News & Perspectives

Can Data Stop Self-Delusion?

Can Data Stop Self-Delusion?

The top 10 current applications for quantified self
Perspective// 30 Dec 2015
health technology data quantified self wearables

Getting real time data on the health and condition of your body and mind has never been easier. The hardware and software of the quantified self has arrived: Rudimentary biological computing interfaces are either already on the market, or in closed beta pending FDA approval. As the field evolves, we will not only be able to track and react with behavior changes, but all those things we throw at our problems – medications and supplements and lotions and potions – will finally have a feedback or data loop that tells us what’s working and what isn’t. But, so what? How will we use this information anyway?

The top 10 current applications for quantified self:

1. Manage disease and health conditions:
Monitor temperature, blood pressure and oxygen levels – even urine analysis and other physical outputs. [Scanadu Scout] @scanadu 

2. Stop accidents:
Alert driving [Faurecia Active Wellness] @Faurecia

3. Interrupt anger:
Catch you before you scream. Alert wearer to pre-anger changes in vitals — Anger warning signs

4. Catch bipolar onset before it’s a problem:
Patients and doctors work together to note early warning symptoms and prompt a call. [] @ginger_io

5. Optimize skin for beauty and product selection:
A slim device by south Korea based WAY touches your face and sends biofeedback on what your skin needs. [WAY] @HelloWAYco

6. Stay hydrated:
Your data show you’re constantly dehydrated, which impacts all body systems. iDrate reminds you to tank up all day long.

7. Get honest about exercise:
Movement and activity [Moves app] @movesapp

8. Reduce stress reactions:
Variety of mind training and meditation apps are at your disposal. [Bulletproof Stress Detective] @bulletproofexec

9. Sleep better:
Apps help you change position, monitor actual amounts of sleep by phase – and wake you up in your lightest sleep phase - necessary for optimal health. [Sleep Cycle] 

10. Change your overall consumption:
 When your data is tracked and measured, it's a good incentive for you to reduce your consumption, especially when it’s communicated in the context of your neighbors’ behaviors. [My Energy


For those who see their body and mind as an organic machine, where actively using data over time to manage inputs and activity can lead to an optimized state and optimal overall life performance, looking at hard facts is a welcome tool in improvement.

The quantified ‘me’ may be improved if it’s thought of as the quantified ‘we’: The data loop gets stronger when benchmarked, shared and mined across many people, and when shared between the “self-healther” and their medical practitioners. We can fearlessly look at our real data, and use it to change our behavior.