Tag Archives: medicine
In this short talk from 2011, Dr. Paul Abramson talks about the intersection of Quantified Self and clinical practice.
Dr. Mark Drangsholt is a long-time self-tracker who also teaches evidence-based medicine at the University of Washington. He has tracked blood pressure and exercise, atrial fibrillation and what triggers it, deep sleep and sex, diet and body fat. In the video below, Mark shares what he learned about his arrhythmia triggers, and how his self-tracking data helped sway his cardiologist to do a less invasive procedure. He also makes a great case that Quantified Self experiments can be more scientifically valid than many of his colleagues would like to admit. (Filmed by the Seattle QS Show&Tell meetup group.)
On February 7th, 2012 there was an amazing “meeting of the minds” at CALIT2 down in San Diego, CA. The local San Diego Quantified Self meetup group working in collaboration with CALIT2, the Center for Wireless and Population Health Systems, and the West Wireless Health Institute brought together Gary Wolf (Quantified Self founder), Larry Smarr (CALIT2 founding director), Dr. Eric Topol (Scrips Translational Research Institute director and world-renowned digital health evangelist), and Dr. Joseph Smith (Chief Medical Officer of the West Wireless Health Institute) for a great panel discussion. As you’ll see and hear below, it was a lively discussion surrounding the topics of Quantified Self, personal health, the future of the medical profession, and patient-provider communication. There was also a great round of questions from the audience (and twitter) and I highly suggest you stick around to hear the very last question!
Special thanks to CALIT2 for filming and editing the event video. You can find more videos from CALIT2 on the their Youtube channel here.
Thomas Pickard has had Restless Legs Syndrome for the past thirty years, but was only diagnosed ten years ago. Since his diagnosis, he has experimented with drug dosage, had his genome partially sequenced, and started a RLS/Niacin study on Genomera. In the video below, Thomas talks about what he learned about his sleep, blood and genetics, and what his next directions are for reducing his symptoms. (Filmed by the Bay Area QS Show&Tell meetup group.)
On September 11, Lindsay Meyer was hiking with a group of friends when she suddenly lost all hearing in one ear. In the video below, she compares her experience with the California medical system to her own independent investigation through Google searches and apps. Lindsay draws a startling conclusion about the relative time and cost of a QS approach to medicine. (Filmed by the Bay Area QS Show&Tell meetup group.)
By popular request, we have just launched a global QS forum at: http://forum.quantifiedself.com/
Gary, Dan Dascalescu, and I took some exciting topics from the conference and turned them into forum discussions, with expert moderators to help explore ideas and answer questions. You’ll find discussions on:
Please join in the conversations, ask questions, share what you’ve learned, and come play with us!
I watched on the livestream (big thanks to Robin Barooah and Justine Lam for setting this up!), so I missed all the cool projects displayed during the “science fair” hour, but here’s my recap of the five fascinating talks. Videos will also be posted soon.
This story from the Wall Street Journal describes the growing market for lab tests available directly to everybody, without a doctor visit. (The companies involved have a doctor on board, as a regulatory formality, but the doctor doesn’t do anything.) I’m interested in hearing from people who are regularly running their own lab tests! I’m going to start doing my own.
Worried About Cholesterol? Order Your Own Tests
By ANNA WILDE MATHEWS
Cheryl Lassiter likes to keep a close eye on her cholesterol levels, but with a high-deductible insurance plan, she doesn’t want to pay the fees for repeated checkups by her doctor. So a few times a year, she orders up a lab test herself, using an online service that charges about $40.
“You cut out the middleman,” says Ms. Lassiter, 56, a writer who lives in Hampton, N.H.
Most people get lab tests after a doctor recommends them during a visit. Now, a small but growing number of consumers are skipping the time and expense of seeing a physician and are ordering up their own tests, with heart-related assays among the most popular. For some, it’s a way to keep track of measures that they want to regularly monitor, such as cholesterol levels or the blood-sugar indicator known as hemoglobin A1C, which is important to people with diabetes. For others, a broad-based panel of tests may provide a quick snapshot of overall health, or a particular test could address worries about the presence of a possible condition such as hepatitis C.
Here are some lab tests that consumers can currently order online without a doctor visit:
• Lipid panel, which includes ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol, as well as triglycerides
• C-reactive protein, which has been linked to heart-attack risk
• Liver function, looking at measures such as the enzyme alanine aminotransferase, or ALT
• Vitamin D
• Hormone levels, including testosterone and estradiol, a form of estrogen
Online testing services typically charge $30 to $50 for a full lipid panel, including cholesterol and triglycerides. A hemoglobin A1C test costs about $25 to $40.
Consumers wanting to get their own tests have a number of options. Online services contract with national networks of labs to perform a range of assays. For simple tests, such as cholesterol, there have long been quick-service sites in places such as drugstore clinics and health fairs. Consumers can purchase kits to do some basic tests themselves, including ones for cholesterol from companies including Polymer Technology Systems Inc., which sells a reusable lipid-testing device called CardioChek for $99, and First Check Diagnostics, a unit of Alere Inc., which sells for $13.99 the First Check Cholesterol Home Test, a single use kit that measures only total cholesterol. A few local labs will perform tests directly for consumers, but this is relatively rare, partly because of state restrictions.
In advance of our next Bay Area Quantified Self Show&Tell meetup, which will have a Health and Medicine theme, this roundup post is on health- and medicine-related self-tracking tools. Blood pressure, genetics, medical test results, blood sugar readings, hormone levels, dietary experiments – if you have a self-tracking project, gadget, or app, we want to know about it! (And good news for all non-San Franciscans – we’ll be trying our first ever livestream of the event on January 11! Stay tuned for more info.)
This post is part of our regular tool roundup for the complete catalog we’re putting together of all the self-tracking tools out there. Please help us to make sure we include your favorite tool, your company, or your project. Self-promotion is allowed!
Here are all the health- and medicine-related tracking tools we’ve found so far. Please let me know what we’re missing in the comments below.
From the New York QS Show&Tell group: Robert Rabinovitz, a design teacher at the Parsons New School of Design and a designer himself, mapped the 40-minute period on January 19, 2007 when he experienced his first brain seizure. He takes us through his gripping story, moment by moment, with images of what he saw that day. Robert is also writing a play, writing a research report and planning a film about his experience of survival. Watch the video below to see how the design process saved his life.