Tag Archives: medicine

Introducing iMeRG: The Individual Metabolic Research Group

Here at QS Labs we take great pride in supporting a worldwide network of meetup groups. From Bucharest to the Bay Area, we have over 100 groups meeting to discuss self-tracking, share experiences, and learn from each other.

We wanted to highlight a new group, based in southern Oregon, that is using self-tracking to expand and influence medical knowledge within the healthcare system. Dr. Dawn Lemanne, a board certified and practicing oncologist, has started the new Individual Metabolic Research Group (iMeRG) to develop, test, and explore inexpensive way to prevent and treat chronic diseases related to lifestyle, through rigorous N of 1 research methods.


Currently the iMERG is a composed of physicians and other health care professionals frustrated by the rising rates of lifestyle driven chronic disease, and the failure of the large randomized controlled trial (RCT) to provide effective interventions. Inspired by QS, they are working together to develop and use rigorous N of 1 research designs, while using themselves (not their patients) as subjects. Members propose projects, and together they figure out how to do it. QS devices and philosophies play a major role in the data collection and analysis methods being talked about at the group.  Current proposals have included:

  • How best to measure the effect of combining intermittent fasting and exercise on blood ketone levels and inflammatory markers in a sedentary postmenopausal woman
  • The clinical manifestations of Familial Mediterranean Fever gene heterozygosity.

Join the group! If you hold a license to practice a health profession (MD, DO, DDS, DMD, RN, NP, PA, DC, ND, LAc, etc.), you’re interested in N of 1 research design and methods, and you’d like to be involved, please contact Dawn. All individuals are welcome, regardless of geographic location. If you’re in the southern Oregon area you can join their meetup group on February 28th. We’ll be posting updates from the group as their research progresses.

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Chris Bartley on Understanding Chronic Fatigue

Chris Bartley worked on land mine removal as part of his undergraduate work, applying data collection and statistics to help with the process of removal. While on a trip for his research he contracted Reiter’s Syndrome. Even after he recovered he still felt like something was wrong. After consulting a physician he started tracking his wellness along with his diet and supplement intake. What follows is an amazing story about what Chris learned when he started applying his knowledge of statistics to his own data.

We’ll be posting videos from our 2013 Global Conference during the next few months. If you’d like see talks like this in person we invite you to join us in Amsterdam for our 2014 Quantified Self Europe Conference on May 10 and 11th.

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Quantified Self in Medical Practice

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Mark Drangsholt on Tracking a Heart Rhythm Disorder

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.)

Mark Dangsholt – QS Tracking; an example using a heart rhythm disorder from David Reeves on Vimeo.

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Quantified Self and the Future of Health

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.

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K. Thomas Pickard on Restless Legs and Niacin

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.)

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Lindsay Meyer on Tracking Hearing Loss

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.)

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Announcing: the Quantified Self Forum

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:

- Apps & Tools, moderated by Dan Dascalescu

Data Ownership & Privacy, moderated by Ryan Calo

Design, moderated by Steve Dean

Habit Change, moderated by Ernesto Ramirez and Gary Isaac Wolf

Fitness, moderated by Alexandra Carmichael and Dan Dascalescu

Learning & Cognition, moderated by Nick Winter

Medical tests, moderated by Dave Asprey

Mood, moderated by Margie Morris

Nutrition, moderated by Alexandra Carmichael and Dan Dascalescu

Sleep, moderated by Alexandra Carmichael and Gary Isaac Wolf

Self Experimentation, moderated by Seth Roberts

QS Startups, moderated by Eri Gentry and Ernesto Ramirez

QS Research & Media, moderated by Rajiv Mehta

QS Open Forum for any Quantified Self topic not covered above, moderated by Alexandra Carmichael and Gary Isaac Wolf

Please join in the conversations, ask questions, share what you’ve learned, and come play with us!

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Bay Area QS Show&Tell #17 – Recap

With so many exciting developments in the QS world, the air at Adaptive Path was full of energy for the 17th Bay Area QS Show&Tell last week. The theme this time was health and medicine.

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.
Continue reading

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WSJ on Ordering Your Own Lab Tests

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

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.

LINK: Worried About Cholesterol? Order Your Own Tests

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