How Much Can Data Improve Your Health? by PBS Idea Channel

PBS Idea Channel host Mike Rugnetta explores whether data gathered through technology like Fitbit or Jawbone Up activity trackers can actually improve the health of those collecting it. Part of the problem, Rugnetta argues, is that many won’t actually act on the data gathered.

You may have heard of the Jawbone, Fitbit, Nike Fuelband or one of the myriad of other wearable self-tracking gadgets. Heck, you might even be wearing one right now! These gadgets help track everything from hours slept, calories consumed, to number of steps taken in a given day. But can they actually make you healthy??? Sure they provide us with tons of data about our bodies, but what do we DO with all that information?! Is it just about the knowing? Or does this actually motivate us to change and enhance our behavior? And if it does, can that be a bad thing?