My Notes from New York Quantified Self Meetup #21

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quantified self meetup nycOn May 30, New York chapter of Quantified Self held its 21st meetup. This time, self-tracking community of NYC was treated to awesome presentations on reducing sleep time, using life logging tools for quantifying health and diabetes, confronting chronic pain and other challenges of life, detecting depression and happiness by analyzing social media activities, and experimenting with ways to track triglycerides.

The event was graciously hosted by Tisch ITP at New York University. As usual, the Show & Tell part was preceded by demo sessions. Among the noteworthy participants were Etch (customized print maps based on your Foursquare data) and Tonic project (lifestyle data aggregation/visualization tool) by Tom Rudick.

The Show & Tell was opened by Andre Malan (@andremalan), who experimented with various tools and methods to reduce the amount of sleep and measure the impact of sleep reduction on health. The transition to new sleep regimen took only 2 weeks. With help of alarm clocks, timers and Zeo, Andre was able to reduce his sleep time to 3 hours at night and three additional 20-minute naps throughout the day. To ensure that sleep reduction does not have any negative impact on his physical and psychological health, Andre has been tracking his weight, happiness levels, and productivity. The transition was successful, and Andre currently needs only 4-5 hours of sleep a day. At the time of the presentation he looked very content with his “9 days a week” life. For more information on how he did it, visit his site www.andremalan.net, Polyphasic Society and www.puredoxyk.com.

The stage then was taken over by Paul Saluzzi who talked about his personal experiences with health quantification and life logging. In addition to tracking his glucose levels, physical activity and weight, Paul has been using Looxcie camera camera to record and analyze his everyday life activities. As an investment industry insider, Paul is very enthusiastic about the future of wearable devices, and is continuously monitoring developments in this area.

David Goldstein shared his story of how self-tracking helped him to put names on some of his health challenges, change his diet and workout routines, reduce stress and anxiety, and control pain.

Lana Voynova discussed how she used social media analytics tools to detect signs of mood disorder in her activities on Foursquare, Facebook and Instagram. Among her findings: better mood was associated with quality of shared photos (more clear face pics, more colorful and positive themed photos), increased verbal communication and less late night social media activities. Depression and bad mood, on the other hand, was associated with more “solo” check-ins, more frequent visits to coffee shops and bars, and staying up late at night. Check out these awesome tools to see if you can replicate Lana’s experiments: Intel’s What About Me project, , Zeebly’s Social Me, Social Memories Facebook app, and Tripsq’s Foursquare analytics app.

Greg Pomerantz surely likes experimenting with his diet, and has presented before. This time, he talked about his attempt to track triglycerides. Just as carbs intake leads to increase of sugar in blood, eating fatty foods leads to increase in triglycerides. Greg used CardioChek analyzer to measure level of triglycerides in his blood after meals. He found that eating low carbohydrate meals leads to decrease of triglycerides. He also believes that by analyzing the changes in levels of triglyceride in blood over several hours after the meal, one can estimate levels of inflammation and metabolism in the body. You can read more about this and other experiments on his blog.

The video of presentations should be up on Vimeo soon.

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