Tag Archives: visualizations
After a few weeks of we’re back for another round of What We’re Reading. As you may know, we just wrapped on amazing three day conference and expo in San Francisco. Thank you to all that came, participated, and helped make QS15 such a wonderful experience!
Couldn’t make it to QS15? You’re in luck! We just announced our fourth Quantified Self Europe Conference. Join us in Amsterdam for an intimate and engaging event. You don’t want to miss it! Early bird tickets are on sale now.
Now, on with the show!
We’ve started to see a few great blog posts and articles describing the experience of attending the QS15 Conference and Expo. For the next few weeks we’ll be highlight a few here.
Quantified Self ’15 Day 1 Recap by Tim Hanrahan
Quantified Self Expo, Part 1 by Karl Etzel.
What you can learn from the 2015 Quantified-Self Conference by Guillaume Tourneur
What I learned at Quantified Self 2015 by Richard Sprague
Is Direct Access to Lab Results Helpful or Harmful? by Patricia Salber. Patricia updates a post, first written in 2011, about the pros and cons associated with having direct access to medical testing and lab results.
Jaguar wants to monitor its drivers’ brainwaves, heart rate, and breathing by Jacob Kastrenakes. Sounds a bit far-fetched, and we may never see this research project in our cars, but I was intrigued by this:
But Jaguar says that it should be able to monitor for brainwaves through sensors embedded in the steering wheel. It’s apparently looking into adapting tech that’s already used by NASA to monitor pilots’ concentration.
Sounds interesting, but I’m also left I’m also left wondering if it will be worth measuring my concentration when the cars of the future will be driving themselves!
Google Reveals Health-Tracking Wristband by Caroline Chen and Brian Womack. Interesting to see that Google X is getting into the wearables game. Anyone know the difference between this device and other similar tools like Basis?
Biggest winner of the Finals? Rest! by Tom Haberstroh. What helped the Golden State Warriors have one of the best seasons in NBA history and capture the championship? Quantified Self of course!
They Warriors are as nerdy as it gets. As clients of wearable technology provider Catapult Sports, they monitor their players’ workloads in practice with GPS monitors and analyze the data with acute attention to maximizing performance while minimizing injury risk.
Sorry by Robin Weis. A fascinating and beautifully articulated exploration into apologies between Robin and her parter. (Note: This was first posted by Robin on our Quantified Self Facebook Group. Join us forfor some great conversation!)
How Tracking What I Do Every Day Helped Me Find Better Work-Life Balance by Melanie Pinola.
Most importantly, time tracking has helped me think more clearly about how I spend my time. I can see at a glance where I’m spending too much time in one area and not enough in others and also find patterns in my behavior.
Find Out How Much Less Sleep You’re Getting Than Everyone Else by Dave Johnson and Alexander Ho. Time and Withings paired up to create some great interactive visualizations on sleep.
Visualizing “Productivity” with Elasticsearch, Logstash and D3 by Ryan Brink. Ryan wanted to get “look into my life at the keyboard” so he decided to gather some data and use D3 to visualize it. Click for the graphs, stay for the in-depth how-to explanation.
What Makes People Happy? We Have the Data. by Sukrit Mohan. Jawbone takes a peak into their data to see what impacts mood. Above we see “a clear relationship between steps on the previous day and the mood of the user in the morning: better moods correlate with more steps.”
From the Forum
Enjoy this week’s list!
You’re invited to join us on June 20th for an amazing day of demos, talks, and sessions highlighting the very best of the Quantified Self at our QS15 Expo. Readers of What We’re Reading get a special discount. Just click here to get $10 off your ticket price.
We’ve received some amazing entries in our Future Normal QS15 Challenge, so amazing that we’ve extended the challenge a few days. If you’re reading this before Monday, June 1st make sure to enter nowfor your chance to win two free Ultimate Panels!
I’m the New CTO of HHS by Susannah Fox. So great to see this announcement. All of us at QS Labs have the utmost respect and admiration for Susannah and her dedication to positively impacting human health. Additional posts and articles about Susannah’s appointment can be found here and here.
As technology savvy as Susannah is, it is her capacity to hold a huge vision, and keeping patients at the center of that vision, that make her so deeply qualified for this job. No body asked me who the next CTO of the government was going to be, and frankly I was a little worried about who would be next. Bryan Sivak and Todd Park (her predecessors in this role) leave pretty damn big shoes to fill. Someone in the Whitehouse/HHS is casting a net wide enough to know who the really transformational thinkers in our industry are. – Fred Trotter
Special Report: Hacking the Human OS by IEEE Spectrum. A fantastic three-part report here by folks over at IEEE. This collection of articles, infographics, and op-eds is a must read.
