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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The ‘Always-On’ Phenomenon. Nowadays we are always connected, with the development of the online infrastructure, the availability of WIFI and data mobility infrastructure, the smartphone and tablet devices which give us access to all sorts of information for either social or professional use anytime, anywhere. We live in a global, networked world within different time zones. The global reach of connectivity can make the most isolated outpost into a center of learning and economic activity, Turkle, (2010, p152-153). Our life is spread all over the world and we are connected to people in different time zones and continents. Hence, the ‘Always-on’ phenomenon and urge to connect might lead to different habits, especially when it comes to sleep
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