Self Tracking Awareness and Change
mood & emotion
Charles Wang is a cofounder of Lumo. In this talk, he speaks about how self-tracking leads to self-awareness, which ultimately leads to profound change in people’s lives.
phone | sensor
Charles Wang - Self Tracking Awareness and change
Hi everyone my name’s Charles Wang. I’m a cofounder of Lumo. And today I want to talk to you about how self-tracking leads to self-awareness, which ultimately leads to profound change in people’s lives.
But first I want to start by telling you a story. I’m a psychiatrist and recently I was working in a patient’s psychiatric unit and I met a woman who was having suicidal thoughts. She was put there by a physician because she told him that she essentially wanted to drown herself in a pool.
She had no real other history and first time being in a psychiatric unit it can be pretty scary and she was scared. She told me that she wanted to go home. She told me that she was no longer a danger to herself and was ready to go.
Now I had a decision at this point to make. A lot of times these kinds of decisions can be very lonely because they’re partly based on scanned data you have, partly based on intuition, partly based on experience. I ultimately decided that what I would do was keep here in the hospital for longer because I just didn’t feel comfortable in just letting here go.
Imagine though if I actually had data where for two months prior to this I could see all of her mood, I could see all of her activity. Imagine if going forward I could see all of this information as well and tell her loved one that she’s heading down a downward spiral.
I know that a lot of you are building things like this and that makes me really really excited. But sometimes people also think that with this kind of information you no longer need the help of this system in the same way. So personally I’m bias but I don’t believe this to be the case.
When you have more information, obviously you can make better decisions, but I think you still need people to really make those critical, high risk situation kind of decisions. This is really true in psychiatry. It’s also true in many other areas. One such particular area is in the area of back health.
Now 40% of people who have back surgery actually don’t have any change in their pain level; 40% of people. So when you think about that, that means there is a ton of data that we still need to gather about this particular space.
One reason our team is really interested in this is because we have a team mate, Andrew, who’s had back pain for well over a decade. Now he’s tried everything, you can see him here, he’s in the chiropractic office.
He’s tried going to physicians, going to physical therapists. You can see here he’s actually being worked on by a PT. he’s tried a bunch of different procedures. Nothing has really helped him, but the one thing that did help him actually was a small change that he made and that was basically going from his pelvis being like this to this. A small change that actually is really difficult to do, but with technology now you can actually see these.
Now we all know that posture can be a really difficult thing to change. It’s hard to be mindful. Look at these guys, they look terrible. They have no idea that they look this bad. Spine health says 70% of the time that this is something that can really help them.
Now what we decided to do was to hack together a solution where we could actually make people much more mindful of their posture. We tried a whole ton of stuff. We tested on a whole bunch of people. And what you see here in the center is what we call Lumo Back.
So Lumo Back is actually a wireless sensor that gives you real time feedback in the form of a vibration that reminds you to sit up straight when you’re slouching. But in addition it has a wireless component that essentially connects to your smartphone and tracks everything in real time for you.
Now you don’t actually need to use a sensor at the same time that the smart device is open, it’ll track all of that for you. It’ll show you whether you’re sitting, standing, siting, walking, running, it’ll even tell you if you’re lying down; store all this for you.
So what did Andrew learn from all this? Well, he learned that on average he was slouching about 55% of the time. He walked well under an hour in a day, and with this kind of data in addition to the real time feedback he was actually really able to start to reverse his trend. You can see in this data that’s already started to happen.
But the really big thing is that he could see this is a way that was much more clearer that he had ever been able to see before. He could actually tell a story with his data right. he could see what was happening during the day, at nighttime while he was sleeping.
And now imagine, with this type of data you can now give it to all of you guys, that you can figure out what to do with it right. physicians, scientists seeing this data that people haven’t been able to see before, imagine all the innovation that can come from that.
Now what is really really exciting for us is the fact that this is data right, we all have a lot of data. We can now turn this data into actual knowledge because knowledge then becomes action. Action is what gives you that profound ability to make change.
So, like Freud who was taping into the unconscious, we can’t change of what we are not aware of, and the fastest way to awareness is knowledge and discovery, whether we’re a patient, a physician, a data junkie, just a consumer, we’re all in this together.
So again, a really simple message data leads to knowledge, knowledge leads to action, action leads to profound change.
Thank you very much. We’re going to have an office hour Sunday at 3PM. Please feel free to get in touch with me. my name is Charles Wang I’m from Lumo. Thanks.