Using AI to Surpass Health Potential

Using AI to Surpass Health Potential - One Drop

Diabetes is not managed in the doctor's office. It's managed at home, in the car, at the office, and any other location you spend the majority of your days. Most people with any chronic condition, including diabetes, spend only an hour or two each year with their doctors; the other 8,758 hours they spend on their own, living their lives.

In 2001, doctors predicted that 7.2% of the US population would have diagnosed diabetes by 2050; we passed that milestone shortly thereafter, in 2003. This number does not account for the millions of other people living with undiagnosed diabetes or prediabetes.

So for all of these people to spend just 2 hours a year with their doctor would take 30 hours per week from every primary care physician in the country. It’s no longer a question of whether or not our healthcare system can handle it.

Even if I have the greatest doctor in the world, I still need to learn to care for myself -- and my condition -- on my own while I continue on with my life outside the doctor’s office.

But how do I do that? Sure, it’s a matter of eating right, moving often, sleeping well, reducing stress, and so on and so forth. But those are all individual tips of this monumental iceberg that forms overall health. And there is certainly no one-size-fits-all recipe for individual wellbeing.

Everyone needs different things at different times. What's happening for me right now is probably not what's happening for you right now, and my best next step towards better health is probably different than your best next step.

But in order for us to manage our conditions well and prevent complications, we’ve got to learn the everyday, self-care approach that works best for us, one that adjusts and changes to our specific needs in real-time.

This is precisely where AI (artificial intelligence) fits in.

What Does One Drop AI Do?

What is happening to my health and wellbeing right now may be similar to things that have happened to other people, somewhere, at some past point in time. It would be really helpful, then, in this moment, to be able to learn from those past experiences, to find out what other people tried, and how it turned out.

One Drop AI does just that.

AI is automated learning from experience -- our own experience, and that of others. It's how everyone using One Drop can learn from each other, moment to moment, even when there are millions of us, having new and varying experiences, every moment of every day!

AI is the system that connects what's going on for me right now to what has happened to others (maybe even you!); it creates learnings from those past user experiences, which are then delivered to me as forecasts and insights in my current moment.

With millions of users and billions of data points, we can honestly say we've seen it all before -- but we have probably never seen your exact combination of circumstances and results before.

AI does the math -- it is the math -- that helps us pull together the right elements from the right set of other users’ experiences and combine them to understand what's happening, right now, to you.

AI can look at what's going on with you in real-time, compare that to millions of other past examples, and say "Hey, we've seen similar situations before, and here's what you can expect will happen next." Or, "Yes, sleep, diet and exercise are all important, but for you, right now, the most important thing for your health is how to learn to work with stress." Or, "These new habits you’ve implemented are putting you on the right track for real improvement."

How Does One Drop AI Work?

Working with something like artificial intelligence may seem like science fiction. But the truth is, like most things done by computers, it mostly comes down to doing very simple equations, an infinite amount of times, extremely fast.

One Drop users have shared a vast amount about the experience of living with diabetes and related conditions -- over 10 billion data points from millions of users. The math we call "AI" revolves around a simple law: organize information about what happens according to what happens next. It’s how we give you a turn-by-turn navigation system for your health.

For example, One Drop's AI can predict blood glucose up to 8 hours in advance for people with type 2 diabetes who use a blood glucose meter. If you are one of these people, next time you record, let’s say, a meal in One Drop, our AI will pull together what you've entered about recent blood sugars, food, activity, medications, and any other relevant information you've shared with us (like weight) to then, quickly analyze what happened to the blood sugars of other people in similar circumstances in order to create your 8-hour forecast.

And it works. Half of all blood glucose predictions are within 16 mg/dL of the actual value, and 3 out of 4 are within 34 mg/dL. This accuracy is only possible because of the large amount of data One Drop users have shared and the huge variety of events that are represented in those data.

Blood glucose forecasts are just one way One Drop can use AI to support your health journey based on learning from you, as well as others. AI can also help set the best goals for you, learn when you want more personal attention (or less), suggest the best lessons and articles that pertain to your unique situation, and guide us in developing even more effective programs tailored to you.

We are working every day to make your One Drop user experience acutely focused on you and your needs. It's the combination of your experience and everyone else's that makes that possible -- by using AI to find just the right past examples that hold the key to your best next step.

One thing our AI does not do -- and will never do -- is pretend to be human. 

One Drop health coaches are living, breathing human beings -- not bots! But we will use AI to make sure your coach has the best information at the best time to support you.

You should also know that your health data will never be sold, traded, or shared to anyone. Your data is only used to help you and other One Drop users live your best lives. That is our bottom line.

We are grateful every day for the opportunity to facilitate millions of users learning from each other to not just reach, but surpass their health potential. We use the power of AI to make that possible.

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Dan Goldner, PhD
Aug 18, 2020

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