diet and weight loss | sports & fitness
Joshua Manley discusses his work as a data health coach. He shares his personal experiments and discoveries and recognizes that he follows a simple method of science to make these discoveries. He teamed up with Mymee to apply the basic methods to the general population to help people run their own self experiments outside of the QS community. The major breakthrough in the Mymee platform is not that the data is important but perhaps more important than the data is the self-awareness that tracking facilitates.
Joshua Manley - Evolving HealthI’m Josh and I had a really difficult hard time writing this presentation and the reason is actually that I’m here to talk with you all today it’s about data driven health coaching. Each time I sat down I started looking at my user’s data. My uses data led me to the Wikipedia where I got lost for hours, and so every time I sat down I got into that mode.
Data driven health coaching is what I am here to talk to you all today about, and my story begins back in 2003, my freshman year of college. I was trying to figure out how to put on muscles and I wanted to pick up women just like every college freshman wants to pick up women, and I learned some very important things very early on. One, if I lifted heavyweights to failure and if I ate a lot of protein I could put on significant muscle mass, and the neatest thing I learned in that was that it was formulaic; all I had to do was basically 70 to 80% of my one rep max, lift weights of failure and eat lots of protein and I would put on 10 pounds of muscle.
So in 2007 my career as a scientist began, and I started formulating questions and hypothesis about a childhood kidney disease called nephrotic syndrome. And I’ve learnt to question, and I learnt to research, and I learned to hypothesize and I learned so do all these sorts of things which then manifest themselves both the science I had been doing and the personal experiments that I hadn’t yet known I did manifested themselves at the first Quantified Self meet up that I attended in Brooklyn I realise that you could smash them two things together, and you could learn a lot by putting those communities together.
I then began training shortly after leaving on luminosity brain training platform, that’s not up there to brag, I did that for a long time. But I learnt that turmeric improves my brain function, that creatine improves my brain function, that weightlifting the day before had an effect on my brain the next day.
But I began to learn something about self-experimentation. I learned how complicated it is. How hard it was to determine what was going on amongst all the variables, and all the different conditions and all the things like this. And that only a few people, only the dedicated self-trackers were really digging deep into the data. So I teamed up with Mymee, Thomas and Mette of Mymee, and we formulated this idea that if we could take what we had learned as personal experimenters, and we could apply the general population that maybe we could help people run their own self experiments and that we could expand outside of the QS community.
So we have 31,536,000 seconds in a year, you can check it. For more than 31 million of them we are alone to determine what’s wrong, what our condition is, what we can do to get better. Basically to determine what works for us, and we thought that was the problem that if you wanted to get outside of the sort of medical paradigm and really help people, you had to spend time with them helping themselves get better.
So the first person that we started with has lupus, and we basically started with the formula, let’s look at the simple as possible thing first and then build up. So that last one was a slide of some water intake, food consumption, things like that and found a couple of correlations between lupus and flares on just those simple possible causes.
This is a solar flare, often time when you talk about lupus, people will talk about flares. The person that we had worked with in this case had travelled and had done exactly the opposite thing that we had tracked in the beginning when she travelled. And Thomas and I sat down and realised that we had a disaster on our hands that we had improved her condition at one point, she did everything else in the exact opposite order, and she ended up having flares when she went on her trip. So we kind of predicted this outcome of a flare.
Oftentimes, unexpected results come from just paying attention. So what we were noticing is we didn’t necessarily have all the answers, but we could ask people questions that would lead them towards answers for themselves or towards asking better questions, and we could use the scientific method to determine what worked for them.
So obviously, one of the main indicators here of body function and things like that are how stressed you get, so with the lupus patient we worked to decrease those stress levels with food, with water intake and things like that.
I think the major breakthrough in our platform was kind of like what I was saying before is yes, the data is important but perhaps more important than the data is the self-awareness that tracking facilitates. You can get people to pay attention to very particular things like their diet and then they can make connections based on that alone. Repeatedly we get feedback from people that we’ve worked with, that simply helping people pay attention to things like that shows them they aren’t alone in trying to crack their own medical problems or trying to lose weight, or trying to do these types of thing.
So I wanted to thank you all and I hope that didn’t come out as too much as blabber and that was way faster than I thought. Thank you.