Next on the list on our journey through a list of five personal data innovations to watch that I talked about last week is Studycure.
Now, before I get everyone too excited, this website is in beta, so it’s a bit rough. You have to request an invitation, but I got mine within about five minutes of registering. Despite all that, I love the idea of Studycure.
To put it simply, it’s part motivation to get healthier and happier, part experiment. Sometimes, when you are trying to accomplish a certain goal, such as weight loss, it’s hard to know what is working, and what is not. Studycure users take a basic, scientific procedure — an if, then statement — and apply it to different “theories” concerning their health. You can select any amount of time you want to test out your if, then experiment, and at the end of that time period, the data is analyzed and helps you to make a decision on that particular theory. As I’m writing this, it sounds kind of confusing, but it makes total sense. Here’s a video from the website, which makes things far more clear:
There are quite a few different sections, like sleep, diet, exercise, and spirituality. Before creating my own tasks, I decided to see what other experiments were going on. By doing this, I was able to get a better feel for the website. People can put a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” on experiments that are listed, and you can join ones that have already been created. Because a lot of the experiments that were already created were along the same lines as what I was going to do, I just joined those. The more the merrier, right? You can invite friends and family to join in, or just to see progress. You can even share the data with healthcare professionals.
Here are the four I decided to try out for seven days:
IF: I turn off my computer at 11pm, THEN: I won’t feel tired in the morning
IF: I make a ‘to-do’ list, THEN: I will be less stressed
IF: I eat breakfast, THEN: I’ll lose weight
IF: I exercise for 20 minutes or more each day, THEN: I will feel happier
From what I gather, users receive email or text reminders throughout the day, encouraging them to keep going. As the video mentioned, articles and studies that are discovered concerning your topics of choice will be recommended, as well as studies you can participate in. At the end of your “experiment,” you can determine whether or not it really worked or not by using the data compiled by Studycure.
I’m excited to see if this works. It’s definitely an interesting idea and I think there is a lot of potential for expansion. I could see doctors using Studycure to try and determine patterns in patients lives, and help them eliminate (or create) certain habits. Only time will tell if Studycure will take off. Have you joined or created any experiments on Studycure?