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.
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.
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Just finished a Mooc on Human Centerd Design – IDEO method. A great experience, interesting how we did our journey and came to some interesting conclusion. I’m a very technology oriented person, but lately returning to the human perpsective. It is quite refreshing and rewarding. Enjoy our journey and amazing results!
Worldwide we are increasingly confronted with health problems due to people’s lifestyle: lack of physical activity wrong eating habits, lack of sleep, resulting in more health risks and chronic diseases. In the past three years we’ve been exploring how individuals experience self-tracking devices by evaluating social experiments. We looked at the opportunities, barriers and challenges that occur within the field of quantified self and how this could have impact on society.
Abstract and accepted paper for the Shikakeology Symposium March 2013 at Stanford University.
Wearable smart devices are coming more and more into our lives. People who self-quantify aspects of their way of living are becoming more mainstream. The quanitified self movement is becoming mature and could lead to a new way of looking at personal health. Most people who are tracking their lives do this with a view towards a better, improved lifestyle. We might be on the verge of a new, more real, form of preventive healthcare which could completely change the way we look at our health.
A lot of data is gathered by these wearable device or mobile apps that permit to tracking different aspects of once’s life. People are leaving a big digital footprint in the virtual world. The advantage of this, over a long time period of gathering the data on a population level, might be discover patterns in age and gender groups that could be very useful for human kind and healthcare and may lead to predictions on a population and individual level. On the other hand there is the privacy or the digital identity that needs to be respected.
Other questions that arise – how are people interpreting all the data, are the devices as effective as we think? Are they able to create enough awareness and persuasion to change people’s lives for the better over the long run, or is this more a temporary, short-term change in behavior? Do they continue to lead the lifestyle they adapted during the tracking period?
Companies who develop and design these devices or mobile apps have to pay a lot of attention to behavior design aspects of them in order to reach the goals they have in mind.