Topic Archives: News and Pointers

The First Quantified Self Women’s Meetup

I’ve been organizing Quantified Self Meetup groups since 2011. After every meetup, another woman says something to me like:

I wish we could talk about [  women’s specific health topic  ].

I’d like to give a talk about [ … ] , but it doesn’t feel like it would fit in.

My tracking isn’t quantitative enough to give a talk.

If it were just women, I could give a really interesting talk about [ … ].

There are 500 Show & Tell talk videos online. I couldn’t find any on periods, yet women have probably been self-tracking this for, oh, somewhere around 100,000 years.

So now we’re creating a space for some of the conversations that have been notably missing from the QS community as a whole.

The first Quantified Self Women’s Meetup will take place in San Francisco this Wednesday. The group is for women and people who identify as non-male. True Ventures is graciously hosting our first meeting, and Square will host the second gathering. If you’re in the Bay Area, we’d love to have you join us!

The intention of a women’s meetup is to create space where we, as women, feel comfortable talking about things – ideas and devices and experiments – that wouldn’t otherwise be talked about. What are we tracking? How are we tracking it? What are we learning?

Let’s make QS a community where women’s voices are heard and valued. I’m excited to see what a gathering of smart, geeky, talented, self-quantifying women talks about. There are sensor hackers, circuit designers, ux designers, and developers coming. Will new companies form, new products be designed, new experiments be sparked? Will someone finally talk about periods?


Join us! Start a women’s meetup in your city, go out for dinner or drinks and talk! Or just stay tuned – we’ll publish a write up of our event.

 
Amelia Greenhall is a programmer and designer at a tech startup in San Francisco. Find her work at ameliagreenhall.com or say hello on twitter: @ameliagreenhall.
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23andMe Sets Growth Goal Of One Million Customers, Reduces Price to $99

23andMe, a wonderful annual sponsor of the Quantified Self, has some exciting news to share with us. Check out this letter from 23andMe’s CEO Anne Wojcicki below!

Today we’re announcing some big news. I don’t want this moment to go by without a note of gratitude to our customers and those who have been advocates for 23andMe over the years.

We have come a long way together.  Because of you we pioneered the use of personal genetics.  You are helping us establish a new medical era that is defined by wellness, disease prevention, and personalized care.  You also helped us create a novel research platform.  By leveraging online tools, social networking and crowd sourcing, and combining them with genetics, we created a platform that has set the stage to transform the way pharma companies and academics do health and wellness research.

We want to do more.

23andMe has raised more than $50 million in new financing with the goal of reaching one million customers.  To help us reach our goal, we are happy to announce today, that we are dropping our price to $99.

One million customers can be the tipping point that moves medicine into the molecular era.  Hundreds of you have written to us about how genetic information changed your lives and, in some cases, saved your lives.  We believe genetics should be an integral part of health care and we will work hard in the coming year to help genetics become part of everyone’s health and wellness.

A community of one million individuals will also benefit the world.  A genetic data resource of this magnitude has enormous potential to address unanswered questions related to the contributions of genes, the environment and your health.  Understanding these factors and their interactions could lead to major improvement in diagnostics, preventive medicine and therapeutics [Collins NATURE | VOL 429 | 27 MAY 2004].

This change is not just about a new price point for personal genetic testing. It is about an ambitious plan that could transform medicine for generations to come.

If you have questions about the new pricing please go to our FAQ or email your questions to customercare@23andMe.com.

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Quantified Self and the future of healthcare

A few months ago Quantified Self received an invitation from the Health Informatics Society of Australia to speak to their members at their annual conference hic2012. They wanted to hear a QS perspective on the future of healthcare.

I volunteered to go down under, to share some interesting self-tracking stories, and to speak about the possible impact of self-tracking on the world of healthcare. I drew analogies to the revolution caused by personal computing — the liberation of computing from the province of an elite few to a tool for the masses — to the revolution that might be caused by the advancement of personal science — a similar liberation of health science, and titled the talk “The Future of Healthcare: Innovation at the Edge”.

This was the teaser description of the keynote from the conference program:

Nearly 40 years ago in Silicon Valley, a group of pioneers leveraged technological advances and new ways of thinking to make computing personal. Computing went from being dismissed as a tool of bureaucratic control to being embraced as a symbol of individual expression and liberation. The creativity of millions of individuals was unleashed. Their experimentation has changed the world, often exceeding the innovation from traditional institutions. Today another generation is leveraging technological advances and new ways of thinking to make healthcare personal. They are developing and using tools, technologies, ideas and communities to enable and empower individuals to understand and manage their own health. They are encouraging and supporting crowd-sourced scientific advancements. What are these people doing? What tools are they using? What have they learnt? And how is all this activity going to impact traditional healthcare institutions, the nature of care services, and the pace of health technology innovation?

