Wellness and technology, the quantified self movement

Posted on
Page
of 14
/ 14
Last Next
  • So this is a single thread to encapsulate the discussion of the existing quantified self devices, and beyond that all of the emerging technologies that promise to either provide more information about ourselves, or enhancements to ourselves.

    Wearable devices (on-the-go measurables):
    http://www.fitbit.com/uk
    http://www.nike.com/gb/en_gb/c/nikeplus-­fuelband
    https://jawbone.com/up

    Individual vs Crowd (competition, motivation):
    http://www.strava.com/
    http://tribesports.com/sports/cycling
    http://connect.garmin.com/

    Personal Analysis (home-based measurables):
    https://www.23andme.com/
    http://www.withings.com/scales‎

    Books:
    On Intelligence: Amazon.co.uk: Jeff Hawkins, Sandra Blakeslee: Books

    Podcasts:
    http://brainsciencepodcast.com/bsp/migue­l-nicolelis-md-phd-bsp-79.html

    Papers & Ideas:
    http://pielot.org/2012/09/11/tacticycle-­supporting-exploratory-bicycle-trips/
    http://pielot.org/projects/

    This thread is about measuring things, getting actionable information out of those measurements, using technology to enhance ourselves, and basically how can the plummeting cost of technology be used to improve (by whatever definition) the quantity or quality of our activity and life.

  • The thread also covers the ethics and morality, the potential issues with recording so much data.

    For example: Whether Strava encourages dangerous cycling, or whether a service like 23andme creates a liability when it comes to health insurance.

  • Objective Home Assessment of Parkinson's Disease using the Nintendo Wii Remote.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22949­085

  • I doubt Strava encourages reckless cycling, it just helps document peoples stupidity.

  • I doubt Strava encourages reckless cycling, it just helps document peoples stupidity.

    Which is a personal opinion and anecdote, but the courts are very much out on this, as are others. Whether or not it encourages reckless cycling is impossible to quantify given the lack of data pre-Strava, but it's certainly the opinion of enough pundits, bystanders, those involved in incidents, that it may have encouraged more reckless behaviour.

    I think it's one of those things that given enough time, we'll have more of a clue. But certainly whilst we can't say it does, we also can't say it doesn't.

  • I recommend having a dig through Charles Stross' blog, he has a number of thought peices on how wearable tech/massive public deployment of tech will impact society.

  • I'm probably going to get a 23andme DNA analysis done.

    It's $99 and basically provides you with a copy of your DNA sequence as well as analysis into it. That analysis attempts to tell you whether you are more or less susceptible to hereditary diseases, and the confidence of that statement.

    For me, not knowing my family background or history, I think that will be a pretty valuable thing to know.

    I'm also interested in how technology can enhance and extend the capabilities of human beings. For example a long time ago I read a paper about a belt of vibrators that would vibrate so weakly that it couldn't really be perceived. And how those vibrators were linked to a compass, and whichever direction was North would vibrate, and as you moved North vibrated. The effect was to provide the test subject with a 6th sense of directional awareness mimicing some of the magnetic sense that birds have. The subject reported an incredibly enhanced perception of all space and environments.

    Less interested in the wearables, because I think the data is largely useless today... the analysis and creating actionable information is really poor. As a result of that, I am interested in things that can analyse and make sense of sensor data. Stuff that can process more together, and how multiple wearables could be used independently of a proprietary subscriber service but instead mashed up and analysed together.

    Basically, what if your Garmin, Strava, Withings scales and Nike Fuelband all could dump raw information that could be analysed together to form one picture of you over time, and what if that information could be put in-context with your DNA sequence and physical attributes to give you actually meaningful data back... stuff with clear actions for whatever goals you had.

  • From cliveo's Twitter regarding 23andme:

    This is a huge ethical issue being debated. Insurance requires fortuity. Such tests could remove that.

    Issue is that if it is known that you have high chance of early fatality no insurer will cover you.

    If you know and don't reveal, insurer could possibly claim fraud and avoid cover after death.

    As in, if 23andme were to tell you that you had a much higher risk of a heart condition, and later you did not disclose the knowledge of this risk to an insurer, that the insurer would use that against you to get out of the contract.

  • But risk of condition != the condition itself.

    Don't islanders have a gnetically higher risk of heart disease - do they pay more for health insurance?

  • I also think that insurers are basically buying that information anyway from 3rd parties like Tesco who can correlate shopping patterns by postcode. Thus it can be claimed to be anonymous, but is targeted such that insurers already know from postcode the likelihood of poor diet, etc.

    I know enough about technology to believe that you should assume that this information is shared, so my position is usually that we can at least make the data and information work for us rather than pretend it creates any further risk given the data already shared.

