Topic Archives: QSPH
**Update: The event is over, but you can watch the whole thing in the video below.**
Since 2014, Quantified Self Labs has put on a one day symposium in San Diego where we bring together toolmakers and public health researchers to support new discoveries about our health and the health of our communities that are grounded in accurate self-observation.
The stream starts at 9:00 AM and the schedule can be viewed here. I hope you’ll join us. Contribute to the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #qsph16.
Today the New York Times published a fantastic story by Peter Andrey Smith about the Nightscout and OpenAPS projects: A Do-It-Yourself Revolution in Diabetes Care. People with diabetes and parents of kids with diabetes are self-tracking by necessity, and we’ve learned a lot from their talks about their projects at QS meetings and conferences. Their impact is growing. Reading Smith’s story inspired me to repost a talk by Nightscout pioneer Lane Desborough, along with links to additional people and resources that didn’t make it into the Times story.
Nightscout, which Lane describes in this wonderful talk, allows people with people with diabetes and parents of kids with diabetes the see real time data from a blood glucose monitor on a mobile device. While similar efforts are underway among manufacturers, leadership is coming from patients and caregivers.
The quality and commitment here can inspire anybody who is thinking about how QS tools fit into new forms of knowledge and cooperation. The projects Lane discusses in this talk have continued to grow and evolve. Supported by a remarkable group of activists and a technically expert community made up mainly of people with diabetes and parents of kids with diabetes, contributors to these projects have created a suite of tools that can dramatically improve self-care.
For instance, a couple of weeks ago I saw this tweet from Howard Look, founder of Tidepool:
Did you know that people with diabetes have been building their own artificial pancreas systems? Read more about Nightscout, the Open Artificial Pancreas System, and related projects at these links:
From the Quantified Self Public Health Symposium
“We have to have a fundamental faith in ingenuity.”
Jose Gomez-Marquez wants to live in a world where anybody can go to what he calls “the primary sources” and ask questions of themselves using novel forms of sensing. At the Little Device Lab at MIT, Jose and his colleagues focus on bringing the ingenuity of the maker movement to the world of health and healthcare. In projects like Maker Nurse , they focus on understanding the questions people ask, the problems they face, and how they develop homegrown DIY methods to find answers. In this talk Jose uses specific examples from a new course at MIT to explain the idea of “transparent boxes” — systems and technologies that allow individuals to be creative in their exploration of themselves through data.
Watch Jose’s video on Medium.
From the Quantified Self Public Health Symposium
Stephen Downs, Chief Technology and Information Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation looks forward to the day when healthy choices are easy choices. That day may not be tomorrow, but identifying the early adopters, innovative thinkers, and technological disruptors can move us closer to that healthier world. In this short talk Stephen explains why the foundation decided to support the Quantified Self movement.
“One of the things you can do in philanthropy as a funder is find new and exciting sources of energy and tap into them, because social change comes from that. There’s an opportunity to leverage the data that are generated by millions and millions of people about their day to day experiences to transform health, health care research, and how health care is delivered.”
From the Quantified Self Public Health Symposium.
Larry Smarr’s major contributions to scientific progress are well known. A physicist and the founding director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), he helped bring the power of computing to scientific research at a time when computers will still highly specialized instruments. Today he is the Director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), one of the most innovative research institutes in the world.
He’s also an avid self-tracker, using his own data to correctly self-diagnose the onset of Crohn’s disease. At the 2015 Quantified Self Public Health Symposium, Larry spontaneously launched the meeting with a description of what it was like to be at NCSA in the early 90’s when his student Mark Andreessen, the creator of the first popular Web browser, could review every new website in the world by hand. “We could keep up with that little bit of the exponential.” Larry asked us to consider that a similar experience of scaling lies ahead of us in the Quantified Self movement. What happens at the birth of new technologies and new fields of knowledge, when very early participants get to know each other and reflect together on what values and uses will be encoded in our tools, can influence developments that affect hundreds of millions of people.