Building Online Communities to Improve Public Health

Quantified Self
Today, one in every three adults is considered obese, roughly 33.8% of the U.S. adult population. Obese children consist of 17% (or 12.5 million), from the ages of 2-19 years old. [Data from the National Health and Examination Survey (NHANES)]. These are staggering numbers that continue to climb unless we find solutions: collaborating, collecting and sharing overall health awareness. Two organizations currently leading the way and guiding communities towards cures for some of these life-threatening problems in health and nutrition are Health 2.0 and Quantified Self.

Health 2.0 and Quantified Self are building communities online, collecting people from all over the world who are passionate about health and improving lifestyles, overall wellness, as well as individual monitoring. Health 2.0 acts as a news source, television outlet and forum where people can share their knowledge, ideas and concerns. As a leading innovative health community, this site acts as a great location for interesting news pieces and video, as well as current challenges plaguing the health world today.

Quantified Self is an online news source as well, rich with ideas on self improvement and self health. Focusing more on the human body and personal awareness of the individual self (through the use of apps and technology), Quantified Self builds projects that improve the future for individuals such as the following:
  • wearable sensors
  • open source ECG monitors
  • “collecting silence”
  • designing patient-facing clinical information
  • mobile psychological sampling
  • life hacking
  • mood/location mashups

Health and nutritional communities online, like Health 2.0 and Quantified Self, inspire others to become knowledgeable about nutrition, the body, exercise and activities that will help make cultures around the world healthier. Through sharing tools, apps and projects online, communities like these can reach solutions to the problems of obesity and unhealthy living. By self-tracking resources, encouraging collaboration, and innovating self-tracking technologies and apps, experts and beginners can begin to change lives and lead better futures for our aging bodies.

Dana Loberg is a writer, social media adviser, and Founder of Everything Social Now.

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