The Quantified Self is a movement to incorporate technology into data acquisition on aspects of a person’s daily life in terms of inputs (e.g. food consumed, quality of surrounding air), states (e.g. mood, arousal, blood oxygen levels), and performance (mental and physical). Such self-monitoring and self-sensing, which combines wearable sensors (EEG, ECG, video, etc.) and wearable computing, is also known as life logging. Other names for using self-tracking data to improve daily functioning are “self-tracking”, “auto-analytics”, “body hacking”, “self-quantifying”, self-surveillance, life logging, surveillance, and Humanistic Intelligence. In short, quantified self is self-knowledge through self-tracking with technology. Quantified self-advancement have allowed individuals to quantify biometrics that they never knew existed, as well as make data collection cheaper and more convenient. One can track insulin and cortisol levels, sequence DNA, and see what microbial cells inhabit his or her body.
The collected quantified self-data is then analysed to identify underlying patterns and correlations with an intention to gain insights so that better health or behavioural outcomes can be achieved. The data is typically visualized using simple techniques that don’t require a high level of technical expertise. Athletes and their coaches commonly make detailed notes on nutrition, training sessions, sleep and other variables. Similar tactics have long been used to combat health problems like allergies and migraines. But new technologies make it simpler than ever to gather and analyse personal data. Sensors have shrunk and become cheaper. Accelerometers, which measure changes in direction and speed, used to cost hundreds of pounds but are now cheap and small enough to be routinely included in smartphones. This makes it much easier to take the quantitative methods used in science and business and apply them to the personal sphere.
There are some important applications for quantified self
Important applications for quantified self include:
Health and Wellness Apps: Smartphone apps and devices are widely used to track and visualize data related to food, nutrition, weight loss, exercise, fitness levels, blood oxygen levels, sleep patterns, body posture and caloric intake, etc.—to continually measure progress and take necessary actions to achieve better health outcomes.
Corporate Wellness: Companies are increasingly investing in quantified self-data devices and processes to guide their employees toward healthy living and better lifestyle choices—both to reduce health insurance costs and boost employee morale and productivity.
Quantified Baby: This is an offshoot of the quantified self-movement and refers to continually tracking data on various activities of babies to provide useful insights to both parents and health professionals. The quantified baby movement is, however, receiving mixed reactions as experts question its utility.
Networked Wellness Systems: Data is tracked using multiple sensors and wearables and then wirelessly uploaded to centralized servers for further analysis. This scenario enables more comprehensive health monitoring and will gain popularity in the near future.
Recently I have used Health app on my iPhone (with integrated sensor) and transfer data to Fitbit to analyse.
My iPhone has the sensor which can track steps I get a day, it also count the distance and floors I walk or run. Then I import all the data from Health to Fitbit app to get the statistics about the calories I have burn from the activities. I can also add the food I eat and set the target by adding my current weight and my desired weight. So Fitbit can calculate for me how much calories I need to