Can Quantified Self Be a Facilitating Technology to Help Older Adults Stay Longer in Their Home?

Chapter on Quantified Self and older adults, I used my mom as a case study.

Readers of this chapter are taken through a journey by the author, who narrates a real-life story of a lady called Maria who is 75-year old and lives with her husband Albert, 81-years. The narration describes the lives of Maria and Albert, detailing their enjoyment of physical activity, and their children. Yet, one-day Maria is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and through the narration the author describes the experience that Maria and her family experience. Fast forwarding, to the year 2030, the author continues her narration describing how technology may fit into Maria’s life and that of her family; including the use of wearable devices and sensors integrated into the home where Maria lives, and enabling her family to track in real-time Maria’s sleep patterns and overall health. Additionally, this chapter discusses the fields of ageing in place, the quantified self (QS), and based on existing work in this field, the author explores a taxonomy for the QS, referencing and drawing on the work of Deborah Lupton. Further exploration and discussion in the areas of appropriation, affordance, rights, and risks of QS are provided with the author exploring how digital technologies fit within the healthcare system.

Further reading or download

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Beyond the Promise of Personal Informatics

In recent years we see a growth in the use of  Personal Informatics (also known or referred to as Quantified Self, lifelogging). Where people track specific elements of their lives, they gather data and analyze data.  Most of these digital technologies have the aim to create awareness and behavior change. Positioning these digital technologies towards preventive healthcare and e-health in general. To deliver the promise of Personal Informatics in healthcare, these digital technologies will need to comply to different aspects as ‘The practices, meanings, discourses and technologies associated with self-tracking are inherently and inevitably the product of a broader social, cultural and political process’ (Lupton, 2014). In addition, the design and development of these devices need to trigger positive engagement with the user. Can we rethink data visualizations, create more meaning and context within the realm of these digital technologies? In this paper we would like to explore the combination or integration of socio-political aspects in a product design cycle of these digital technologies based on Value Sensitive Design.

Will present this on Living in a ‘Metric Culture’ Conference at Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, Denmark, June 2017

Sleeping with Cognitive Capitalism – my talk at Leeds Beckett University on July 4th.

Today data is surrounding us almost everywhere. We as users of different applications and devices feed the data machine. We track ourselves with devices and mobile apps, we produce news feeds about ourselves on numerous platforms, we are data, we are content.

As we create detailed digital profiles of ourselves we should think about what is happening with all this data. Is this data exploited, sold to data brokers, advertisers or is it used a s research material? Or is it just passive around us?
A whole new economy is rising out of our detailed digital profiles. Not only in the advertisement space, where this data is used to target us even more within our supposed field of interest, but also in our health space and workspace this data can be used for the better or worse. Ethics and privacy are elements that we need to consider more clearly. By considering aspects of ethics and privacy, can we lay a responsibility with the companies who produce and develop these devices and apps? Do we need to think about a new label especially for devices and apps targeted at the domains of health and workplaces that regulates and stipulates the conditions for development and design. A set of criteria to what these devices and apps have to comply? If we want to create trust within this environment for a wider adoption, it might be time to create more transparency in data ownership and the design and development of a new generation of products and services.

Digital Health Digital Capital, you can register here.

The State of Now in Quantified Self – Survey

With this survey we want to get a more in depth view on Quantified Self, behaviour and trends. Click here to fill in the survey!

We want to see if you as a respondent tracked yourself in the past 12 months with devices such as Fitbit, Jawbone Up, Withings Pulse or Aura, Body Media and so forth. Maybe you use mobile apps such as Runkeeper, Moves, Human, Fitness Pal. Maybe you started in the past 12 months and you quit or maybe you are tracking yourself for years already. Looking forward to see your answers! This survey is part of PHD on designing for more engagement, wellbeing and happiness in Personal Informatics!  We will donate €1 to the ‘International Alzheimer LIga’ and ‘Doctors withouth borders’ for each respondent. Thanks for your collaboration!

Click here to fill in the survey!