Prof Marcus Foth – Designing healthy cities: the role of the citizen, the role of the family doctor

With the proliferation of the smart phone, health and wellbeing apps have become increasingly popular. The possibilities appear endless: from advanced pedometers linked up with your running shoes, digital personal trainers recording your exercise regime at the gym, virtual dieticians monitoring your food intake, to sleep pattern analysis via pillow vibrations. Responding to this demand, ubiquitous computing manufacturers are now offering personal mobile devices, such as fitness bands, trackers, and smart watches. Design labs are pushing this evolutionary process from wearables today to bearables and even injectables in the near future.

In this talk, Professor Marcus Foth will discuss some of these examples to illustrate how technology and technological practice has evolved towards the ‘quantified self’ and ‘personal informatics.’ These devices and apps enable everyday people to become citizen scientists, tracking, tracing, recording, monitoring data – including health and wellbeing data.

Although the scientific and medical accuracy and reliability of this data is not on a par with that produced by pathology labs, it nonetheless presents an opportunity to probe some areas of a patient’s life that had hitherto been difficult to assess. With this talk, Professor Foth wants to sensitise #fgp15 delegates to new opportunities of accessing these additional data sources. He will stimulate a discussion how they can be used to complement general practice, and improve people’s health and wellbeing as part of a more collaborative approach between GP and patient.