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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Big Data is Coming to Your Bloodstream

September 8, 2012, 10:56 AM

What's the Latest Development?

The kinds of sensors that currently monitor your heart rate and measure the calories you have burned during exercise are advancing rapidly as companies race to create a new field of nano-scale, wearable medical sensors. The British company Proteus, for example, will soon begin a pilot program for a 'Digital Health Feedback System' that combines both wearable technologies and microchips the size of a sand grain that ride a pill right through you. "Powered by your stomach fluids, it emits a signal picked up by an external sensor, capturing vital data."

What's the Big Idea?

Companies and healthcare providers alike envision a brave new future of medicine where massive amounts of highly personal data are shared seamlessly across various digital platforms. "For those of you troubled by Facebook claiming the right to know whether you like cats when you sign up, this is probably a significantly bigger deal." The legal and corporate distinctions that regulate the exchange of data were created before the development of digital technology, for a world "where we weren’t able to see so much of each other, or deduce one behavior by crunching the data from several other sources."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com



Big Data is Coming to Your ...

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