Tag Archives: qstop

Meetups This Week

Five exciting Quantified Self meetups are occurring this week. The second oldest QS group will be convening in New York. Be sure not to miss it if you live in the Big Apple.

To see when the next meetup in your area is, check the full list of the over 100 QS meetup groups in the right sidebar. Don’t see one near you? Why not start your own!

Wednesday, April 29
Madrid, Spain
New York City, New York
Atlanta, Georgia
Brussels, Belgium

Saturday, May 2
Denton, Texas

Photos from Meetups Last Week

Below are photos from last week’s meetups in Copenhagen, Austin and Boston. If you attend a QS meetup, please post pictures of your event to the Meetup website. We love seeing them.

Copenhagen, courtesy of Katarzyna Wac600_436561196 600_436561241 600_436561262

Austin, courtesy of J.C. Adams.
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Boston, courtesy of Josh Kotfila.
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What We Are Reading

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One quick note today before we dive into this week’s set of articles and ideas: Did you know we started a podcast? Check out our first episode here and subscribe on iTunes!

Articles

Who Owns Medical Records: 50 State Comparison by George Washington University’s Hirsh Health Law and Policy Program. You’ll never guess how many states have laws that give patients ownership rights for their medical records. Spoiler: ONE.

Want to Improve Health? Help People Use and Share Their Data by Risa Lavizzo-Mourey. Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, shares her thoughts about how access to and sharing data can bring about a Culture of Health:

I believe that, fundamentally, data is all about helping people find new opportunities to pursue optimal health and participate in their own care. That means promoting ways to get, use, and share information about themselves easily and securely.

Technology That Prods You to Take Action, Not Just Collect Data by Natasha Singer. A nice article here that includes some great insights from our friend and community contributor, Natasha Dow Schüll. Are devices being “dumbed down” or are we when we “cede [our] free will to machine algorithms”? Only time will tell.

Can healthy people benefit from health apps? by Iltifat Husain & Des Spence. In this debate, Iltifat Husain and Des Spence discuss different types of health tools, applications, and devices being used by healthy individuals. Do they impact our health for the better? These two physicians duke it out through spoken and written word.

Excavating Old-School Self-Tracking Tools by Jamie Todd Rubin. A short but interesting thought experiment here by Jamie. What would happen if we analyzed the vast troves of “soft” data found in the diaries and journals? What could we find out about our past, our history?

Show&Tell
How We Are Measuring Happiness at Whitesmith by Daniel Flopes. Another interesting example of using the workplace team communication tool, Slack, to gauge and collect information about the emotional wellbeing of employees.

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Impact of music streaming on my listening habits by Maciej Konieczny. Maciej switched to streaming music in 2013, and it completely changed how he experienced music. In this great post Maciej he describes how exploring his music listening data (from Last.fm, of course), he was able to see just how his listening habits were impacted.

Visualizations

QuantifyingAboutTown Quantified Self About Town by Changyeon Lee. This visualization is part of a project by Changyeon to map artificial light in New York City. Above you see a data visualization of artificial light data around the NYU Tisch Building

 

WeightDiet My year in calories/weight.Data exported from MyFitnesspal by reddit user qwerty2020.

Access Links

In world of health data, enemies may become friends
Why should patients have the right to a copy of their imaging data?
WHO: Share Trial Data
California Launches Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine

From the Forum

Body Analyzing Scales – the maths?
Sleep Apnea Treatments
Central repository for QS dataComparing Steps with BodyMedia FIT and Fitbit Charge HR
How to calculate the impact of activities on pain levels

 

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Catha Mullen: Tracking My Financial Health

Catha Mullen has a long history with tracking, primarily from her experience as an elite-level distance runner. In this talk, presented at the Bay Area QS Meetup, she describes how tracking and data analysis helped her understand and improve her financial health.

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Meetups This Week

Six Quantified Self groups are getting together this week for show&tell talks. Copenhagen, in particular, has a jam-packed program with four talks on walking while working, food tracking, heart rate visualization and stress monitoring.

To see when the next meetup in your area is, check the full list of the over 100 QS meetup groups in the right sidebar. Don’t see one near you? Why not start your own!

Monday, April 20
Copenhagen, Denmark
Austin, Texas

Tuesday, April 21
Boston, Massachusetts
QSXX – New York City, New York

Wednesday, April 22
Cambridge, England

Thursday, April 23
Lille, France

Last week, Turin had their very first show&tell meetup. It looks like it was a fantastic event in a fun venue, judging from the photos. If you organize a QS meetup, please post pictures of your event to the Meetup website. We love seeing them and will post them here. Photo credit: Luca De Marco and Livio Torrero.