Public Health and Tech: Long Lost Lovers? by Vanessa Mason. A short but nice article outlining how technology may interface with Public Health practices and program implementation. Great to see a mention our RWFJ supported Quantified Self Public Health Symposium.
The quantified self in a complex system: A systems perspective on mental workload by Steven Shorrock. A great post here by Steven concerning the role of quantitative information in dynamic and often complex human systems (like your workplace).
For these reasons, most numerical measures concerning human experience and system parameters should be treated as social objects. Any data on mental workload, sector capacity values, traffic numbers, or whatever, are a reason for a conversation, the start of a conversation – not an end point.
Apple Health App and My Quantified Self by Nadine Fischoff. One day Nadine realized her iPhone was keep track of her daily activity (steps and distance walked) so she decided to dive into the data to see what she could learn. With the help out our QS Access app (download it today – it’s free!) she was able to access, download, and analyze her data. What did she learn? Moving to New York City from Mountain View increased her daily walking 48%!
2014 Writing Progress by Ben Wilson. A great post here by Ben describing his writing progress over 2014. Ben tracked his goal of writing two novels in 2014, and ended up tracking over 90,000 words written.(Found via the always excellent Exist.io Blog.)
Withings Health Observatory: Blood Pressure by Withings. Great to see Withings has added blood pressure to their real-time data dashboards.
Visualizing the Quantified Self: Giving Form to Lifelogging by Fil Greenwich. A nice overview post of different data visualizations.
From the Forum
This Week on QuantifiedSelf.com
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?
How We Are Measuring Happiness at Whitesmith by Daniel F. Lopes. Another interesting example of using the workplace team communication tool, Slack, to gauge and collect information about the emotional wellbeing of employees.
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.
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
My year in calories/weight.Data exported from MyFitnesspal by reddit user qwerty2020.
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
We hope you enjoy this week’s selection of links, show&tell posts, and visualizations!
Hacking Your Brain by The Economist. Increasing performance and cognitive functioning, reducing depression, improving memory – if you could use a simple tool to get all these done, would you? What if that device was delivering electrical current to your brain? That’s the promise of transcranial direct current stimulation.
Talking Next-Gen Diabetes Tools with Dexcom Leaders by Mike Hoskins. Wonderful interview here with Terry Gregg (chairman) and Kevin Sayer (CEO) of Dexcom. Particular focus is given to their reaction and ideas regarding the open source Nightscout project.
Scientists threatened by demands to share data by Victoria Schelsinger. An older article (2013) about the shift towards open data and data sharing in academic science and it’s potential impact and possible pitfalls.
”’I think the public thinks that we’re all learning from everyone else’s work. That’s not true, and furthermore, it’s not true in ways that are even worse than you might think.’” – Heather Piwowar
Changing Representation of Self-Tracking by Deborah Lupton. It’s always great to hear that Deborah has released new writing. Her thoughtful analysis about self-tracking, data as culture, and data as object is consistently fantastic. Great addition to her growing body of work here.
Why Pets Are the Future of Fitness Wearables by Annie Lowrey. An interesting take on how the rise of tracking tools for pets may impact pet owners. Reminds me of research conducted by my old colleagues at San Diego State University: Physical activity, weight status, and neighborhood characteristics of dog walkers (Spoiler: Having a dog is associated with being more physically avtive.)
This guy is the Mark Zuckerberg of open-source genetics by Daniela Hernandez. A few weeks ago we highlighted an article by Daniela that focused on the fantastic openSNP project. She’s back with a profile of one of the founders, Bastian Greshake. (Full disclosure: I am openSNP member #610.)
Personal Sleep Monitors: Do They Work? by Christopher Winter. Superb experiment here to try and understand the accuracy of different sleep trackers.
What I’ve learned after 10 years of quantifying myself by Maxim Kotin. The title says is all.
A History of Checkins: Facebook Checkin Stats by Octavian Logigan. Octavian breaks down three years of his location checkin history and describes what he learned through examining seasonal trends, category breakdowns, and travel patterns.
I love the sleep tracker, so I can quantify this kind of information! (I have a 2yo and a 5yo….) by reddit user EclecticBlue. Fun visualization here of Fitbit sleep data. Also, great comments in the thread.
