Tag Archives: future

‘Watching’ you

Here is an interesting article I read a few months ago:

Apple CEO: Watch is saving lives – Business Insider

Apple COO Jeff Williams:

Apple has gotten “a ton of emails where people say the Watch actually saved their life,” he says.

“The only thing on the Apple Watch from a medical standpoint is the heart rate sensor,” he says.

And while anyone can talk their own wrist pulse anytime, “having the information readily available and passively tracked in the background has proved to be profound, in a way we didn’t anticipate,” he adds.

“We’ve gotten so many emails where people or their cardiologist have written us and said, ‘This person detected something on their Watch and came in and they had a life threatening situation. If we had not intervened, they probably would have died.”

So, continuous heart rate monitoring can be very valuable, and the article also mentions a Fitbit detecting a woman’s sleep apnea… What’s next?

I can remember my mom having a health issue and she had to carry around a heart monitor for several days. It was bulky, strapped on to her, and needed to be unplugged from her when she showered. It was an inconvenient interruption to her life, but it provided important information for her doctor.

Imagine a few years from now when you go to your doctor and say, I’ve noticed an issue where my heart starts racing even though I’m not exercising… and your doctor says, that’s interesting, will you please download your last month’s data onto my tablet? A couple clicks later your doctor knows when this happened, your step count for the day, the last time you exercised, your blood pressure, your heart rate, your sugar levels, the oxygen levels of your blood, and a whole host of other data that she has at her finger tips.

She won’t have to say, I think I need to run some tests, but rather she will have a plethora of historical data that actually extends beyond what she might have tested for. She might have advice to share that she would not have known to share if you hadn’t provided her with this data. Maybe she injects a small sensor under your skin so that your watch can provide her with more information. And then you can set your watch to ping your doctor the next time you have an issue.

And then the next time the health issue does happen, your phone actually warns you before you feel your heart racing. As the sensation hits you, you get a text message from your doctor saying, “Don’t worry, it will pass, set an appointment with me next week, we will work to settle this down”… or, “Are you with someone that can drive you to the hospital? I’ll meet you there.” This might be a bit scary, but not as scary as the text message not happening and you having a medical issue that is much better or far worse than you think.

Yes, there are some worrisome questions like ‘who owns this data’, and privacy is a concern, but this is really exciting and can become something that saves your life more than once. The issue of private data being shared is something we will all have to figure out. People are already working on this, listen to CBC Spark with Nora Young to learn more: How to empower patients with medical data.

On a lighter side, maybe this watch that you wear (or maybe it’s a cyborg-like addition to your body rather than something you wear) can actually help you maintain a better lifestyle. Maybe it knows you are on a diet and locks the fridge when you try to get into it after 8pm, or it beeps incessantly and annoyingly when you are eating something unhealthy. Or it reminds you that you have missed your scheduled workout and prompts you to set up a ‘make-up’ time.

We are entering an interesting time of wearable technology and some time soon, accessories like watches might be watching us far more than we are watching them!

Luke Skywalker's Hand - May The 4th Be With You! :)

Luke Skywalker’s Hand – May The 4th Be With You! 🙂

Thinking about positive thinking

I’ve been thinking a lot about thinking today. I recalled my sister telling me about a Japanese Scientist who froze either pure or distilled water drops to examine the ice crystals… except that first he treated the water in a special way. He would ‘apply’ thoughts, and words, to the water containers first: things like ‘joy’ and ‘happiness’ or ‘sorry’ and ‘anger’. The results were remarkable! Beautiful patterns with positive thoughts & words, and patternless, blocks or ‘broken’ patterns with negative thoughts & words.

It makes me wonder about all this talk I hear about broken schools and our ‘failure’ to prepare our students for the future?

It makes me wonder about all the negative self-talk our media perpetuates… We aren’t pretty enough, we are too fat, we look too old, we aren’t rich enough, we can buy happiness, our future is bleak!

How much of this is real, and how much of it is unintentionally willed by our own (weak?) thoughts?

If we could accumulate a day’s worth of thoughts and place that on a frozen water sample, what shapes would we get? Beautiful patterns or broken formations?

What if we did this for our family, community, city, nation or world?

I know what it would look like for every newspaper & news media stream that exists, and find this disturbing… a reason why I avoid the news altogether!

There are some amazing things happening in this world. Kindness, generosity and love can be powerful and potent catalysts in changing what our daily thoughts accumulate to.

At the end of today, think of what the crystallized accumulation of your daily thoughts would look like. If you see something beautiful, congratulate yourself! If you see something less than beautiful, know that you have the power to change that, and also know that begins with acceptance, not blame… with forgiveness, not anger… with love, not self-loathing.

Gandhi was right, we really do need to be the change we want to see in this world. And that starts with our thoughts that drive us.

Think good thoughts,
Say good words,
Do good deeds.

Two old but not too old links | Year-end Food for Thought

I have two sources of inspiration for you.

One is a video… Brave New World Wide Web.  It compares 20th century learning with 21st century learning.  It was originally posted in 2008, but is still relevant today.  I hope it gets you thinking about one small change you can make to bring yourself forward.  I can help and support you in that process.




The second is a blog post from December of 2009, but it’s still fitting and good food for thought…

21 Things That Will Become Obsolete in Education by 2020.

I was planning on sharing the link to Shelly Blake-Plock’s, @TeachPaperless’, post (a year old today and still very insightful), ’21 Things That Will Become Obsolete in Education by 2020′ anyway, but here it has been put together with my Brave New World Wide Web video on the DeDorest Area School District blog.

It amazes me that on blip.tv where it was first posted, the video has never in 2 years and 2 months had a ‘zero’ day… it has had a long-tail audience and every couple months it gets a spike in viewings as someone else shares it. All told, at several sites, it has probably been viewed over 40,000 times and downloaded over 500 times since I put it online. I realize that a cat sneezing on YouTube can get 150,000 views in less time than that, but this story of a personal journey into the world of edtech, and what it offered to me as an educator, has a very specific audience and I’m humbled by it’s reception… even 2 years later.

New World Navigation

The early discoverers didn’t have a map to help them navigate from their flat world into a round world, and now it would seem that we really don’t have a map to help us navigate from our round world into a world that is suddenly flat again.