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

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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!

Speaking @ Quantified Self Conference Amsterdam May 11-12, 2013

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Show and Tell – My journey of three years of sleeptracking with myZeo and Body Media

When I started an experiment in 2010 with myZeo sleep tracking device it became a long period of research in sleep monitoring in a home setting for over two years. The self-monitoring triggered behavior change, I optimized my time, my productivity and planned things differently to change my lifestyle for the better.

Break-out session – Bringing ‘Designing for Personal Health’ to the next level.

I do long term research with monitor devices myZeo and Body Media within social experiments of small groups of people. My research quenstion:Does self-monitoring with devices like myZeo, Body Media and others that are in the market create enough awareness and persuasion to change behavior and to maintain new habits. I would like to use this session to learn and share experiences in order to bring ‘Designing for Personal Health’ to a higher level!

CHI 2013 – Workshop Personal Informatics in the Wild – Designing for Personal Health

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. 

 

Paper submitted

Designing for Personal Health

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.