Moderating Health & Fitness Panel at CES 2012: Looking for your questions!

A month or so ago I was contacted and asked if I would like to moderate a panel at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, in Las Vegas.  For those not familiar with CES – it’s one of the largest convention/trade show in the world, with over 140,000 attendees and 2,000 exhibitors.

So what’s the panel about?  Well, they (CES) actually selected the topic – and then they selected me to host it, based on my background with understanding the landscape of this space a bit.  They also selected all the panelists (the people I’ll be asking questions of).  So really, my involvement here is to facilitate discussion and ask a bunch of questions.  And maybe just to keep them on their toes.  Make them sweat a bit…(Hey, it’s health and fitness, right?).

Given that, I figured there’s no better place to start with my question gathering quest than you.  After all, you’re just as much an end consumer of this space as I am.

So let’s start with the official panel description:


This is an area that I see two different ways.  First, is the ability for us as consumers to use the data we gather on any platform we choose.  This means no data islanding (the act of holding your data hostage on a service, paid or otherwise).  Then we’ve got the second part – which is how we make sense of all the data we gather. 

There’s of course very different segments to the fitness market.  At one end you have someone who might buy a watch like the $90 Soleus GPS watch (review in the next 36 hours) – which isn’t able to download the data, but will instead use it real-time during a run.  After the run, they go about their life as normal.  Then, at the other end of the spectrum are folks like those on the Wattage Forums, which will analyze in extreme detail every second (or sub-second) of their ride – and go to significant lengths to ensure that data is 100% accurate every single time.  Both ends of this spectrum have value, depending on where you reside on the spectrum.

The trick is ensuring that the devices meet those consumers needs.  And this is where I think much of the discussion can center around.  Here’s who’s on the panel:


But I want to hear from you – what questions do you have?  And remember, these are somewhat going to be bigger picture questions rather than “Please fix this bug I have in the following scenario”.  Though, I can always ask those afterwards. ;)

So – drop a note below, I’d LOVE to hear from you – and hopefully get your question in front of the folks that are making the big decisions.  And if you’re going to be at CES 2012, swing by and say hello (and check out the discussion).  I’m only going to be there one day, so it’s gonna be pretty packed – but it should be well worth it!

Thanks for reading all!


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  1. 2012 will be the year of Power to the People. When companies with a sub $1000 powermeter come to the market, another consumergroup (other than pros and tech-nerdies like us) will use powermeter. How are companies thinking about transfering the data, metrics, graphs and information to these people?
    These amateur sporters aren’t probably interested in reading an 100 page book to understand everything about powermeters. They want simple, clean and easy understandable data which give them information how to train better.

    An example in history of a company which understand that is how Polar opened the heartratemonitor market in the 90’s.

  2. I’m interested in real-time monitoring of data over 3g/4g networks. Can a doctor monitor my Gampa on the treadmill from home? Can my coach monitor my ride while I am on it? Can I track Macca at a race or training ride?


  3. Making smart decisions with data, what is the next stage in the evolution process?

    In a world heading fast into obesity, how do you make data digestible for those who need help the most?

    Price points – adoption is driven by price (sometimes), what other ways are there to drive uptake of health tools?

  4. At Sportsense, we are growing more and more interested in moving from a “descriptive” model to a “prescriptive” model. This means moving beyond using biometrics data to tell a user what he/she did to what he/she ought to do. You will begin to see some early stage development in this area very very shortly. What do users think about this? Do users want dynamically generated and adaptive training guidance (well beyond static training plans)? Are users willing to provide information in the development of such a service that goes beyond data captured from biometric devices such as goals, nutrition, secondary activities, etc.

  5. Bob

    When will we see machine learning? A device that gathers and analyzes my data, and provides intelligent feedback w/r/t training, pacing, recovery, etc. In theory an intelligent device could pace me through an optimized race, especially if the course could be loaded before hand. More down to earth, I’d love a simple wrist based heart monitor I could wear all day that didn’t require a chest strap.

  6. What data format/repository will persist over a human lifetime? Eventually, we will want to compare today’s data to some earlier point to identify if what we see today is normal FOR YOU, or something changed relative to your data from 5, 10, 30 or 50 years ago. How will we store/access that data? 10 Tb SD card? In the cloud?

  7. OK, so not to hog the bandwidth or anything, but how to integrate multiple data sources – consumer data (Polar, Garmin, Zeo, etc.) and professional/medical? Any single measure might be useful for assessment right now, or in comparison with itself from a past time. But the most sophisticated measure will be the integration of multiple measures, analyzed as an ensemble. How to interrogate multiple sources and unse bioinformatics to seek sophisticated assessments?

  8. Assuming that the future is to help the users make fitness decisions based off of their stats, how will the best path be determined? Will it be based off of a cookie-cutter model, or will it be an ever changing standard based off of other users of the product?

