Tag: health (page 1 of 8)

Nesta’s predictions for 2022

Nesta shares its ‘Future Signals’ for 2022, some predictions about how things might shake out this year. I’d draw your attention in particular to climate inactivism coupled with quantifying carbon, as well as health inequalities around the quality of sleep.

Under the microscope this year we look at topics that range from sleep as a new dimension of health inequality to where our food will be grown in future. We ask complicated questions too. Is carbon counting really a tool for behaviour change? How will Covid-related service closures impact families? Our Nesta authors don’t offer up easy answers, but this collection should help you to distinguish the signal from the noise in 2022 and beyond.

Source: Future Signals – what we’re watching for in 2022 | Nesta

Health surveillance

It’s possible to be entirely in favour mass vaccination (as I am) while also concerned about the over-reach of states with our personal health data.

As this article discusses, based on a report from an German non-profit called AlgorithmWatch, such health surveillance is being normalised due to the requirements of responding to a global pandemic.

The idea that technology can be used to solve complex social issues, including public health, is not a new one. But the pandemic strongly influenced how technology is applied, with much of the push coming from public health policymaking and public perceptions, said the report.

The report also highlighted the growing divide between people who fervently defend the schemes and those who staunchly oppose them – and how fear and misinformation have influenced both sides.

Source: Pandemic Exploited To Normalise Mass Surveillance? | The ASEAN Post

Improving VO2max through blood protein analysis

My wife and I have recently bought new smartwatches (me: Garmin Venu 2, her: Fitbit Versa 3) and the things they tell us really makes a difference to how we exercise. What’s reported here looks like next level even to the detailed stats we’ve got already.

The team identified a set of 147 proteins that could indicate a person’s VO2max, a marker of cardiorespiratory fitness, before the exercise program, and then a set of 102 proteins that could indicate the change in VO2max after it had been completed. Some of these proteins were also found to be linked to a higher risk of early death, highlighting a connection between cardiorespiratory fitness and long-term health.

“We identified proteins that emanate from bone, muscle, and blood vessels that are strongly related to cardiorespiratory fitness and had never been previously associated with exercise training responses,” says Gerszten.

Based in these revelations, the scientists developed what they call a protein score, which could be used to predict how much a person’s VO2max would change as a result of the exercise. Baseline levels of certain proteins were able to predict who would respond to the exercise with more reliability than established patient factors, according to the scientists, and also predicted which subjects would be unable to significantly improve their VO2max even after a sharp uptake in physical activity.

Source: Blood protein score might predict which exercise will benefit you most | New Atlas