From Quantified Self to Quality of Life
“Know Thyself” is a motto leading the Quantified Self (QS) movement, which at first originated as a “hobby project” driven by self-discovery, and is now being leveraged in wellness and healthcare. QS practitioners rely on the wealth of digital data originating from wearables, applications, and self-reports that enable them to assess diverse domains of their daily life. That includes their physical state (e.g., mobility, steps), psychological state (e.g., mood), social interactions (e.g., a number of Facebook “likes”) and environmental context they are in (e.g., pollution). The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes these four QS domains as contributing to individual’s Quality of Life (QoL), with health spanning across all the four domains. The collected QS data enables an individual’s state and behavioral patterns to be assessed through these different QoL domains, based on which individualized feedback can be provided, in turn enabling to improve the individual’s state and QoL. The evidence of causality between QS and QoL is still being established, as only data from limited cases and domains exist so far. In this chapter, we discuss the state of this evidence via a semi-systematic review of the exemplary QS practices documented in 609 QS practitioners’ talks and a review of the 438 latest available personal wearable technologies enabling QS. We discuss the challenges and opportunities for the QS to become an integral part of the future of healthcare and QoL-driven solutions. Some of the opportunities include using QS technologies as different types of affordances supporting the goal-oriented actions by the individual, in turn improving their QoL.
KeywordsHuman-computer interaction Mobile health Tracking and self-management systems Ubiquitous computing and sensors Physiologic modeling and disease processes
This research is supported by the Swiss NSF MIQmodel (157003), AAL ANIMATE (6-071) and CoME (7-127) projects, and COST actions (1303, 1304). I appreciate the help of the QoL team members and collaborators with getting the data required for this chapter (especially Alexandre De Masi) and for overall feedback (especially Thomas Boillat).
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