Click here to see the slides and my prepared remarks: http://www.slideshare.net/rajiv.mehta/hic2012-the-future-of-healthcare-innovation-at-the-edge

 

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What would you do with your microbiome sequence?

If you had access to free microbiome sequencing tests, to detect and analyze bacteria living in the nose, mouth, skin, gastro-intestinal, and/or urogenital areas of the body, what experiments would you think up?

Would you compare oral bacteria in people with lots of cavities vs. people with no cavities, look for differences between people with clear skin and acne, or sample your gut flora as you travel or change your diet? These are just examples — there are countless ideas.

As it turns out, we DO have up to 100 free microbiome profiles being offered to the QS community, thanks to Pathogenica and QS sponsor Autodesk.  Now we just have to think up some cool experiments to do.

So the challenge is on – propose an experiment in the comments, and the top experiments will be done with some of the free tests. The deadline for submitting ideas is August 31. Also, all the data will be made openly available.

Check out some background reading on microbiome sequencing at the Human Microbiome Project website and Wikipedia.

Let’s come up with awesome ideas!

 

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QS Conference Program Released

The third Quantified Self Conference is only 87 days away!! So we thought we’d release the program of awesome talks and sessions that will be given by QS community members. Check out the full list below, and please remember to register soon if you’d like to come – there are only 100 out of 600 tickets left. Hope to see you there!

Breakout Sessions 

Breakout 1
Saturday, 10:30 am

QS Show&Tell talks – McCaw Hall

Infographics 101: The Power of Visual Storytelling (Lankow)

Your Blue Room: the neuroscience of ideation (Kowrygo)

Habit Design (Kim)

Using Software to Exercise your brain & grow focus (Asprey)

Health Graph Hacking (Day)

The Health Optimized Patient (Gerstenfeld)

Building an open source, universal tracking platform (Haukebø)

 
Breakout 2
Saturday, 1:30 pm

QS Show&Tell talks – McCaw Hall

Breath Tracking – how and why (Roberts)

Is QS science? The role of QS in scientific discovery (Gartenberg)

EEG for Self-Experimentation (Sona)

Sleep Tracking (Fass)

How to evangelize QS to the mainstream (Thomas)

Separating user signal from noise and incorporating into product development (Gammell)

 
Breakout 3
Saturday, 3 pm

QS Show&Tell talks – McCaw Hall

Muscle testing – live experimentation! (Grey)

pH tracking for learning about inflammation, sleep, and mental performance (Fowkes)

Manly Dieting (LaPuma)

Medical data: Public resource, personal asset…or is there a third way? (Dyson, Wilbanks)

Crossing the Data Desert (Kassardjian)

The brain and self-quantification, a bidirectional relationship (Keener)

QS destroying the hospital? (den Braber)

 
Breakout 4
Sunday, 10:30 am

QS Show&Tell talks – McCaw Hall

Biometric Yoga (Landsee)

Cognitive Measurement (Larsen)

Using Kickstarter for QS projects (Axup)

Quantifying at Work (Reeves)

Best Practices in Dataviz (Lukehart)

Exploring the Quantified Us (Fetherstonhaugh)

States of Self-Awareness (Mitrea)

 
Breakout 5
Sunday, 1:30 pm

QS Show&Tell talks – McCaw Hall

Heart Rate Variability 101 (Collier)

Personal Speech Analytics (Jarrold)

Open ways to connect devices, apps, and humans (Haladjian)

Psychological and social-cultural consequences of QS going forward (van Geest)

Practice and Quantify mindful communication (Lawton)

Using smartphone and behavioral data with ginger.io (Nagle)

 
Breakout 6
Sunday, 3 pm

QS Show&Tell talks – McCaw Hall

Before You Can Change, Know Your Behavior Type (Eyal)

10^100: Making sense of all that data (Duncan)

Time Management Design (Kotas)

Health as a Team Sport (Fung)

What business models work for QS? (Svenson)

Quant-friendly doctors and self-tracking patients (Abramson)

Calming Technology (Moraveji, Habif)

QS Show&Tell Talks

My 28-Hour Day Experiments (Betts-LaCroix)

Quantified Awesome: Tracking Time, Clothes, Stuff, and Other Little Things (Chua)

QS+1 Lessons learned from assisting in trading FOREX currencies (de Visser)

Data Does not Lie: Orgasm vs. Performance (Asprey)

Using Sensor Patterns to Predict Depression or Addiction Relapse (Larsen)

Sleep and consciousness (Kowrygo)

Genes and other strangers (Dyson)

World class performance through sleep quantification (Christopherson)

Fitting mental models to a self-tracking life (Plattel)

Debugging Life with Personal Analytics (Heeke)

To sleep, perchance to REM (Berwaldt)

Tracking breathing with wearables (Roberts)

Patterns of my achy breaky HRV heart (Dow)

Accounting for Taste: Creating a Highly Reliable Palate (Galanis)

4 months of biosignals and emotion tracking (Lai)

Sleeping Together (Betts-Lacroixs)