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QS Radio Episode #1

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In our first episode of QS Radio we hit the ground running with a great pair of interviews and some super interesting news and discussion about exciting self-tracking projects.

In our show&tell segment, we hear from Shannon Conners, a self-tracking enthusiast who’s been learning amazing things from tracking her diet, exercise, and weight for over four years. Jessica Richman, CEO and co-founder of uBiome, joins us for a short Toolmaker Talk where we learn about the importance of the microbiome and citizen science. To wrap up, Ernesto and Steven share a few interesting tech and self-tracking stories in a segment we call “What We’re Reading.”

We hope you enjoy this inaugural episode. Make sure to check the show notes below for links to items we discussed.


Show&Tell
You can find out more about Shannon Conners and her self-tracking experience on the JMP blog. We spoke in particular about her excellent diet tree map visualization:
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Toolmaker Talk
You can find out more about Jessica Richman and uBiome on their website.

What We’re Reading

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Anna Nicanorova: My Year in Numbers

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Anna Nicanorova is a data scientist. Starting in 2013 she started making an annual report, but what stuck by how difficult it was to access her own data she was collecting through different apps and services. Early this year she put together her 2014 annual report based on a few different tools and using If This Then That as a data backup service. In this short talk, presented at the New York QS meetup group, Anna describes her process, her data, and what she learned from examining a year in numbers.

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Meetups This Week

We have a great collection of eight Quantified Self meetups getting together this week.

Turin will be having their first ever meetup and will feature toolmaker/researcher talks by Alessandro Marcengo on specch.io, a personal data analysis tool and Massimo Zedda on Lifepitch, an emotional history tracker. They will also have talks by Amon Rapp on the current state of QS tools and by Luana Donetti on user interfaces for QS tools.

In Zürich, they will have a discussion on ethics, using Stefan Selke’s Lifelogging and Dave Eggers’ The Circle as starting points. Belfast will have a researcher talk from Dr. Brian Murphy on language and the brain and toolmaker talks from Jawbone and AppAttic. Lastly, Auckland will have a researcher talk from Dr. Karen Day on health informatics.

To see when the next meetup in your area is, check the full list of the over 100 QS meetup groups in the right sidebar. Don’t see one near you? Why not start your own!

If you organize a QS meetup, please post pictures of your event to the Meetup website. We love seeing them.

Tuesday, April 14
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Lansing, Michigan
London, England
Zürich, Switzerland

Wednesday, April 15
Auckland, New Zealand
Denton, Texas

Thursday, April 16
Geneva, Switzerland
Torino, Italy

Plus, here are a couple photos from last week’s meeting in Seattle courtesy of Eric Jain.

Dana Lewis Jin Kim

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What We Are Reading

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I’m filling in for Ernesto. I hope you enjoy this week’s list of articles and visualizations!

Articles

Don’t Relax: Uncomfortability Is The New Convenience by Adele Peters. This article looks at some products where a tolerable level of inconvenience is built into the design that prompts healthy actions or occasions for reflection.

Using Biometric Data to Make Simple Objects Come to Life by Liz Stinson. A whimsical project on display at Dublin Science Gallery’s Life Logging exhibition uses household objects to reflect and amplify the signals from your body.

The High Price of Precision Healthcare by Joseph Guinto. This is a fairly in-depth article on the relationship between drug and insurance companies and what happens when drug companies are given incentives for developing medicine for smaller populations. Not a breezy read by any means, but important for understanding the unintended consequences of changes made to the American healthcare system.

If Algorithms Know All, How Much Should Humans Help? by Steve Lohr. An exploration of a quandary that arises from machine learning methods. At what point do the automatic, self-learning processes mature to the point where any human intervention for correction is seen as injecting sullying “human bias.”

Show&Tell

Networking the Coffee Maker by David Taylor. A fun, little project using an ElectricImp micro-controller to track when the office coffee pot was brewing. The author helpfully includes his code.

Using 750words.com and self-quantification by Morris Villarroel. Morris has been using 750words.com for the past three months and reflects on his previous attempts to use the service consistently and how he uses it now.

Visualizations

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My brain on electricity: a 130 day tDCS experiment. This is a fascinating self-experiment where the author tries different tDCS montages while doing thirty minutes of dual n-back training.
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My Path to Sobriety by ERAU. From Reddit, the poster shares the data from an effort to reduce one’s alcohol consumption.

Access Links

Open Humans Aims to Be the Social Network for Science Volunteerism
Los Angeles Unveils Dashboard to Measure Sustainability Efforts
Who Owns Your Data?

