How do you know what’s normal? How do you win? How do you know when to stop?
These were just a few of the wonderful, offbeat questions that popped up during a session on self-tracking I facilitated at HealthCampDC 2011.
Bring together a group of thought leaders with wide-ranging expertise. Let them debate and question the concept of self-tracking. Suddenly data and tracking take on entirely new identities.
HealthCampDC was one event of many during DC Health Innovation Week. Our discussion on self-tracking highlighted the theme of the week: how do we better utilize data to weave together stories to improve health outcomes?
- People are lazy. Tracking systems need to be simple and intuitive.
- Diseases and conditions aren’t siloed. Tracking systems for them shouldn’t be, either.
- Community, sharing, friends, competition – these are all very important components of self-tracking.
- Community, sharing, friends, competition – there are times when these are detrimental in tracking communities and encourage negative health outcomes. Example given: anorexics who compete to see who can eat the least amount each day.
- Tracking sensors are rather worthless if they aren’t reliable and accurate.
- The Quantified Self is important, but so is the Qualified Self. Self-tracking data are not just numbers. Data can also be in the form of images and sound.
- A great example of a successful (trusted, confidential) self-tracking community? Alcoholics Anonymous.
- For many individuals who self-track, privacy is key, and sharing is the last thing they want to do. Example given: people who are HIV positive.
- Self-tracking is not ‘one size fits all.’
- Just the act of tracking is valuable. Putting down a number or taking a photo raises awareness, which is a key step in behavior change.
- How can SMS be better utilized for self-tracking in underserved communities?
- What are the barriers to tracking?
- How do you better incentivize or incorporate motivators into tracking devices?
- Under what conditions would it be helpful to have a tracking ‘trajectory’ to illustrate the path you’re on (good or bad)?
- How do you make tracking data actionable?
- How do you cross the self-tracking chasm from ‘work’ to ‘fun’?
Self-tracking session gurus included Marilyn Langfeld (@MarilynsView), Alan Viars (@aviars), Gregg Masters (@2healthguru), Sandra Paredes, Andrew Rainey (@breadforthecity), Greg Bloom (@breadforthecity), Richard Layman, Rebecca Frank (@frankrebecca), Andre Blackman (@mindofandre), Dave Haft (@davehaft), Eden Shiferaw (Community Education Group), Mark Scrimshire (@ekivemark), Stephen Murphy (@IQSolutions), Joe Lyons (Lyons Advisors, LLC), Baabi Das (Zansors, LLC), Jessica Sachs, Peter Speyer (@PeterSpeyer), Lindsey Hoggle (@lindseybh), Lanny Hartmann (@Lanny). Apologies to anyone I missed – let me know and I’ll add you.
What do you view as key issues and questions in the realm of self-tracking?
Thanks to Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health for hosting the event in their stunning new space.
DC Health Innovation Week Events (Twitter tag: #dchealth):
- The Walking Gallery #Thewalkinggallery
- HealthCa.mp/dc #hcdc
- The Health Data Initiative #healthapps
- Health Innovation Summit #futurehealth
- Health 2.0 Code-a-Thon #health2dev
- DC Health Innovation Week Proclamation (pdf)
Great posts by others on Health Innovation Week events:
- “Walkers” keep on walkin’, Talkers get to talkin’ and Mover’s & Shakers- yep, you guessed it- Get to Movin’ and Shakin’!, Matthew Browning, Your Nurse Is On
- 8 key takeaways from health data-palooza, Peter Speyer, Data Development
- #HealthApps insightful @TimOReilly hits the spot, again. This time on Privacy and how it relates to the Rainbow button initiative. #hcdc, Mark Scrimshire, HealthCa.mp
- Human being trumps human doing : DC Health Innovation Week recap, Ted Eytan, M.D.
- The Health Data Initiative Forum, Brain Ahier, Healthcare, Technology & Government 2.0
- Health Digital Check-Up: Washington, DC Health Innovation Week, David Barton, Edelman Digital
- 5 Things That Caught My Attention at the Health Data Initiative Forum, Chris Hall, SoHealth
- How a Health 2.0 code-a-thon works, Andy Oram, O’Reilly Radar
- A New Hope? (…but what about that pesky death star?), Mike Painter, Pioneering Ideas