Saturday, July 13, 2013

Quanitified Self - "self knowledge through numbers"

The Quantified Self is an international collaboration of users and makers of self-tracking tools. This is for people taking advantage of various kinds of personal tracking - geotracking, life-logging, DNA sequencing, etc. - to gain more knowledge about themselves. Topics include, but are not limited to:
  • Chemical Body Load Counts
    Quantified Self San Francisco Meetup
  • Personal Genome Sequencing
  • Lifelogging
  • Self Experimentation
  • Risks/Legal Rights/Duties
  • Behavior monitoring
  • Location tracking
  • Non-invasive Probes
  • Digitizing Body Info
  • Sharing Health Records
  • Psychological Self-Assessments
  • Medical Self-Diagnostics

This group has regular conferences as well as regular meetups in various parts of the globe. The latest conference was held in Amsterdam, Netherlands on May 11 & 12. The goal of the group is good and forward looking since personal data is the new frontier of big data.

There are several who are critical of this movement as it opens the doors on easy preying on unsuspecting public by heath care and insurance industry. Following is from a post in SiliconAngle:

Implants, patches and ingestible trackers – these may be the next devices to be used for your quantified self.  What better way to understand how your body functions than looking at how things work on the inside? It can help monitor your core temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, and even keep track of hormones or medication being taken by the person.  It can help people track their health and get immediate care when needed.


The scary part is, if these smart devices go mainstream, there’s a huge chance they could be used against people.  Those who offer insurance can use these devices to offer better rates, like “Get a Smart Tattoo and pay 50 percent off on premium package.”  Sounds great right?  Maybe, maybe not.  As these insurers can use the data acquired by the smart tattoo to not pay you when you really need it.  It can unearth evidence that would say you deliberately put yourself in harm’s way to get sick and claim insurance.  Who knows how others will use this  kind of technology?