Locals & Tourists by Mapbox & Eric Fischer. I could spend hours exploring this interactive map of tweet locations by “tourists” and “locals”. (Special thanks to Beau Gunderson for point out that Eric also did a similar project with geotagged Flickr photos)
The Impact of Weather on Human Activity by Paul Veugen. The team at Human “1.9M activities in Boston & NYC to see the impact of weather on Human activity.” Make sure to click through for the full visualization.
FCC & FDA moving connected health forward by establishing wireless medical test beds
Nike+ Running Expand Global Partnerships
Will Our Fitness Data Be Used Against Us?
As the “quantified self” industry explodes, who will control the data — us or them?
This Week on QuantifiedSelf.com
Gordon Bell: Every Beat of My Heart
QS15 Conference Preview: Stephen Cartwright on 17 Years of Location Tracking
What’s in My Gut
We hope you enjoy this week’s What We’re Reading list!
The Wow of Wearables by Joseph Kvedar. An excellent post here in the wake of the “Smartphones vs. Wearables” hype in the past weeks. Favorite part:
“I’d have to say that reports of the death of wearables have been greatly exaggerated. The power of sensor-generated data in personal health and chronic illness management is simply too powerful to ignore.”
Survival of the Fittest: Health Care Accelerators Evolve Toward Specialization by Lisa Suennen. If you’re at all interested in the recent surge in health and healthcare focused accelerators this is for you. Excellent reporting. (Thanks for sharing Maarten!)
Your Brain Is Primed To Reach False Conclusions by Christie Aschwanden. Fascinating piece here about the nature of the “illusion of causality.”
A Few Throughs About Patient Health Data by Emil Chiauzzi. Emil, Research Director at PatientsLikeMe, lays out four point to consider when thinking about how to best use and grow self-collected patient data.
Having Parkinson’s since I was 13 has made me an expert in self-care by Sara Riggare.
I am the only person with the whole picture. To me, self-care is everything I do to stay as healthy as possible with a disease that is a difficult life companion. It entails everything from making sure I take my medication in the optimal way, to eating healthily, getting enough sleep, to making sure I stay physically active. I also make an effort to learn as much as I can about my condition; my neurologist says that I know more about Parkinson’s research than he does. I don’t find that odd, since he needs to try to stay on top of research in probably hundreds of neurological diseases, whereas I focus on just one.
From Bathroom to Healthroom: How Magical Technology will Revolutionize Human Health by Juhan Sonin. A beautifully written and illustrated essay on the design of our personal healthcare future.
Experimenting with sprints at the end of exercise routines by Gustavo M. Gustavo is a person with type 1 diabetes. After reading that post-exercise high intensity exertion might have an effect on blood glucose he put it to the test.
On Using RescueTime to Monitor Activity and Increase Productivity by Tamara Hala. Tamara walks us through the last three years of her RescueTime data and how she used that information to understand her work and productivity.
How Do You Find Time to Write? by Jamie Todd Rubin. Jamie has been writing for 576 consecutive days. How does he do it? A mixture of data and insight of course!
Say “I Love You” With Mapping by Daniel Rosner. Wonderful to see CHI papers ending up on Medium. This seems like a fun self-tracking/art project.
Cleaning up and visualizing my food log data with JMP 12 by Shannon Conners. Once again, Shannon displays a wonderful ability to wow us with her data analysis and visualization. Above is four years of food tracking data!
Two Trains: Sonification of Income Inequality on the NYC Subway by Brian Foo. Brian created this data-driven musical composition based on income data from neighborhoods the border the 2 train. Beautiful work.
Walgreens adds PatientsLikeMe data on medication side effects
How Open Data Can Reveal—And Correct—The Faults In Our Health System
Big Data is our Generation’s Civil Rights Issue, and We Don’t Know It.
Enjoy this week’s list!
Would You Share Private Data for the Good of City Planning? by Henry Grabar. The use of personal, and typically private, data for municipal planning and research is becoming more common. Strava, Uber, and other companies are passing along their user data to government bodies interested in understanding their constituents. In this article, past projects are described and new ideas are put forth about this growing trend.
The social network for people who want to upload their DNA to the Internet by Daniela Hernandez. A wonderful piece of journalism on the growing OpenSNP platform for open user-donated genetic data. Take some time and read the whole thing. (Full disclosure: My 23&Me data is available on OpenSNP.org.)
