Tag Archives: lifelogging
When I made my September self-tracking data available for download, I thought I should include some sort of disclaimer. Not to limit access to data, but rather protect myself from potential liabilities associated with use, analysis and interpretation of my data by other parties. I turned to the Internet to find out how this disclaimer should look like, but to no avail: most of the discussions around Quantified-Self data so far have focused on data portability and privacy issues. I then turned to Twitter, Facebook, and Quantified-Self forum. My post on Quantified Self forum actually resulted in small but somewhat heated discussion, so I thought I should elaborate more on this issue in a separate post. So today I would like share my thoughts on some potential legal pitfalls associated with publishing your quantified-self research and data, and how they could be avoided by including a disclaimer.
A couple of weeks ago a small wellness startup from UK contacted me with request to share some of my self-tracking data. They are working on a presentation for potential investors, and are planning to include insights from my data as an example of how self-tracking could be used in public health programs. I was more than happy to oblige, not because of the vanity, but because it serves a great cause. It is for the same reason I also just approved unlimited access to my OpenPaths data to a couple of public research projects. And I am not going to stop there. After thorough considerations, I decided that from now on, I will be making some of my self-tracking data available for download, along with the detailed description of the variables that I tracked. My September data is now public and up for grabs, along with the data dictionary (both packed into a Zip file).
I was rereading my last post, and realized that I omitted one more potential way to monetize self-tracking apps: distributing them among health and fitness practitioners. The idea of prescribed apps has been entertained by medical professionals for a while now. Think doctors that prescribe an app along with the pills; patient then uses the app to track symptoms before and during the treatment. Think personal fitness trainers that offer the app to their clients so they could track their progress in losing weight or gaining muscles. The app in this case is a tool that will provide an objective unbiased feedback to both sides. What do you think?
In my previous post, I started describing the quantified self app that I would have built myself, if I had access to necessary skills or resources. Originally, these notes were intended for software developers and enterpreneurs who contacted me after reading my post about my search for a good tracking app. After putting the notes together, I thought that it would be only fair if I shared them publically, so other developers, and Quantified Self practitioners like myself, could have a word in further discussion, should it ever ensue. This last portion of the notes will focus on analytical features of the app, data portability, and potential methods for monetization.
It is a well known fact that weather can influence various aspects of our everyday lives, including physical and mental health, productivity, performance, social behavior, etc. Sometimes, the connection is direct and obvious. For instance, extreme temperature fluctuations have been shown to affect our immune systems, and the quality of air is directly linked to asthma and allergies. More than often, however, the weather effects are peculiar and more subtle. The heat, for example, has been linked to aggression and violence. Certain kinds of wind has been shown to negatively affect human behavior and psyche (e.g., the foehn in Swiss Alps, or khamsin in Middle East). A lot of people (including myself) report sleeping better at nights when it rains or snows. I personally tend to experience mild depression on cloudy and rainy days, while plenty of sunshine usually affects my mood positively. Naturally, the only way to see if any particular weather aspect actually affects your life, and to what extent would be to include it in your self-tracking routine, and then analyze the hypothesized patterns. So for the past couple of weeks I have been looking for a way to incorporate weather data into my tracking logs, and in today’s post, would like to share my current findings and potential quantified-self research ideas.
This week in Quantified Self, self-tracking and personal analytics:
Data in your blood, awesome personal site with elements of Quantified-Self, great weekly links round up from Memoto Blog, scary article about genetic self-testing, new startup to track your online life, test-driving Google Glasses, implantable tracking device from GrindHouse Wetware
Two months ago, tired of juggling between paper questionnaires and Google Spreadsheets, I embarked on a quest to find the perfect mobile app for self-tracking. The objective was to identify the single app that would enable me to log any kind of personal structured data, in any domain of my life. By structured data I mean data that can be stored as a number or a short text (letter, word or two), as opposed to images, video, sounds, maps, and long texts; think heart rate, weight, responses to psychological questionnaires, etc. In my previous post, I described the search methodology, and how I reduced the initial pool of 185 tracking apps down to 11, applying the versatility criteria. Today, I will narrow down the results even further, and reveal the winning apps.
It may come as a surprise to you, but until this week I have been using paper and Google Spreadsheets to record and track my life data points. Considering proliferation of tracking devices and growing popularity of QS movement, you would expect that by now there should be at least two dozen of functional mobile apps out there that would let you log and track your generic life data “on-the-go”. At least I thought so when I started my search for a good tracking app almost two months ago. That search finally ended last week. Before I announce “the winners”, let me share some observations that have accumulated during this rather long and somewhat expensive endeavor. If you prefer to skip the intro part and learn the names of the “perfect” apps, you will have wait for the next post.