Any number of new apps and gadgets can help record your every step, heart beat, purchase, bite and even mood swing. But unless you’re like computation fanatic Stephen Wolfram, pulling all that data together to look at the broader patterns of your life can be an overwhelming task.
That’s where Tictrac comes in. The U.K.-based startup, which launched in closed beta in April, aggregates data from all kinds of services — from apps like Runkeeper and Withings (which tracks weight, sleep and heart rate) to Facebook and Twitter — to provide a personal dashboard of all your activity.
Specific apps and tools, such as FitBit or Sleepio already track and identify patterns within one kind of data stream. But TicTrac integrates with 30 APIs (with 50 more on the way) to enable people to understand the relationships between the various parts of their lives, in hopes of helping them accomplish goals and make better decisions.
“Life isn’t a silo,” said Blinder. “What’s affecting you in one aspect of your life will affect you in another.”
Through Tictrac, a user attempting to shed a few pounds could monitor his weight against his sleep patterns, physical activity, stress level and meals to see which factors may be contributing to weight change. Or a runner could similarly look at his performance in the context of other internal factors, like sleep and stress, and external factors, like the weather and the music he listens to, to figure out how to improve.
Pairing those who create data with those who interpret it
The platform’s clean design and and infographic-heavy dashboard takes an almost Pinterest-style approach to displaying all of a user’s personal data. But in addition to just showing and aggregating a user’s personal data for self-reflection, Tictrac helps people organize their data around “projects” that range from losing weight and eating better to monitoring the development of a newborn and correcting posture.
Beyond helping people organize their data for themselves, Tictrac plans to pair users with data-driven coaches, doctors, teachers and other experts who can further personalize projects and draw custom insights from the data. For example, a patient suffering from migraines could choose to share that information with his doctor or someone on a weight loss plan could share online food diaries with a nutritionist.
No ‘ads’, but brand-sponsored projects
That kind of open environment also gives brands an opportunity to engage with users in an ongoing way, Blinder said. While the site doesn’t allow outright ads, it would let Huggies, for example, provide a project targeting new parents learning to care for a newborn or Gatorade offer a project for budding athletes looking to improve their performance.
Considering all the data flowing through the site, one concern for users could certainly be privacy, especially when it comes to relationships with advertisers. But Blinder said that unlike social networks, Tictrac makes no claim on a users’ data. Users choose who gets to see their data and if they close an account, Tictrac will delete the data.
Over the past few years, the Quantified Self movement has steadily gained traction. But while its numbers are growing, it’s still mostly just enthusiasts who take the time to monitor and measure their every bodily function and activity, in addition to patients dealing with chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension who need to track their vital signs for medical reasons. Ginger.io, a Boston-based startup, combines smartphone calling and location data, which it uses to help predict behavior changes, with patient-reported data to help healthcare providers and researchers support diabetes patients. And Healthrageous, another Boston startup, targets enterprises with a platform that helps people with diabetes, hypertension and other chronic conditions monitor their different data streams and receive personalizedd support.
But as applications like Tictrac emerge and make it easy for those not necessarily managing a health condition to actually use the insights from their data, the Quantified Self movement could move closer to the mainstream. Lift, the self-help app backed by Obvious Corp., similarly takes a general approach to life-tracking but requires users to input the data in the app instead of integrating with third-party apps.
To date, Tictrac has taken no venture capital funding and is still in closed beta with users in the five-digits. But if you’re one for resolutions, get ready because the startup aims to launch more widely around the start of the new year.
Image by Angela Waye via Shutterstock.