It is a sad, but undeniable fact that India will soon bear the largest burden of lifestyle diseases in the world. Health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, depression, malnutrition, hypertension, among others, are affecting millions of Indian men and women. 1 in 4 Indians are at risk of an early death due to a lifestyle condition, and India’s urban population faces particularly acute problems with 70% at risk of developing heart disease.
Many of these conditions are not viral or genetic, but are caused by unhealthy lifestyles such as poor eating habits, lack of physical activity and increased stress. These conditions not only cause terrible human loss but also come at a significant economic burden. In 2015, India will spend $257 billion to manage these conditions.
We need solutions that go beyond traditional health systems to help tackle and solve these issues. The good news is that ‘lifestyle diseases’ can be tackled, not with expensive treatments or procedures, but by individuals changing their own behaviour. It’s something, that with the right tools and guidance, we can all do. I believe that new technologies, particularly wearable technology, have a critical role to play in changing unhealthy lifestyles.
As a teenager growing up in India in the late 1960’s, the technology revolution in California and elsewhere felt a million miles away. But reading about innovative companies like Intel and the amazing work they were doing in micro-computing was a wakeup call for me—it showed me the potential of technology to transform our lives and transform our society. Fast forward 50 years, and as an entrepreneur and investor (now based in California), I’m lucky enough to work with companies like Jawbone, a wearable technology company that is helping millions of people around the world live better, healthier lives.
Jawbone is launching their UP range of activity trackers in India this month—and it couldn’t come a moment too soon.
Jawbone builds products that can change people’s lives for the better. Their UP activity trackers allow you to track your movement, sleep and eating habits using sophisticated microtechnology embedded into slim, beautifully designed wristbands. Their powerful, award-winning UP App provides users with real insights and health suggestions, based on their own data.
So what does this mean in practice? UP tells you when you miss your step or sleep goals and makes suggestions on how to improve. Set a bedtime reminder and receive a gentle nudge when it’s time to go to bed, or set the Smart Alarm to wake you up at the most optimal point in your sleep cycle. UP3, Jawbone’s most advanced multi-sensor tracker, tracks your heart rate throughout the day and night and gives you real tips on how to manage and improve your overall heart health. This may be the easiest and most continuous way to track your heart health. It is a powerful system, backed by data science and sophisticated algorithms, that helps millions of people around the world move more, sleep better and live healthier.
Technology is transforming so much of our world, but few technologies today have the same profound impact on the individual’s behaviour as wearable trackers. I’m delighted that Jawbone is bringing their devices to India and I urge anyone interested in their health to try an UP band, start tracking and take positive steps towards getting fit and healthy. Because you never know—it might just save your life.