Quantified Self Boston

I already wrote about Quantified Self Community that was started in the Bay area by Gary Wolf and Kevin Kelly several years ago. QS Boston chapter appeared on Meetup two years ago under the leadership of Michael Nagle. This past year I attended two QS events in Boston:

Aug 3, at Sprout: #6 Data of Our Lives — novel solutions to chronic problems.

The event featured speakers who are working on novel approaches to chronic health problems. They gave short presentations followed up by a panel.

1.Dr. Joseph Kvedar, Director of the Center for Connected Health at Partners Healthcare (http://www.connected-health.org)

2.Rick Lee, CEO of Healthrageous, using biometric data to create personalized care (http://www.healthrageous.com/)

3.Jackie Thong, CEO of Ubiqi Health, using mobile tools for migraine management (http://ubiqihealth.com)

Dec 6, at WorkBar: #8 Measurements, Big and Small

This event was hosted by UbiqiHealth at their coworking facility WorkBar in Boston. This meetup focused on different ways of making measurements and analyzing data. It was a mix of a few personal stories about collecting biometrics, as well as a few bigger picture approaches.

1.Max Little (http://www.maxlittle….) from the MIT Media Lab presented some of his work in researching Parkinson’s disease. One of his interests is coming up with new mathematical tools for doing studies that reflect the individual variation in different cases of Parkinson’s. He’s looked at the tools of weather forecasting (!) as a way to find statistical measures that capture more information about variation.

2.Jake Hoppe (http://www.eidosearch…) demoed his work at EidoSearch. EidoSearch is a tool which lets users identify visual patterns in data, and search the dataset for that same pattern. EidoSearch is being used, naturally, in the financial sector, but they’re now reaching out and looking for health data sets to apply their algorithms to.

3.And Gil Blander of InsideTracker (http://www.insidetrac…) talked about his company’s blood analysis system. InsideTracker lets its users do a basic blood panel and get nutritional recommendations based on that analysis.

I was especially impressed by Healthrageous and InsideTracker, as they help create healthy ways of life in more fun and interactrive way. Another observation I made is that people are interested in learning more about themselves and about how to be healthy without struggle but with social support. I spoke with “quantifiers” from the audience and many of them collect their personal data without even knowing what for, but are very inclined to monitor their activities, behavior patterns and share results… That is something new and very inspiring. People want to improve not only their lives but the lives of others… Simply by sharing. Revolutionary. Truly New Age.

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