New Self-Tracking Paper and Google Health

Quantified Self member Melanie Swan has just published an open access paper in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health called “Emerging Patient-Driven Health Care Models: An Examination of Health Social Networks, Consumer Personalized Medicine and Quantified Self-Tracking“. She presents a thorough, well-documented analysis of the players and issues in the personalized health and self-tracking spaces. Definitely worth a read.

Also announced today, Google can now know your heart rate.

Exciting times!

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3 Responses to New Self-Tracking Paper and Google Health

  1. Gary Wolf says:

    Thanks for posting this Alexandra. I am looking forward to reading Melanie’s paper. I searched for the Google health announcement today and didn’t see it. Has it posted? I couldn’t really tell what they were promising.

  2. Alexandra Carmichael says:

    The promise is to “enable personal medical devices used for patient monitoring, screening and routine evaluation to automatically stream data results into a patient’s Google Health Account or other personal health record (PHR).”
    Here’s the announcement directly from IBM:
    http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/26603.wss

  3. Gary Wolf says:

    A demo would probably help. My eyes glazed over a bit while reading the announcement. They have “software,” I gathered. You use the “software” to connect personal health devices to Google health. But the problem “connecting” the devices is often that:
    1. They don’t have data out.
    2. If they do have data out, it is in the form of a cable, designed to connect to a PC in a doctor’s office, and without user software.
    3. If you run your own tracking software, and plug in the cable (or take advantage of a less common wireless connection) you may or may not be able to connect to the device without writing at least a few lines of code.
    So, IBM has software. What does that do for me? Oh, now I see. Here’s the substantive part: “IBM integrated the capabilities of Information Management, Business Intelligence and the WebSphere Premises Server sensor event platform with Google Health.” This strikes me as a new press-release platform designed to pitch IBM systems integration to medical customers by using the words “Google Health.”
    I like the more grass roots models… Devices produce data in standard formats (OK, “Continua compliant”), and we transmit them to our phone or PC, from which we can move them on to Google Health. If the phone is also a biometric system in some respects, so much the better. If our medical center/HMO/doctor is using an IBM system, that’s good business for the sales reps offering the ” Information Management, Business Intelligence and the WebSphere Premises Server” but that’s just normal corporate IT work – no disrespect intended!

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