Social fever: tracking your health

As part of its 12 trends for 2012 Trendwatching.com has published a list of tech products that enable the monitoring, tracking and sharing of an individual’s health information. It’s called DIY health and it’s going to be big this year.

With the aid of a smartphone users can monitor and potentially diagnose issues with complete privacy, without visiting a healthcare provider. The irony is that the software will allow users to share that information with friends, family and physicians — and possibly device-makers and mobile-phone carriers.

What technology gives, technology takes away.

The gadgets include a wristband that tracks a user’s moving, eating and sleeping patterns; a cuff that plugs into an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch and takes the user’s blood pressure; and a trio of apps from Ford that allow in-car monitoring of chronic conditions such as diabetes and hay fever.

In case you think DIY health monitoring is a passing fad, Trendwatching says Apple’s App Store now offers 9,000 mobile health apps, a number that is expected to rise to 13,000 by the middle of the year.

Jawbone personal health and fitness bracelet

Women lead users of Twitter

Eight percent of adult Internet users say they use Twitter. The greatest percentage of users are college-educated Hispanic women aged 18-29 who live in cities. Those are the results of a first-ever survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project that focuses exclusively on users of the microblogging service.

Pew study pie chart how often Tw users ck for materialTwitters users differ on how frequently they check the service to monitor material from their networks. A little more than a third check daily while a comparable number say they rarely check the site.

Most users post a mix of personal and work-related information. A majority say that they post “humorous or philosophical observations.” And if your business is interested in tracking down these users to serve them messages and ads, the study reveals that 24% of respondents use the service to tweet their location, with 7% of them doing so on a daily basis.