Thursday, July 15, 2010

I'm All Right, Jack


Image from the GE Health Visualizer

With the help of Pentagram's design ability and GE's undoubtedly massive health data, you can quickly see your worst fears subside (or worsen) depending on a few simple metrics such as gender, age, height and whether or not you smoke. GE's Health Visualizer takes only seconds to predict your statistical likelihood of developing diabetes, heart disease, hypertension or stroke. Of course, I assume this is based on American stats, not that Canadian statistics differ that much. Yet, you'd have to think there'd be some statistical discrepancies if you lived in Northern Europe or Asia. A recent study has concluded that these types of stats could be more telling if waist size were combined with Body Mass Index (as you could weigh a lot and be very fit or weigh a lot and not be fit at all). Also, where your fat accumulates is indicative of particular diseases. Another thing missing from this would be some sort of family history check list.

I'm always on the fence about statistical feedback mechanisms like this, especially when you find out how complex analysis of data can be and what different results you can arrive at with the same numbers. Still, if you aren't overweight and don't smoke, try this out, you'll feel better about your chances in no time.

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