We’ve put together an extra-long list for our last What We’re Reading of 2014. Enjoy!
Medical Inhalers To Track Where You Are When You Puff by Alison Bruzek. We’ve been following Propeller Health (nee Asthmapolis) for quite a while and this piece does a good job outlining their technology and promise.
How Self-Tracking Apps Exclude Women by Rose Eveleth. A great article on the issues brought on by the gendered design of self-tracking tools and applications. Good to see thoughts and experiences from some of our QS community members included in the piece. (If you’re a woman interested in women’s only QS meetups there are groups in New York, Boston, and San Francisco.)
The Echoes of Hearts Long Silenced by Ron Cowen. Humans have been curious about the sounds our bodies make for centuries. What could we learn from tracking and recording those curious buh-bumps? Sprinkled throughout this great article are examples of the the power of hearing and recoding the human heart.
The Genetic Self by Nathaniel Comfort. A great longer read on the ever expanding role personal genetics can have on our life, especially our health.
This brave new world need only be dystopian if we surrender our agency. If we are aware of the exchanges we are making and how our information is valued—if we are alert to the commodification of personal data—we can remain active players instead of becoming pawns.
More Data, Fewer Questions by Jer Thorp. “Every headline about data from the NYTimes containing a question, from 2004–2014.” (Part of an outstanding collection of predictions for the future of journalism in 2015] curated by the Nieman Lab.)
Dada Data and the Internet of Paternalistic Things by Sara M. Watson. A great piece of speculative fiction here that “explores a possible data-driven future.”
Tech Giants Move to Protect Wearables by Ashley Gold. With more wearables and QS tools capturing personal health data there is increasing scrutiny on privacy and protection, especially at the federal level.
Make Your Own Activity Tracker by Young-Bae Suh. Want to track your activity, but also love DIY projects? This is the one for you. A great walk through, including sample code, to get you up and running with a wrist-based activity tracker.
Enviro-Trackers Are a New Gadget Trend. What Do We Do With Them? by Margaret Rhodes. What can we do with personal environmental data? Margaret explores this question in the wake of the new devices currently available and being developed to track the world around you.
Vicious Cycle by Patt Virasathienpornkul. A fun student project that imagines a close-loop system of calorie consumption and expenditure.
Music Records by Salem Al-Mansoori. A wonderful deep dive into eight years of music listening history. Salem supplements the raw listening data with additional information and creates an amazing set of visualizations to answer questions such as, “Where do the artists I listen to come from?” and “How are my tastes changing over time.”
Half a Year with Dash by Colin Sullender. When the Dash OBD tracking device connected with the IFTTT service in mid 2014 Colin began logging each of this car trips. In this post he gets into the data to see what he can learn from his driving data.
Superpowering Runkeeper’s 1.5 Million Walks, Runs, and Bike Rides by Garrett Miller. The folks at Mapbox have done it again by improving on their last map collaborations with Runkeeper. Make sure to poke around in the large map to see where people are running, riding, and walking in your area. Also see this interview/article if you’d like to learn a bit more about the project.
A Year in Moves Data by Patrick Maloney. Patrick graphed his tie spent at time and at work by access his Moves data.
Crowdsourcing a Runkeeper Dashboard by Patrick Tehubijuluw. Patrick built a nice overview data dashboard to explore his Runkeeper data. If you’re a QlikView User you can download and play with your own data.
Tell, Don’t Show by John Pavlus. Data dashboards are all the rage in our mobile-focused personal data world, but do they do a good job conveying information? John Pavlus argues that “data verbalization” is the next big user experience.
From the Forum
Understanding Goal Setting and Sharing Practices Among Self-Trackers
Wearable Timelapse Camera? (For time management)
New book about Quantified Self, called Trackers
Determine your Fitbit stride length using a GPS watch
Julie Price has been tracking her weight consistently for the last four years. Like many of us, she found that her weight goes up and down depending on various life events. In this talk, presented at the Bay Area QS meetup group, Julie discussed what she’s learned about her weight and what correlates with weight gain and weight loss. Specifically, she focuses on the role of family gatherings, exercise and running races, and how different food and dieting methods either helped of hindered her progress.
We’re excited to have Julie joining us at our 2015 QS Global Conference and Exposition on June 18-20th. Early bird tickets are now available, and we hope you can join us for a great three days of learning, sharing, and experiencing the latest in QS techniques and tools. Register now.