  • On the flip side of Cliveo's argument, if people know they are more susceptible to certain diseases, they might actually go some way to reducing the contributory factors - adding exercise, reducing fat and sugar intake or similar. So insurers should REDUCE health insurance costs for people who are seeking this awareness.

  • I think Cliveo's argument is that the insurers don't care about your motives or actions, more whether or not you truthfully ticked the checkbox that asked if you knew of any risks.

    I've not got health insurance, so I've no idea what that form looks like. I'm fairly sure the wording would have to be explicitly clear, and knowing that you may have some risk is not the same as having a condition.

  • The checkbox isn't for risks though is it? It's for prior diagnosis of an actual disease.

    Anyone with health insurance care to elaborate on what the forms ask?

  • I have it through my gf's employment benefits. I don't remember a form. I don't think i filled one in but my memory is shaky on these things.

  • you already see health insurance programs where they try and incentivise you towards behavior that promotes heath. there is one out there that covers gym fees if you attend a minimum number of times per month.

    One of the potential next steps could be tailoring of your premium based on DNA profiling. In principle its no different to Aviva tailoring your car insurance premium based on recorded driving activity.

  • I have it through my gf's employment benefits. I don't remember a form. I don't think i filled one in but my memory is shaky on these things.

    Alzheimer's. You better let them know...

  • As an insurance company I suppose you have to ask the correct question.

    "Have you undergone any genotyping sequencing? If yes, please state any increased risks that this testing exposed."

  • This thread is about measuring things, getting actionable information out of those measurements, using technology to enhance ourselves, and basically how can the plummeting cost of technology be used to improve (by whatever definition) the quantity or quality of our activity and life.

    So I think traditionally it was the expense of storage and then subsequent access to this data which made comparisons / utilisation of all this data so difficult.
    Developments in cloud computing and the sheets number of devices able to monitor our lives have certainly changed that.

    Microsoft is currently marketing the advances in "big data" have a look at their you tube page..

    Otherwise one I the most interesting things I remember hearing recently is (I will find source) the desire to improve voice recognition on phones to allow the illiterate to access smart phones.. A massive "offline" market...

  • As an insurance company I suppose you have to ask the correct question.

    "Have you undergone any genotyping sequencing? If yes, please state any increased risks that this testing exposed."

    Yeah but do they? That's what us kiddies want to know.

  • This is reminiscent of a paper written by Sim Bamford (CTUK's founder) that I showed you last year Velocio about

    some recent developments in the feild of neural prosthesis concerning
    functional replacement of brain parts.
    http://www.sim.me.uk/neural/JournalArtic­les/Bamford2012IJMC.pdf

    One technique involves plugging into some tech that learns how you think and respond to the world and over a period of time the tech would have the same memories as you eventually your mind/soul will exist in you and the substrate so you continue after you die

  • Are any of those mentioned in the application aware of any physical or mental condition, illness, long-term disease, sign, symptom or injury not yet mentioned, whether or not they have consulted a doctor, dentist or other healthcare professional?

    Could it be argued that risks uncovered in the genotyping are a sign? Clive - where are you?

  • While it might be interesting to have your information presented back to you from meand23, do you actually get the raw sequence data? Or do they look after it for, do a bit of "you come from here!" "you are predisposed to this!" analysis, and then do more mining stuff in the background with you and others sequence data.

    The big genome projects are finished (man, mouse, worm, fly, fish). BGI (http://www.technologyreview.com/featured­story/511051/inside-chinas-genome-factor­y/) are doing mental things in terms of size of projects and in terms of the way data is published.

  • http://www.april-uk.com/uploads/pages/fi­les/PMIFMUApp.pdf

    I don't see any question in there that could legitimately deny health insurance based on a 23andme analysis.

    23andme do not diagnose you with anything, they merely analyse the DNA and present you with their results that indicate which risks may exist, and their confidence in that analysis.

    A risk is not an issue. It's not as if a single symptom may have appeared, or any medical diagnosis or investigation taken place.

    If you were African and the DNA sequence said that you were more likely to be lactose intolerant, it doesn't actually mean that you are lactose intolerant.

    Effectively it's probability based speculation, it may be helpful, and may be insightful, but it doesn't say anything is a fact and isn't a medical diagnosis of any symptoms followed by specific tests to prove or disprove.

    I can't see anything in the wording that would prevent my from answer No to everything, even if I did do 23andme and it said there was a high risk of something or other.

  • Post a reply
    • Bold
    • Italics
    • Link
    • Image
    • List
    • Quote
    • code
    • Preview
About

Wellness and technology, the quantified self movement

Posted by Avatar for Velocio @Velocio

Actions