Your Cellphone Called…You’re Sick

by Amy Marcott on July 1, 2011 · 1 comment

in Health, In the News, Research

The idea behind the app, as stated on the DailyData website, is simple: “Better data about your mental and social health will improve your health care.”

An MIT start-up aims to offer people a new health care consultant—their cell phones. DailyData, the app provided by Ginger.io (pronounced ginger-eye-oh), is the brainchild of recent Media Lab and Sloan School of Management grads Anmol Madan SM ’05, PhD ’10; Ryan O’Toole SM ’10; and Karan Singh MBA ’11. It tracks an individual’s health or the health of others by monitoring changes in behavior.

Once installed on an Android device (sorry iPhone users), the app runs in the background to passively send location, calling, and SMS data from your phone (though not the content of your conversations) to DailyData throughout the day. The system will then alert you when behavior deviates from the norm. You can visualize your communication and movement patterns on your phone or online and ideally identify the behaviors that make you successful at work, play, and with family.

You can also compare symptoms and medications with your behavior. The company website says DailyData could potentially serve as an automatic, early warning system for individuals and professional caregivers.

This spring, Ginger.io participated in TechStars Boston, a start-up accelerator founded in 2006 that provides office space in Cambridge, mentorship, and seed funding to a highly selective group of start-ups each year. It was one of 12 companies chosen among 600 applicants. Ginger.io is also a finalist in MassChallenge, the world’s largest global start-up competition. The program started June 27 with the final ceremony held in October.

Right now, the app is in closed alpha stage. If you’re interested in participating, preregister with the company and once you’re invited, download and install the app and create an account. That’s it.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

James Makker July 11, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Remote data transfer is going to be part of the newest med tech. It will never replace an actual visit to the doctor, or to your neurosurgeon, as is my case, but it will give us something to go on, prior to the patient’s arrival. Furthermore, it will give the patient a kind of ‘early warning system’ at some point. Possibly saving thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of lives.

The concept of using these kinds of applications is limitless as the technology grows. We have only begun to scrape the topsoil in this area.

Wait twenty years and see what marvels are brought.

Dr. James Makker MD, MBA

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