A few years ago Mike Brown was searching for inspiration while working at his first post-collegiate job. He decided to start a personal blog to document a series of monthly projects that would challenge his current way of living and help him learn about himself. In this talk, presented at the Boston QS meetup group, Mike talks about a few of his experiments, including tracking his garbage and possessions, understanding his social life through random photo taking, and learning about his optimal exercise.
We hope you enjoy this week’s list!
The Global Open Data Index by The Open Knowledge Foundation. This isn’t an article, but rather an really nice portal to explore open data sets from around the world.
Eight things we learned about HealthKit from Duke, Oschner by Jonah Comstock. An interesting piece here detailing how two large healthcare systems are using Apple’s Healthkit.
Connected Health: Improving Patients’ Engagement and Activation for Cancer-Related Health Outcomes by the President’s Cancer Panel. Very short publication here that outlines how the President’s Cancer Panel is thinking about new changes in the health system and health technology.
Deep Neural Networks are Easily Fooled: High Confidence Predictions for Unrecognizable Images by Anh Nguyen, Jason Yosinksi, and Jeff Clune. This in not a typical entry into our weekly What We’re Reading as it doesn’t appear to be directly related to self-tracking or Quantified Self. However, I found it fascinating and a great reminder that algorithms are not infallible.
Visualizing HR, HRV, and GSR While Watching ‘Interstellar’ by Bob Troia. Inspired by a Reddit user who tracked his HR while viewing Interstellar, Bob Troia set out explore his full physiological response by tracking heart rate, heart rate variability, and galvanic skin response. Some great data in here!
Stress Snail by Pavel Zakharov. Pavel uploaded this unique visualization to our QS Forum earlier this week. This visualization represents his heart rate, activity, and stress during a particularly stressful day when he was completing a driving test. If you have ideas or thoughts on the visualization make sure to share them in our forum!
This Week on QuantifiedSelf.com
Greg Schwartz: Quantified Dating
David Joerg: Building My Personal Operating System
David Joerg is a software developer in New York City and had some interest in personal data. Inspired by attending his first QS meetup in late 2013, he decided to take a deeper dive into the data he was collecting, add some new systems, and see if he could build something to help him better understand himself. What he ended up building was his own data dashboard, a personal operating system, that allowed him to see how he was doing across the various metrics he was interested in including, sleep, exercise, weight, unread emails, and more. In this talk, presented at the New York QS meetup group, David explains his process and what he learned from developing and using this system.
Greg Schwartz has spent a lot of time thinking about his dating life. In this entertaining and interesting talk, presented at the Bay Area QS meetup group, Greg walked through a deep dive into the data he’s been able to collect about his dating interactions and online dating experience. This includes a thorough analysis of his messaging history, where he found out that messages between 200-300 characters tend to work best. Not satisfied with only exploring his own data, he also embarked on an interesting exercise where he was able to see and interact with his sister’s online dating profile.
Enjoy this week’s list!
Flipping Primary Health Care: A Personal Story by Kedar S. Mate and Gilbert Salinas. We’re leading off this week with a fascinating case study that describes what happened when one patient, Gilbert Salinas, “flipped the clinic.” After deciding to accept fellowship that would move him from California to Cambridge, MA he worked with his care team to take control of many of the tasks typically performed in the clinic.
Most importantly, I feel happier and healthier, and I am amazed that I have been able to accomplish my goal of being healthy during this year away from my providers. It has transformed my sense of what is possible and has encouraged me to take further ownership of my health.
A Case for Autonomy & The End of Participatory Medicine by Hugo Campos. I’m constantly in awe of our friend and QS community member, Hugo Campos. As a leader in the fight for access to personal data (see this great NPR piece from 2012) he’s been an inspiration for our own ongoing Access Matters work. In this post, Hugo makes the case for focusing less of patient participation in the medical system, and re-orienting towards improving patient autonomy and self-determination.
Health Data Outside the Doctor’s Office by Jon White, Karen DeSalvo, and Michael Painter. In this short post, the smart folks at RWJF introduce the new JASON group report, Data for Individual Health, which
“[…] lays out recommendations for an infrastructure that could not only achieve interoperability among electronic health records (EHRs), but could also integrate data from all walks of life—including data from personal health devices, patient collaborative networks, social media, environmental and demographic data and genomic and other “omics” data.”
