Quantified Self ,Personalized Medicine & Big Data

The Quantified Self is a movement to incorporate technology into data acquisition on aspects of a person’s daily life in terms of inputs (e.g. food consumed, quality of surrounding air), states (e.g. mood, arousal, blood oxygen levels), and performance (mental and physical). Such self-monitoring and self-sensing, which combines wearable sensors (EEG, ECG, video, etc.) and wearable computing, is also known as lifelogging. The primary methodology of self-quantification is data collection, followed by visualization, cross-referencing, and discovery of correlations. If we add genetic data to all the social and personal medical sensors data then the dream of data driven personalized medicine in healthcare is not too far.

Personalized medicine or PM is a medical model that proposes the customization of healthcare – with medical decisions, practices, and/or products being tailored to the individual patient. Traditional clinical diagnosis and management focuses on the individual patient’s clinical signs and symptoms, medical and family history, data from laboratory and imaging evaluation to diagnose and treat illnesses. This is often a reactive approach to treatment, i.e., treatment/medication starts after the signs and symptoms appear. A proactive approach using big data technologies and application of predictive analytics can help us take effective preventive measures.

Life and health tracking information from various applications can be difficult to integrate and find meaning. But innovative and readily available open source technologies have delivered efficient tools in the hands of data scientists. Now we can combine, visualize, and analyze the cacophony data to identify correlations between specific input factors and treatments (independent variables) and psychological or physiological outcomes (dependent variables).

Today, creative data scientists can arrive at amazing conclusions about how various factors correlate with one another and affect a person’s psychology or physiology. We can combine this insight and apply predictive algorithms to build models, tools to predict how a person would respond to a device, situation, treatment or medicine. Open source innovators behind path breaking  frameworks such as Hadoop, Hive, MapReduce, Yarn, KNIME, WEKA and Apache Mahout have built a set of components that can help us achieve the goals of personalized medicine.

Learning all these technologies, building the analytical tool from scratch and then running data analysis is a set of daunting tasks. The team at Big Data Cognition  is helping  data scientists face this challenge. We have integrated all these technologies together  to build a single platform, Saarus. Using Saarus,data scientist can focus on creative use of data without wasting precious time and effort on the technology plumbing.

Saarus, as is the case with all it’s component technologies, remains open source and is designed to make life easier for data scientists. It helps data scientists harness the capabilities of all these technologies and provide a cost-effective graphical analytic work bench. Big Data Cognition is committed to work on integration of all promising statistical algorithms and technologies to help healthcare data scientists achieve the goal of personalized medicine and preventive care.

The Right Segment

In a posting last week (  Customer Engagement, Gamification & Social Games – 2 ) I referred to the importance of genre in the social media design and how it can impact the ability to attract a target segment.I also referred to the fact that target market for Seduction is male.

After three weeks here’s what data tells us  about the demographic distribution of  Seduction players –

 

There is marked preference for this game by males compared to females.Younger population ( 18-34 )in both genders are interested in Seduction.Now armed with this insight we can select the brands that fit this demographic distribution and make sure that there is a match between brand’s target market and game player distribution.This statistics will also help us target our marketing efforts in attracting the segment that’s not showing much interest and help strike the ” right balance ” 😉

Social Media Games and Product Placement

We all have spotted an iPhone or Pepsi can in a movie scene.It’s a well known concept of “Product placement”, a form of advertisement, where branded goods or services are placed in a context usually devoid of ads, such as movies, music videos, the story line of television shows, or news programs. The product placement is often not disclosed at the time that the good or service is featured.

Games such as Mafia Wars and FarmVille, attract millions of active players. Mafia Wars, for example, is played by more than 25 million Facebook users each month.This huge audience, which includes a wide range of demographics, particularly women, is highly engaged and motivated to interact with brands, particularly those that reward them with virtual currency or progress their social game status.By using the same techniques as product placement marketing in movies, brands can be seamlessly woven into the fabric of a social gaming environment.

Genre of the game and player demographics are the deciding factors in matching a game’s story and/or player’s connection with a specific brand.FarmVille, for example, is the perfect place for food-related brands to get in front of a social gaming audience that stands in the tens of millions. Israeli chocolate brand, Elite Taami Nutz, did just that.

Saatchi & Saatchi BBR Tel Aviv and its digital subsidiary, Saatchi Interactive, developed a campaign in which FarmVille players were able to buy and grow Nutz branded peanuts.Non-profit brands are also finding success with in-game product placement. Water.org raised $13,000 in under a week through FishVille players purchasing a specially designed fish. Not only that, traffic to their website increased ten-fold during the campaign.

Movie promoters are also jumping on the social gaming bandwagon. A week-long, pre-launch campaign was run on Mafia Wars for gangster movie “Public Enemies” whereby players could undertake Public Enemies-themed “jobs” and unlock additional virtual items associated with the movie along with loot, clips and facts.Here Mafia Wars theme of gang violence was the driving factor to match the movie ( a product ) of similar theme.

In a game such as Seduction, genre is closer to humor and sex with flirtatious story lines.Our experiences suggest that this genre is enjoyed equally by both genders.Products where sexuality is used in advertising, certain values and attitudes towards sex are necessarily ‘sold’ along with a product. In advertising terms, this is called “the concept”.

The message may be that “innocence is sexy” (as used by Calvin Klein when it uses young people in provocative poses), or that link pain and violence with sexiness and glamour (as used by Versace), or that women enjoy being dominated, or that women come with a product (e.g. in the advertisement for Budweiser Beer), or that the use of a certain product is naughty but legal, or that use of a certain product will make the user more attractive to the opposite sex, and many other messages.

These messages are weaved into the story narratives through scenarios .Gaming experience is aided by the scenario graphics and seamlessly links player’s in-game activity with actual online purchase of a product.