Episode Summary

Most fitness gadgets, like the Fitbit or the Apple Watch, encourage you to get out there every day and “close your rings” or “do your 10,000 steps.” But there’s one activity tracker that’s a little different. The WHOOP isn't designed to tell you when to work out—it’s designed to tell you when to stop. Harry's guest this week is Emily Capodilupo, the senior vice president of data science and research at Boston-based WHOOP, which is based here in Boston. She calls the WHOOP band “the first wearable that tells you to do less.” But it’s really all about designing a safe and effective training program and helping users make smarter decisions. Meanwhile, the WHOOP band collects so many different forms of data that it can also help to detect conditions like atrial fibrillation, or even predict whether you’re about to be diagnosed with Covid-19. It’s not a medical device, but Capodilupo acknowledges that the line between wellness and diagnostics is shifting all the time—and with the rise of telemedicine, which is spreading even faster thanks to the pandemic, she predicts that more patients and more doctors will want access to the kinds of health data that the WHOOP band and other trackers collect 24/7. The conversation touched on a very different way of thinking about fitness and health, and on the relationship between big data and quality of life—which is, after all, the main theme of the show.


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