What We Are Reading

June 30, 2013

Here we are again. Another week and another set of links, ideas, and words for your inspiration and education. Enjoy!

Seeing the Human Pulse. Some interesting news out of MIT about using web cameras and video processing to detect pulse rate. Looks like this will be a hot new field on the heals of Microsoft announcing their new Kinect sensor will also have heart rate detection.

Statistical Analysis is not Performed by Statisticians by Jeff Leek: A short, but great piece on the current state of data analysis and the future of the field. Found via the alway amazing Flowing Data website.

The digitally engaged patient: Self-monitoring and self-care in the digital health era by Deborah Lupton: Another article by sociologist, Deborah Lupton on the rise of self-tracking and self-care in health. It’s behind a paywal, but if you ask nicely I’m sure someone can get the pdf for you.

Interview with Dr. Rob Miller, Developer of the rTracker App by Kostas Augemberg: A great interview by our friend and founder of the Measured Me website. It’s definitely worth your time if you’re using rTracker or looking to use a simple data tracking app.

University College London: PhD Project Announcement. Are you a PhD student or want to be one? Do you live in the UK? The Human-Computer Interaction lab is looking for students and has some interesting projects including: “Work-Life Balance and the ‘quantified self’: Using personal informatics tools to regain control over digital habits.”

Wearable Tech: Why Intel Thinks We Should Own Our Data. Intel makes the pieces that make our computers run. Why do they care about our personal data? Read this piece to understand why Intel thinks that one of the most important questions we should be asking ourselves as we deal with technology is “what sense-making activity are you putting on that data?”

A few weeks ago the EYEO festival concluded and there were some great talks about personal data. We decided to share a few here:

Help Me Visualize My Damn Data – Recently I visualized my medical record data and symptom history, and through the process I learned a lot about myself and was able to craft a more coherent narrative when communicating with my doctors. I’ve since met other patients who are creating insightful visualizations of their medical selves. But if visualizing health and medical data is so enlightening, why aren’t we doing more of it? Why isn’t it easier for patients to really see and understand their complex health information? This talk highlights some compelling stories about patient data visualization and outlines three key opportunities for data viz in healthcare.

Sheepy & SNPs: Place, Data & Identity – This is a talk about big data, identity and place: our sense of place with data, within our data. Let me explain. My great-grandmother has the same mouth as I do, as my mother does, as my aunt and my niece. The mouth that we share is data, connected through generations in a place called Sheepy, England. My 4th cousin contacted me on 23andme and asked me to share genetic data. She noted that we share a run of 1800 SNPs, what she calls “the place we share on Chromosome 2,” a place that overlaps with her third cousins in Sweden. By extension, I share that place, that data and those people, too. Whether it’s a run of SNPs or a connection to Sheepy, data has a sense of place, and we have a sense of place within our data. This talk is a story and exploration of those connections.

What You’re Reading

Beau Gunderson, a friend of QS and developer grand wizard, wanted to keep track of the ongoing conversations and news in the Quantified Self ecosystem. Naturally, he spent some time building a “top links” extractor from the #quantifiedself hashtag on Twitter.

Here are your top links this week:

The Body Data Craze – Newsweek and The Daily Beast
Wearable Devices Nudge You to Health – NYTimes.com
Living the quantified self: the realities of self-tracking for health – This Sociological Life
Startup Human API wants to bring quantified self data into the mainstream – GigOm Tech News and Analysis
Make a Sparktweet – Quantified Self
Quantified Self Conference
After Teasing Us At CES, Withings Enters The Fitness Tracking War With The $99 Pulse – TechCrunch
Disruptions: Medicine That Monitors You – NYTimes.com
Toolmaker Talk: Sampo Karjalainen (Moves) – Quantified Self

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