Moving from a health system that tries to cure sick people to a system that focuses on healthy living and preventing people from becoming ill, is one of the major challenges of our time.
The Health Enhancement Assist Service (HEAS) was developed by NTT Com, NTT Resonant and foo.log. It is the world’s first cloud-based mobile service for health support. The first field trial focused on how to estimate calorie consumption by analyzing daily food-intake and walking levels and then automatically recommend how the user can achieve their health goals.
The trial also includes the participation of the University of Tokyo, Tipness Ltd. and L-NET Co., Ltd.. A commercial version of the Health Enhancement Assist Service is expected to be launched no later than the first quarter of 2012.
The app can be used by any smartphone running Android OS 2.1 or above, or iOS 4.0 (expected to be available from early March), or any PC with a browser, including Internet Explorer 6 or above, or Firefox 3.6 or above.
More information about the app can be found here and the android version is available here and the iPhone version here.
The best with the app/supporting initiative
+ A comprehensive approach to health.
+ A ground breaking approach to analyse nutrition in food in real-time though photos.
The weak parts of the app/supporting initiative
- Only in Japanese
- Indicates that it will be commercial, hopefully it will not exclude groups that could benefit from this app such as students and older citizens.
- Unclear how the data is stored and how it will be used (might be written in Japanese somewhere).
What could accelerate this app/supporting initiative into a world changer?
> Translation into major languages (perhaps English to start with)
> Possibility to analyse many different kinds of food.
> Add social and environmental impacts (other peoples’ health and the planet’s health) in addition to the direct health of the user.
> Provide more information about the food (e.g. how the companies I buy the food from will use the money I provide)
How direct is the delivery of the result the app tries to achieve
- Long shot
The app can encourage users to rethink the way in which they live their lives today and maybe also help users reflect on what different companies does to try to make people to live an healthy or unhealthy lifestyle (fast-food, watch TV, softdrinks, etc).
How transformative is it
- A new world
- A major shift
- A bit of a shake-up
- A gentle rocking
To get information about what we eat in real-time is a breakthrough. If they manage to make this work well we might enter into a new food, health and lifestyle era.
How much does it encourage collaborations
How much are new networks supported
- Strong support for global networks?
- Currently encourages new forms of collaboration
- Provides interesting opportunities in the future
- Restricted to a small (expert) group
Not so much in the current version, but it could easily be added, both between different “users” and between users and those providing food and health solutions.
What synergies can be delivered
How well does it also solve other problems/generate solutions
- It solves everything
- Several important challenges
- Some important challenges
- Only one challenge
The kind of transformative transparency that is promoted can be expanded in two ways: 1. The analytical capacity can be used for other complex areas, such as a city landscape to get information about what’s happening (with regards to CO2 emissions, poverty reductions or lobbying for example). 2. The current application can be updated/upgraded to also include information about the environmental and social implications of different food choices.
Nine billion contribution
How global is it? Is it helping/will it help everyone on the planet
- Instant global equality
- Almost global
- Getting (incrementally) global
- Not applicable
Right now it is more of a luxury tool, but with small tweaks it could help people to understand not just the nutrition they get from different meals, but also the broader impact of eating. For example the following information would be interesting to get: 1. What farmers are helped and how much money are they getting when we buy certain food? 2. Is the money we spend on food used by meat lobbyists to push for unsustainable subsidies or organic farmers that support more vegetarian and healthy food? 3. How much of our money are going to PR departments and how much to poor farmers and retailers pushing for a sustainable food supply?
Building on current trends
How well does it use current trends
- The app is setting new trends by itself
- Building on multiple trends
- Effectively building on one trend
- Not really building on any major trend
Health will become increasingly important with the aging population in most parts of the world. Any solution that helps people live lives with higher quality and with more healthy food is likely to become a priority for governments around the world.
How fast can it deliver
- It's already happening
- In the coming weeks
- In a year or so
- In a distant future (hopefully)
The increased understanding about the food we eat is something that can trigger dramatic changes as most people care very much about what they eat. At this stage the app is more experimental, but in a few months we could see something that delivers directly.
Does it support transformative transparency
- Brave new transparency
- Transparency that is innovative (never seen before)
- Increased transparency, but nothing innovative
- No increase in transparency
Real-time information about the food is a significant step forward. If it will work well it will most certainly become a disrupter in society. But even if it does not work well it will inspire people to think beyond incremental improvements in the current system.