Hacking the Human OS

Medicine has always sought to understand the human body’s operating system. Now, with biometric sensors and big data analytics, we’re learning how to fix the bugs

hacking the human os iconIf you wear a fitness tracker, you’re already generating scads of health-related data. It’s the start of a grand experiment. Doctors are now trying to answer a vital question: Can they use your data to make you stronger, healthier, and happier?

IEEE Spectrum’s three-part report begins with “Reading the Code,” which explores the futuristic hardware that will gather your biometric data. Your information will go to the cloud, where analytics software will set to work—as we describe in “Analyzing the Code.” Our third section, “Changing the Code,” looks ahead to the technological interventions, informed by vast amounts of data about how your body works, that may usher in a fundamental revolution in medicine.