Quantify Yourself: Are Older Adults Ready?

  • Paolo Massa
  • Adele Mazzali
  • Jessica Zampini
  • Massimo Zancanaro
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering book series (LNEE, volume 426)


Quantify Yourself is a recent trend by which people continuously measure walked steps, heart rate, sleep, stress and other personal indicators in order to monitor their wellbeing or life in general. Enabled by sensors currently embedded in affordable tools such as wearable devices and smartphones, Quantify Yourself has the potential for empowering each person towards an increased self-knowledge. This recent phenomenon is engaging mainly young and tech savvy people. In this paper, we explore if and how older adults track indicators related to their health and wellbeing. By means of 20 open interviews with elderly people carried out in the context of their houses, we focus on the practices and the artefacts they use. Older adults are an interesting portion of population in this regard because their health condition is usually an issue for them as individual and for the society as well and at the same time they are likely to be less prone to adopt new technologies. Some important themes are emerging from this study that might be useful to design new technology that better fits this population. In particular, the differences between the practices employed for medical and wellness indicators and between measurement and tracking; the importance of memory as the main tracking device; the sharing of artefacts between partners as well as the subjective perception of involvement during measurement with different artefacts.


Active aging Elderly Quantify yourself 



This research has been funded by project ActiveAgeing@Home (Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca, Italy).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paolo Massa
    • 1
  • Adele Mazzali
    • 2
  • Jessica Zampini
    • 2
  • Massimo Zancanaro
    • 1
  1. 1.Fondazione Bruno KesslerPovo (TN)Italy
  2. 2.Universita’ di TrentoTrentoItaly

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