Tracking After A Stroke: Doctors, Dogs, And All The Rest
chronic condition | sleep
Andreas Schreiber is a scientist at German Space Agency, where he travels a lot, attends a lot of conferences all over the world and has a lot of stress which led him to a stroke in 2009. After his stroke, he started tracking his vital signs, sleep and weight. In this talk, he discusses what he did, his various tracking and other activities that help him stay healthy.
Fitbit | Withings Scale
My name is Andreas. For money I’m working as a scientist at the German Space Agency, where I’m travelling a lot, attending a lot of conferences all over the world and having a lot of stress with other employees, and this leads to a stroke in December 2009 where I cannot actually couldn’t speak anymore and couldn’t move my hand anymore and it was a hard time. I wanted to use my left to open stuff, and I was in rehab for a couple of months and tried to learn to speak again which sometimes works like no hopefully and I can use my hand as you can see so this is great success.
What I started then was self-tracking to some extent. I started with my blood pressure because my blood pressure was very high at the time and with sleep and weight. And from time to time other parameters came to that.
The most important things are currently sleep and I’m using an app for that and using my weight with the Withing’s stuff and using my Fitbit which is always here on my trousers of course, and using a Microsoft band and a couple of apps actually.
Many of the things that I’m and most of you are tracking are I use the smartphone apps. Very important is Taplock, which you mentioned in your talk it’s very important. But the most important for me is blood pressure because of medical reasons.
I’m tracking blood pressure with a regular blood pressure meter, nothing fancy like (Sanaroo? 01:59) or something else. And I’m just entering it into a smartphone app, and analyzing this stuff. In the app I can view on the curve, on the readings over time because of the blood pressure. And I’m looking to the data but it’s not the most interesting part. The most important thing’s is that my doctor is looking is looking into the data. So I can just see in his office, and he is like change the medication of me based on my data from time to time. It happens like every couple of months.
I’m also dealing and playing around with machine learning and our own apps like for predicting time as a way of having to measure my blood pressure, and that the blood pressure readings are statistically very nicely distributed over time and that’s very important for my doctor to.
So I’m also tracking weight as I said. I using the regular stuff from Withing’s and actually weight as you can see is not to very important thing for me and I’m not optimizing it. What’s interesting is sometimes I’m looking into the correlation to my blood pressure and my weight. So over time when I was much smaller my blood pressure was lower. When I was gaining weight my blood pressure was a little bit higher, but nothing very interesting.
I really like coffee, and very sensibly I don’t drink coffee during the day. I’m tracking this with Taplock, and I think this is one of the most easy things to do for coffee tracking. So my coffee distribution over the day it’s usually very much coffee in the morning and the coffee consumption gets a bit lower during the day and into the evening. Sometimes I’m drinking coffee during the night and so on.
So in relation to blood pressure, this is one of my main questions; how is coffee related to blood pressure? It’s not so an important factor for my blood pressure. So I can drink a lot of coffee and my blood pressure does not go higher. It makes me happy and my doctor happy. And actually related to sleep, my coffee effects more my sleep than more of my blood pressure, so it’s very usual and I have the exact numbers for that, but it’s not very very important so I just not stop drinking coffee.
The sleep tracking I’m doing with Sleepless on Android, an app some of you might know. there are other fancier devices for that, I know but this is very useful, especially when I’m travelling I’m taking this all the time with me and i place it on a pillow or something.
The findings of that is when I’m sleeping longer my sleep is not better, so it’s the other way around. It’s worse when I’m sleeping longer, so I didn’t expect that. Also the relationship between my sleep and my blood pressure, it’s not very significant. So the blood pressure is going up when I have less sleep. But it’s not very significant.
So after the stroke I did manage to get a dog because I wanted to move more. This is Spido, a Husky mix, very nice, very odd. He doesn’t like to move anymore.
That is a graph with me and my dog and I track with my Microsoft device, and it shows the dog is slow from time to time and I have to push him away.
So the technology that I’m using, I’m doing data analytic stuff with Python because I like Python as a programming language, with Jupyter notebooks and all the graphics I present here I prepared with that. As a scientist I work on data programs so for example how has some piece of data been generated and this is like a provenance to us in history, often graphics based on the Fitbit data.
What failed actually in my life is mood tracking. I started with an app; it’s called Menthol it’s from the university of (?). I used it for a couple of months last year but then strange things happened, data loss and it doesn’t really give me insights. So what I started last year was some kind of mindfulness with some regular diary app called Diaro and then recording every day the most emotionally interesting part of my daily life, like conference in San Francisco was very good and so on.
Other things that changed after my stroke was I founded a company in Andover where we are developing apps that weren’t available at the time and that’s (Unclear name 07:08) she’s the software developer and I’m only the guy who is basically the patient. And we have an open office today at 2PM and I can show you our apps and I can show you how we can send data around via Internet Of Things protocol and how to analyze things.
Other things that changed in my life, I got more and more involved in organizing things the QS meetup in Cologne, and organizing meetups every several months or so. And what really changed my life was the attraction by TV and radio stations, so I have TV appearances like twice a month at least and I try to do (Unclear) because it takes a lot of time to meet with the camera teams and so on. But this is some kind of hobby now, it’s like fun.
So if you want to have more information just contact me and come to me.