A Systematic Review of Barriers to Data Sharing in Public Health by Willem van Panhuis and colleagues. In this review article, the authors outline twenty specific barriers standing in the way of sharing data that could improve global public health programs. They include numerous examples of the technical, motivational, economic, political, legal, and ethical barriers that prevent more sharing across public health systems.
#WeAreNotWaiting at the Fall 2014 D-Data ExChange: The Stars Are Aligning by Mike H. QS Labs was unfortunately unable to attend the Fall 2014 D-Data ExChange, but were excited to read this great summary of the event.
The Quantified Self and Humanities Best Friend by Kevin P. Kevin found out that he could track his dog, Lilo, along with himself when he went for walks and runs. In this short post he outlines his process, and the barriers he ran into, for collecting data from his different devices to show his progress on a recent 5k walk.
Follow-up study: on the working time budget of a university teacher. 45 years self-observation pdf hereby Dimitar Todorovsky. Dimitar is a recently retired researcher and professor of Chemistry and Pharmacy at the University of Sofia in Bulgaria. In this journal article he outlines his findings from tracking his time every day over his 45-year career. Most striking to me is that he averaged 10hr of work per calendar day for the entire 45-year period.
Heart Rate (bpm) during marriage proposal by reddit user sesipikai. Going to Rome to surprise your fiancé to be? Why not record your excitement and nervousness by wearing a heart rate chest strap!
To Big to Fail by Nicholas Felton. In this great video presentation Nicholas Felton describes the process behind building the latest in his series of Annual Reports. You can also check out the full 2013 Annual Report here.
From the Forum
Counterintuitive HRV Measurements
Active, Athletic Folks With Asthma Tracking Their Performance
Mobile Health and Fitness Apps Privacy Study
OP Innovations Sensors
Timer/logger/tracker–what kind of gadget am I looking for?
We want to share some news about the upcoming QS15 Global Conference and Exposition. We are moving the date due to the growth of the conference and the opportunity to add some fantastic public programming to our beautiful Ft. Mason exposition space, in collaboration with our production partner e2k events and collaborating architect David Benjamin/The Living.
The new conference date will be June 18-20, 2014. We hope you can join us in San Francisco at Fort Mason for what is shaping up to be our biggest and best event yet.
Tickets are still on sale and we’ve extended our early bird registration price. Register today and join us for an amazing three days.
The days I use my time wisely are the days when I feel most fuliflled and therefore happy.
Ian Billett stumbled upon our Quantified Self website here and instantly became fascinated by our community of individuals who were learning about themselves through different technology. With his interest piqued, he began to investigate how he could understand himself. He started with a self-designed Excel spreadsheet where he manually tracked every five minutes using his own tagging system. He’s since switched to even more fine-grained tracking, tagging every minute of his life to describe what he was doing and who he was with. In this talk, presented at the London QS meetup group, Ian describes his process and some of his recent findings.
Slides are also available here.
Special thank you to Ken Snyder for his valuable work documenting the talks at QS London.
Join us at our upcoming QS15 Global Conference and Exposition on June 18-20 in San Francisco to learn how to use self-tracking tools to aid in recovery and get back into a productive lifestyle without overdoing it.
Maggie Delano was diagosed with Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS) after hitting her head over Labor Day Weekend. To recover, she had to give her brain a break from anything too cognitively stimulating, such as using screens, reading, intense physical exercise, and loud music. Maggie was able to return to work after several weeks off. She has developed strategies that balance getting work done with giving her brain a rest and preventing burnout. She’s been using apps such as Awareness to keep her mindful of how much time she’s spending on her computer, HabitRPG to slowly build back up her prior habits and self-tracking, and Beddit to help figure out what allows her to sleep best.
Maggie’s session is just one of the many hands-on, up-to-date, expertly moderated sessions we’re planning for the QS15 Global Conference and Exposition. This year, QS15 is going to be two full days of self-tracking talks, demos, and in depth discussion, followed by a third day for a grand public exposition of the latest self-tracking tools. Join us at the Fort Mason Center on the San Francisco Waterfront. We’ve made some early bird tickets available for readers of the Quantified Self blog (for a limited time): Register here!