A group mood experiment by QS Boston (Nagle)

 

Lunchtime Ignite Talks

Data aggregation and exploration with Fluxtream/BodyTrack (Wright, Kemmler)

Stress relief with a biofeedback game (Janin)

Tailored meals to keep me healthy (Langheier)

Open.sen.se platform (Haladjian)

IDEO looks at the Quantified Us (Fetherstonhaugh)

Chronicling chronic lower back pain, posture & happiness (Chang)

How Olympic and Professional teams are using the quantified self tools to get a competitive edge (Valle)

The Quantified Doctor (Abramson)

Scanadu Tricorder: a doctor at your fingertips (Gentry)

The Gain and Pain of working with Health Insurers (Calbucci)

An Open and Integrated Platform for Self Tracking (Nofal)

Evolution of the Butterfleye Swimming Sensor (Hobeika)

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Creating Addictive Technology, Live Muscle Testing, and more conference fun

We’re excited to announce another new batch of sessions at the upcoming QS conference. Thanks to everyone who is stepping up to speak! The full roster of show&tell talks and breakout sessions so far is listed here.

Check out these awesome new topics:

Breakout Conversations

Is QS science?  The role of QS in scientific discovery (Daniel Gartenberg)
Creating Addictive Technology (Nir Eyal)
A Memex for the Quantified Self (Betsy Masiello and Jess Hemerly)
How to evangelize QS to the mainstream (Phillip Thomas)
Privacy Issues (Jodi Schneider)
The Health Optimized Patient (Mike Gerstenfeld)
Health as a Team Sport (Mei Lin Fung)
Exploring the Quantified Us (David Fetherstonhaugh)
Muscle testing – live experimentation! (Alex Grey)

All sessions are defined by attendees in advance of the conference, like a curated unconference. There will be overlapping breakout sessions, show&tell talks, and posters for you to choose from. We will keep posting them here as the date approaches.

If you’d like to join us, you can register here. 400 out of 600 tickets are already taken. And if you have a personal self-tracking story to share or would like to lead a breakout discussion, please let us know!

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Beijing Quantified Self?

I recently had lunch with Richard Sprague, an engineer at Microsoft Beijing. He raised the possibility of starting a Quantified Self Meetup group in Beijing. The meetings could be held in one of Microsoft’s two brand new buildings, which are in the exact center of Zhongguancun. If you might attend, please let me know (e.g., by commenting on this post).

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10 New QS Conference Sessions by Awesome Attendees

We’re excited to announce another new batch of sessions at the upcoming QS conference. Thanks to everyone who is stepping up to speak! The full roster of show&tell talks and breakout sessions so far is listed here.

Check out these awesome new topics:

Breakout Conversations

How to separate user feedback signal from noise and incorporate into product development (Nick Gammell)
Breath tracking – how and why (Danielle Roberts)
Using smartphone and behavioral data with ginger.io (Michael Nagle)
How to start and run a QS Show&Tell meetup group (Adam Butterfield)
Using software to exercise your brain and grow focus (Dave Asprey)
Time management design (Michael Kotas)
Psychological and social-cultural consequences of QS going forward (Yuri van Geest)
Manly Dieting (John LaPuma)
Sleep and consciousness (Marcin Kowrygo)
The brain and self-quantification, a bidirectional relationship (Matt Keener)

All sessions are defined by attendees in advance of the conference, like a curated unconference. There will be overlapping breakout sessions, show&tell talks, and posters for you to choose from. We will keep posting them here as the date approaches.

If you’d like to join us, you can register here. 400 out of 600 tickets are already taken. And if you have a personal self-tracking story to share or would like to lead a breakout discussion, please let us know!

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Adding Smart Gestures to Everyday Objects and the Human Body

Imagine if you could switch your music track while running just by tapping on your hand or your arm. What if your TV and lights knew when you had fallen asleep and automatically turned off. Or if doorknobs were as smart as your current tablet touchscreen and you could send messages to people before they knock. Anything becomes a programmable sensor. This video, presented at the CHI conference going on now in Austin, completely blew me away this morning. You have to watch this!

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Welcome Robert Lynde!

Gary, Ernesto, Alex, and Robert at a recent QS meetup in San Francisco

Running Quantified Self Labs, the organization that supports and coordinates fun QS events and communities around the world, takes funding. We’re very grateful to have generous sponsors that believe in the movement we’re nurturing and want to help make it blossom. And now we’re excited to announce that Robert Lynde is joining Gary, Ernesto, and I, to keep the magic going.

Robert is a long-time runner with a passion for self-tracking, a wonderful heart, and an inspiration to disrupt health care. He’s also the Deputy Director of the MiraiBio Group of Hitachi Solutions America. As our new Sponsorship Facilitator, Robert will be helping to support and recruit sponsors so that we can expand our QS activities worldwide and do some special things around the upcoming conference in September.

Welcome, Robert!

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