What Cognition-as-a-Service should mean? by Debidatta Dwibedi. The promise of fitness trackers for many is that the use of them will improve one’s fitness. Dwibedi expresses the desire for a tool to make one wiser by helping the user avoid logical fallacies. There are tools that can help, like spaced repetition.
Connected Car: Quantified Self becomes Quantified Car by Melanie Swan.
Sensors sensors everywhere
Near and far
On your wrist
In your home
And in your car.
What On Kawara’s Analog Wisdom at the Guggenheim Has to Offer a Digital World by Ben Davis. A fantastic peek into “On Kawara: Silence” a recently opened retrospective hosted at the Guggenheim.
He was making art about the “quantified self”—the contemporary self-improvement craze for tracking and charting one’s personal data—not just before the fitbit, but before the handheld calculator.
What My Hearing Aid Taught Me About the Future of Wearables by Ryan Budish. A great article here about how to think about possible ways our technology with change and shape the world around us. Special consideration is given to our ever evolving relationship with the tools of wearable computing.
I tried to quantify my sex life—and I am appalled (NSFW language) by Miles Klee. I went back and forth whether to include this here, but in the end I think it’s important to expose tracking of all types.
How I audited my daily media habits and improved the way I read by Lydia Laurenson. Lydia was concerned with the amount of bad content she was reading on the web.For a month, she rated the articles she read according to a 5-point scale with categories like “I’m actually angry I clicked this link” and “Wow, this is really cool or useful. I’m glad I saw this.” With these ratings, she was able to see which publications produced good contents, and which outlets gave her recommendations worth her time. You can check out her (empty) tracking spreadsheet here.
The Quantified Chef by Dan Brown. Dan doesn’t fancy himself a self-tracker, but was interested in understanding his cooking habits as the main dinner cook for his family. Some interesting finds and thoughts about what it means to collect data on yourself.
Using a Log Book and Excel To Assess Time Use by Morris Villarroel. Morris spoke about how he uses journals to track his life at our 2014 QS Europe Conference. In this post, he explains how he transfers hand-written data into Excel for more in-depth analysis.
Sid Lee Dashboard. Sid Lee, a creative agency, outfitted it’s Paris office with multiple sensors and data gathering systems powered by Arduinos to feed a beautiful real-time data dashboard. Make sure to click through for the interactive site and watch their short video.
Two Thousand And Fourteen by Tyler Baird. A sentence or two cannot do this amazing work justice. Click, read, and take in the 8,760 hours of Tyler’s tracked life.
The BMJ Today: Patient Centered Care
Health Data Exploration Project Announces Agile Research Project Awards
FDA makes official its hands-off approach to regulating health apps and medical software
Small thoughts on large cohorts
Selling your right of privacy at $5 a pop
Below you’ll find this week’s selection of interesting bits and pieces from around the web. Enjoy!
Open Books: The E-Reader Reads You by Rob Horning. A fantastic essay about the nature of delight and discovery, and how that may (is) changing due to data collected from e-readers. For those interested in books and data this article By Buzzfeed’s Joseph Bernstein is also an interesting read.
Flashing lights in the quantified self-city-nation by Matthew W. Wilson. Quantified Self, smart cities, and Kanye West quotes – this commentary in the Regional Studies, Regional Science journal has it all. Read closely, especially the final paragraph, which gives space to think about the role the institutions and companies that provide cities with the means to “be smart” have in our in social and urban spaces.
Most Wearable Technology Has Been a Commercial Failure, Says Historian by Madeleine Monson-Rosen. This is a interesting book review for Susan Elizabeth Ryan’s Garments of Paradise which had me thinking about the nature of wearables, customization, and expression.
‘The Cloud’ and Other Dangerous Metaphors by Tim Hwang and Karen Levy. This was mentioned so many times over the last few days by so many smart friends and colleagues that I had to set aside time to read it. It was time well spent. The authors make the case that how we talk about data (personal, public, mechanical, and bioligical) is tied to the metaphors we use, and how those metaphors can either help or hinder the broader ethical and cultural questions we find ourselves grappling with.
Why the Internet Should Be a Public Resource by Philip N. Howard. This isn’t the first, nor will it be the last, argument for changing the way we think about and regulate the Internet. Worth reading the whole things, but in case you don’t consider this point:
And then we might even imagine an internet of things as a public resource that donates data flows, processing time, and bandwidth to non-profits, churches, civic groups, public health experts, academics, and communities in need.
