What is a 'Quantified Self'

Quantified self is the act of using personal data to improve one’s quality of life. This usually refers to healthcare but can extend beyond that metric.

BREAKING DOWN 'Quantified Self'

Quantified self is a term that was made popular in 2007 by writer Gary Wolf. The practice of tracking the details of a person’s day-to-day life to find patterns or to determine causation has become quite popular since then, but originally the term became popular when Wolf first described it as the intersection of data and self-improvement. With the rise and accessibility of online applications that can track everything from calories to steps taken in a day, people now have more information at their fingertips than ever. There has even been a rise in wearable technology, such as smart watches that can track many personal details, like a runner’s pulse rate or how often someone slips into Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep.

The result of this growing movement is that people are more aware of their personal health than ever. There is also a rise in connections between collected data and the resulting effect that it has on the body. For example, smart phones that have applications that can track how many steps you take each day can also count your calorie intake and expenditure. This can allow the average person an easier method of monitoring their weight loss journey and the ability to personally tailor their daily goals based on desired results.

While personal data gathering is not new, any one with a note pad and a pencil can keep track of their daily calorie intake for example, the ability to pair it with a real time calculation of how many calories a person burns just by running their laundry in and out of their laundry room on a given day makes understanding it that much easier.

And as for wearable technologies, like fitness trackers, sometimes the information can be lifesaving. Some doctor’s offices and hospitals are now reviewing information provided by these devices to detect changes in pulse rates over longer periods of time to determine if there is a correlation between that and excessive activity that may be indicative of a bigger problem.

What is Wearable Technology

Wearable technology, or wearable tech as it is more commonly called, is any technology that can be fastened to your body. More specifically this refers to devices which are used to monitor actives or track and compile information verses devices which are attached for convenience. A fitness tracker which monitors your pulse rate would be considered wearable technology, but a phone that fits into a holster case on a belt would not.

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