From the Forum

Hardware Startup: Tracking Your Hydration
Five years of weight tracking
QS Research – 5 minute survey!
Zeo Sleep Monitor
Google Fit

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QS15 Conference Preview: Valerie Lanard on Quitting TV

On June 18-20 we’ll be hosting the QS15 Conference & Activate Expo in San Francisco at the beautiful Fort Mason Center. This will be a very special year with two days of inspiring talks, demos, and discussion with your fellow self-trackers and toolmakers, plus a third day dedicated to the Activate Exposition. As we start to fill out our program we’ll be highlighting speakers, discussion leaders, sponsors, and attendees here.

vlanard_head_b_n_w_sm-2We are excited to welcome Valerie Lanard as a presenter our upcoming QS Conference & Activate Expo. Like many in our community, Valerie has been tracking a variety of her health and fitness data and was pleased to find out “that there others like her” when she discovered the Quantified Self. Currently Valerie is working on Gigabody.com, a streaming fitness video service designed to help with regular exercise. She also has a keen interest in habits, health & fitness tracking, wearable devices, lifelogging.

At the QS15 Conference Valerie will be talking about her fascinating project to quit TV for thirty days. In August of 2014, Valerie committed to quitting TV and focused on how her environment and triggers reinforced a behavior she felt “locked into.” In her show&tell talk she will be sharing her process, what ended up replacing all her TV time, and lessons she learned about herself when she was able to break the habit.

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We also spoke with Valerie about what she’s looking forward to at the conference and she mentioned she’s excited to see new tools and devices as well as the opportunity to meet new QS community members:

I cannot wait to see the new crop of devices and QS companies at the conference – I feel like a kid in a candy store every year. But I’m just as excited to talk about the latest health tracking APIs, and meet smart, like-minded folks from the community. Come say hi!

If you’re interested in meeting and learning from interesting and engaged people like Valerie then register now for the QS15 Conference & Activate Expo. Early Bird tickets are going fast and will be sold out very soon!

Register now!

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Communities, Climate, Environment, and Health

Today, we are participating in the “Data and Innovation at the Climate-Health Nexus” panel hosted by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. When we’ve spoken to people about this meeting the reaction we tend to receive is, “What does Quantified Self have to do with climate change?” It’s a valid question, and one we hope to answer during the panel. Today we wanted to take some time here to talk about why we’re a part of this important conversation.

It’s no surprise that data and data collection is becoming a part of the normal course of our everyday lives, from the data we choose to collect about our health and wellness to the so-called “data exhaust” we’re creating as we use different technological systems. The practice of self-tracking, collected data about yourself to answer interesting questions or help change behavior, has often been linked to narcissism or navel gazing. We know from our experience interacting with a worldwide community of self-trackers that this isn’t the case. Individuals who track, analyze, visualize, and learn from their own data also tend to do something else: share it. You just have to take a peek at our over 750 show&tell videos to see that sharing experiences, techniques, and outcomes is a core component of our work and our community. It’s the reason we hold conferences, support over 100 meetups around the world, and share on this website.

We also know that data is powerful. It can help us understand ourselves, but also the world around us. We’ve been watching closely as new citizen science, one-off projects, and commercial toolmakers have started to incorporate ways to sense and measure the personal and local environment. From air quality sensors integrated into in-home video monitors to crowdsourced DIY environmental sensing devices – we’re beginning to see the power of data for understanding the environment around us, and perhaps more importantly, how the environment plays a role in the health and wellness of our communities. A great example of this comes from our friends at Propeller Health. Recently they announced the launch of AIR Lousiville, a “first-of-its-kind data-driven collaboration among public, private and philanthropic organizations to use digital health technology to improve asthma.” By combining air quality data with geolocated asthma inhaler use data they hope to better understand and positively impact their local environment and reduce the burden of asthma in the Louisville community.

This is just one example of individuals coming together as a community to generate and contribute data about themselves, their environment, and their health to drive a much needed conversation. A conversation about the complex, and important, relationship between the environment and health. We’re hoping to see more and, to that extent, we’re excited to announce that starting at our 2015 Quantified Self Public Health Symposium we’ll be officially launching, in collaboration with with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Personal & Community Environmental Data Challenges, calling on researchers and companies making wearables, sensing, data-visualization, and digital health-tools to join a national conversation about the importance of gaining a more detailed view of environmental impacts on health. This challenge is just one in a great list of commitments from leading companies and institutions designed to advance the Obama Administration’s Climate Data Initiative.

We invite you to learn more about our challenge announcement and our participation in the symposium on Data and Innovation at the Climate-Health Nexus by reading our brief press release here.

You can also learn more about national initiatives, programs, and newly released climate data from the following Fact Sheet: Administration Announces Actions To Protect Communities From The Impacts Of Climate Change

Update: The video from the panel is up and can be found here. The panel actually starts an hour and 19 minutes in to the video.

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