science now establishes that measuring chronic inflammation can tell how well a person is.
Why do you need to know about chronic inflammation, anyway?
you have chronic inflammation, at some stage you are bound to develop
chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure or cancer. The onset
if the level of inflammation in the body is measured, other crucial
information, specific to your gender, circadian rhythm, body mass index,
stress levels that can help better understand wellness is ignored. It’s
unlikely that your doctors are paying attention to these additional
parameters. And the reason is simple: doctors are in the business of
helping patients when they’re ill, not when they are seemingly healthy.
Measuring Wellness Non-Invasively
we use activity trackers whose sensors record our fitness activity. The
biggest advantage of these trackers is that they allow continuous
monitoring non-invasively. In healthcare, too, non-invasive ultrasonic
or electro-chemical sensors are being widely used. Slowly, new tools and
techniques are proving that sensors can add tremendous value in
wellness as well.
One such technique is bioimpedance:
A bloodless, useful and quick way to measure your body composition,
including fat, muscle mass, mineral composition, and body water.
Bio-impedance gives a point measurement which can help detect chronic
Certain tracking devices are already measuring heart rate variability
and there are other commercial scales that measure bio-impedance. But
these devices and scales do not attempt to infer chronic inflammation.
They do not account for equally crucial information like the body’s
circadian rhythm or menstrual cycle to obtain a holistic wellness
Intelligence and Deep Learning can combine this information and Deep
Neural Networks can help correlate it to understand how well you are.
tests might still be more accurate, but a wearable can monitor and
track bodily changes consistently and over a longer period of time.
Along with sensors measuring heart rate or bio-impedance, pictures of
the shape and texture of the tongue, the color of the skin, eyes, or
nails can help understand a person’s overall health. In the long run,
therefore, wellness trackers will prove to be a valuable and sustainable
An AI-driven Wellness Platform
Foundry, a Bangalore-based AI company, is developing the technology,
including the wearable and the operating software, to transform
healthcare from sick-care to pro-active care.
Katragadda, the Founder and CEO, says, “Our wellness platform includes
wearable devices that will measure ambulatory signals corresponding to
bio-impedance, heart rate variability, and skin characteristics.
Additionally, one-time information including age, gender, height,
weight, and menstrual cycle will be collected. An AI fusion of this data
will help predict chronic inflammation, acute inflammation, and stress
lot can be inferred from this precious information apart from simply
signalling how healthy a person is. Myelin’s AI driven health platform
can use this encrypted data to offer advice on the required lifestyle
changes or connect people to curated wellness options based on their
results. For instance, if the lack of sunlight or a higher stress level
is observed, the advisory could be to get more physical exercise. And
so, curated fitness activities would be recommended.
the issue’s mere identification is insufficient. One should be able to
track if the recommended solutions are effective. The wellness platform
will allow a continuous measurement and relay of vital information about
the person’s health.
Upgrading Existing Technology
a justified bias against existing technology. It’s natural for people
to diss search engines that offer misguided and unverified medical
advice. Google, for instance, operates on the data that’s out there, a
lot of which is about people who are unwell. There’s limited data on
people who are well. That’s where an AI and deep learning based wellness
platform which approaches health through sensors and not search results
can make a difference.
the approach is not to meant to stir up hypochondria. The system is
developed keeping in mind that matters of health are highly sensitive.
People should not be unduly alarmed or triggered into using the platform
every hour. Numbers will not change by the minute, and hence, a weekly
update will keep users sufficiently informed if their lifestyle changes
are bearing results or not.
advantages, however, of a wellness platform are undeniable. Apart from
helping individuals improve their health, embracing technology can shake
up global conversations on healthcare.
The Next Leap in Wellness
currently, focuses on early detection. Developing technology can
surpass early detection in favor of wellness that stops people from
reaching a chronic stage in the first place.
move from illness to wellness can have widespread effects worldwide but
especially in countries with a poor doctor-patient ratio and a severe
lack of healthcare investment. Therefore, using AI and sensors to bring
the best doctors’ knowledge to low-income individuals and societies is a
dream we must aim for.
future of healthcare is not without doctors, it’s a world where doctors
will be assisted by technology, by the wealth of knowledge of their
peers, and those who came before them.
will also be assisted by people who may not become patients, who take
charge of their health by focusing on wellness, not treatment. So that
we not only live longer, but also better.
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