Good ideas are always simple. I’m really optimistic about the emerging simple tools that let consumers manage, monitor or understand their health issues better. ZeaLOG is a simple tracker that lets you measure anything, and report off it. The service seems pretty new and driven by a team of one, so there are some rough edges here and there. Most of the ZeaLOGs started are around profound topics like ‘Number of Simpsons Episodes Watched’ or ‘TV Dinners Eaten’, but there are some borderline-serious ones too (exercise, diet related).
It’s not focused on healthcare issues, but I see potential for something like this in chronic conditions that affect an individual’s lifestyle. A good example is migraines. Those who have these terrible headaches would benefit from knowing exactly how many did they have this month vs. past 6 months and what were they doing when it started. So If one could log the onset/end of a migraine attack and the preceding activity conveniently, it’d be easy to spot a pattern (e.g. higher chance of migraine after cold shower).
Why not keep a simple diary bedside? or spreadsheet? Yeah, you can. But how many people do? And how many diaries can remind you to enter latest information in them and chart/graph your progress? It’d be a good idea to add some social networking features to ZeaLOG- finding comparative stats or just connecting with others in the same state as you are powerful motivators for using such tools (for example- Qwitter). ZeaLOG has twitter integration, but it’d be neat to have a mobile app too, especially one that syncs up intelligently with online data.
There is a paid service idea in this concept somewhere. I’m sure we’ll see one soon in healthcare.