  9. Not a question for CES, but a look into the future in my eyes: What about this product (link to with ANT+ support? Just for under $200 and fully customizable through all sorts of Android apps?
    I think Garmin finally gets some serious competition in the GPS sports market.

  10. how about accompanying the ant+ wireless protocol with a .ant data file system. That way it would be possible to make all ant+ devices spew out at least a .ant file, besides the file extension that companies would like to use in the software for their devices. As is now the case with .csv files.
    In short let’s make .ant for ant+, what .gpx is to gps.
    as a sidenote i would like to add that bluetooth low energy should also be in on this data filetype. As only then endusers will be able to easily gather their data in one place.

  11. madison805

    I somewhat agree with Bob. I would like to see our downloaded data being utilized possibly as per a predifined paramater set up by the user to help us gain in our fittness training or warn of overtraining (by perhaps heartrate data) just to name a few. I, like many, have few spare hours in the day to devote to figuring out how and what to analyze when it comes to all the data I compile from my exercises.

  12. Automatic analizing would be helpful. In agree with madison805, Bob and giorgitd I think, best feature in future would be an automatic service to figure out the top values of my life.

    I am able to hold all my data at home. I am not able to analyze/compare them all. But if I become able to put all of them online and a software will help it becomes possible to compare all of them with actual delivered values.

    And only than I am able to point out that my actual heart rate could be a problem…

  13. Anonymous

    Bigger Picture Thinking … there were 2 death during the Philadelphia Marathon last month. Norman Stadler discovered by chance that he escaped death 2 times by pure luck, before he discovered heard issues?

    We are running/biking/whatever with high-tech devices , what are the issues to overcome that Companies take the challenge implement in their devices to warnings on those potential lethal conditions during training and racing?

    I know that is maybe 3-5 years down, but I am not asking for world peace.
    We consumer need to start at some time to race those concerns, I had the feeling Polar once was on this track with R-R etc., but I do see that people look in power and pace to train to improve performance, but HR can help us to train and race more healthy.

  14. Most of the devices I have been seeing focus on results – Heart Rate, Power, Weight, Blood Pressure, etc…
    I would like to see focus on cost effective individual prescriptive devices, like testing resting metabolic rate for daily caloric needs and creating a plan for the data being captured. New Leaf or other testing gets expensive. VO2 max tests to see the best zones to train in for the average person. It would be great to have devices that detect and prevent sudden death, but how about the millions of injuries from repetitive movements, incorrect fittings, over-training, lack of or improper form, overdeveloped or underdeveloped muscles, weak core etc… How about putting R&D dollars into devices that help detect, correct and strengthen before injury or worse?

  15. Hello Ray,

    I am a fellow DC resident and physician in local health care system Kaiser Permanente, and was directed to your post by a colleague at Kaiser Permanente Georgia who’s also a competitive athlete.

    Given our work we’re always interested in how all communities stay healthy using technology, with the assistance of proactive/prepared health system.

    So my question is this – in a world where data isn’t islanded and you can make sense of it as a consumer, what would your expectations be of your doctor? How involved would you want them to be in understanding what the data means for you – a lot or not as much? Let’s assume the ability existed in the future for them to access the data you generate with your permission, would you take advantage?

    What would the advice of the panelists with regard to the bigger health system picture – more involvement, less involvement, does anyone in this group regularly bring in their physicians into their athletic journey?

    Thanks again for putting this out there, looking forward to the outcome, and feel free to contact me to discuss further.

    Hooray DC,

    Ted Eytan, MD
    Kaiser Permanente
    twitter: tedeytan

  16. Would be interested to hear Dr. John Mandrola’s take on Dr. Eytans’s post. He has a great blog at, link to , and is a “cardiac electrophysiologist …a cardiologist who specializes in heart rhythm disorders.” as well as a competitive cyclist. I found his blog when I was trying to figure out my exercise induced atrial fibrillation or SVT. Would be great to have a device that captures the random events when I have them during training. By the time I get the EKG or wear the halter strap etc, I have no symptoms. There are a lot of us out there. I’ll see if I can direct him to this post.

  17. Anonymous

    The Basis Health Monitor touts being able to track your heart rate accurately and in real time without the need for a chest strap. The devices does this through a unique camera and lights system and the camera in the middle takes several pictures a second as green lights flanked on both sides reflect light off your capillaries, Generic Levitra. Those ‘light pulse’ pictures are then interpreted by the basis watch and a readout is given. But the band doesn’t stop there, as it is designed to be a complete activity tracker with the addition of an accelerometer, thermometer, and perspiration sensor.

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. This means moving beyond using biometrics data to tell a user what he/she did to what he/she ought to do. You will begin to see some early stage development in this area very very shortly.Erectile Disfuntion