Self Tracking, Types Movements Communities

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Self tracking is used for different purposes by various movements. Other movements have similar characteristics to Personal Science. Self tracking is most important for people suffering from chronic undiagnosed or sub-clinical problems. This section aims to mention them all. Use this page to decide if you want to self track, select the type and goal of self tracking and find a community that does similar things. See also Reasons for and against tracking.

  • Quantified Self[1] is the community. The "quantified" means it requires empirical analysis skills.
  • Personal science (see also Personal Science (book)) track to preform scientific method style experiments on health and improve productivity. Goal personal discoveries not general truths.
  • Biohacker[2], Nootropic[3], encourage people to try more extreme experiments with less attention to data.
  • Personalized[4] & Precision[5] medicine[6]. Idea that medical treatments should be tailored to individual based on the individual's characteristics, like genome. Like personal science but doctors do the decision making.
  • Life extension goal also shares some tools and methods with QS though mostly focuses on formal medical studies.
  • Athletes and coaches often use often use a specialized tool set from QS to increase Sports performance.
  • Self improvers do not aim to optimize health but do try to change cultivate their own Habits using techniques like gamification. Many authors recommend self tracking.[7] Self improvement techniques benefit from self tracking.
  • Lifelogging tracks many things about a person to reminisce and evaluate decisions made in the past. Shares tools with QS. Visualizing your Data
  • Home Automation Automate everything in your house, eg so the lights shut off when you enter your car. While the goal typically is unrelated to self tracking many automation tools can record every automated change, thus providing a log of actions.
  • Money ficial management. Somewhat like lifelogging and, when curbing spending, somewhat like habit improvement.

Categories of health tracking[edit | edit source]

See also Experiment VS Observational study

monitor and evaluate[edit | edit source]

For example "have I gotten enough exercise?". Compare success to goals. Most devices and apps are for this. Could train sense to degree that device is not needed. Like Mindfulness. For example, sensitize to physical signals to let body regulate weight and prevent overeating. Can lead to hypothesis.

optimize[edit | edit source]

For example "how much coffee do I need?". Underserved. Needing most complicated maths. Potentially useful to absolutely everyone.

debug a problem[8][edit | edit source]

Look for triggers of Symptoms like headaches. Needs to be done via self tracking because, vague, sublinical, problem is rare or user is well outside bell curve. Find Community to get support and even push an idea like CFS into medical community. Experiment VS Observational study for experiment design.

References[edit | edit source]