Computers Are Learning How To Treat Illnesses By Playing Poker And Atari by Oliver Roeder. How does research into algorithms and AI intended for winning poker games morph into something that can optimize insulin treatment? An interesting exploration on the background and future implications of computers that can learn how to play games.
Data Stories #45 With Nicholas Felton. by Enrico Bertini and Moritz Stefaner. In this episode of the great Data Stories podcast Nicholas Felton talks about his background, his interest in typography, and what led him to start producing personal annual reports. Super fun to listen to them geek out about the tools Nicholas uses to track himself.
Increasingly, people are tracking their every move by Mark Mann. A great peak into some of our QS Toronto community members and how they use self-tracking.
Quantified Existentialism by Ernesto Ramirez. I’m putting this last here because it feels a bit self-congratulatory. Earlier this week I took some time to examine how common it is for people to express their relationship with what counts when they use self-tracking tools. It was a fun exercise.
Insights From User Generated Heart Rate Variability Data by Marco Altini. While not a personal show&tell (however, I’m sure his data is in there somewhere), this great post details what Marco was able to learn about HRV based on 230 users and 13,758 recordings of HRV.
Quantify This Thursday: No Coding Required by Kerri MacKay. A bit different post here, more of a how-to, but I found it really compelling the lengths Kerri went to get get her Fitbit data to show up on he Pebble watch. I was especially drawn to her explanation of why this method is important to her:
The reality is, getting nudges every time I look at the clock or dismiss a text notification on my Pebble (via my step count) is yet another way to make the wearing-a-wearable less passive and the data meaningful.
Correlating Weight with Blood Pressure by Sam. A short and simple post detailing how Sam used Zenobase and his iHealth devices to see how weight loss was associated with his blood pressure.
The Effect of End of Year Festivities on Health Habits by Withings. The above is just one of four great visualizations from Withings exploring how the holidays affect how users sleep, move, and weight themselves. Unsurprisingly people are less likely to weight themselves on Christmas day (I looked at my data, I am among those non-weighers).
Simon Buechi: In Pure Data by Simon Buechi. A simple, elegant dashboard intended to represent himself to the world.
Grad School Coding Analysis by Matt Yancey. The above is just a preview of two fantastic visualizations that summarize the coding Matt did while enrolled in the Northewestern Masters of Analytics program.
News Year’s Eve Celebration in Steps by Lenna K./Fitbit. A fun visualization describing differences in how people in different age groups moved while celebrating the new year.
From The Forum
How do I visualize information quickly? (mobile app)
Monitoring Daily Emotions
Best Heartrate Monitor that syncs with Withings Ecosystem
Is the BodyMedia Fit still alive?
Capture Online Activities (and More) into Day One Journal Software (Mac/iOS)
We hope you enjoy this week’s list!
The Global Open Data Index by The Open Knowledge Foundation. This isn’t an article, but rather an really nice portal to explore open data sets from around the world.
Eight things we learned about HealthKit from Duke, Oschner by Jonah Comstock. An interesting piece here detailing how two large healthcare systems are using Apple’s Healthkit.
Connected Health: Improving Patients’ Engagement and Activation for Cancer-Related Health Outcomes by the President’s Cancer Panel. Very short publication here that outlines how the President’s Cancer Panel is thinking about new changes in the health system and health technology.
Deep Neural Networks are Easily Fooled: High Confidence Predictions for Unrecognizable Images by Anh Nguyen, Jason Yosinksi, and Jeff Clune. This in not a typical entry into our weekly What We’re Reading as it doesn’t appear to be directly related to self-tracking or Quantified Self. However, I found it fascinating and a great reminder that algorithms are not infallible.
Visualizing HR, HRV, and GSR While Watching ‘Interstellar’ by Bob Troia. Inspired by a Reddit user who tracked his HR while viewing Interstellar, Bob Troia set out explore his full physiological response by tracking heart rate, heart rate variability, and galvanic skin response. Some great data in here!
Stress Snail by Pavel Zakharov. Pavel uploaded this unique visualization to our QS Forum earlier this week. This visualization represents his heart rate, activity, and stress during a particularly stressful day when he was completing a driving test. If you have ideas or thoughts on the visualization make sure to share them in our forum!
This Week on QuantifiedSelf.com
Greg Schwartz: Quantified Dating
David Joerg: Building My Personal Operating System