5 years, 5 lessons
Quantified Self: The next frontier in mobile healthcare
IEEE Communications Society SCV + TiE SV 19 Sep ...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 2
September 10, 2008
The first meeting of QS ...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 3
1. Market size
2. Sensors
3. Feedback loop...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 4
#1 Market Size
Niche or mainstream?
First ...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 5
USA-West
San Francisco
QSXX-SF
Silicon Val...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 6
Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Emerging Technolo...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013
Pew Internet “Tracking for Health” 2013
7
Fo...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013
ABI Research, Feb 2013
8
100 Million (2014)
...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 9
Finally, many crowdfunding campaigns for p...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 10
Self-reflection
... not a new idea
It’s al...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 11
#1 Most everybody’s
doing it ... but they...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 12
#2 Sensors
Next, let’s talk about sensors...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 13
Shiny new toys
There’s lots of excitement...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 14
“The real voyage of
discovery consists no...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 15
Human sensors
However, interestingly and ...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 16
And if you look around, you see that such...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 17
Artists differentiate between many subtle...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 18
“new eyes”
vs.
teaching us to see
Basical...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 19
Making sense of sensors
Another key issue...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 20
“What we discover in
nature is not really...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 21
Weather
Baseball
Elections
Poker
Earthqua...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 22
#2 Sensors ... are
catalysts, and
sometim...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 23
#3 Feedback Loops
A hot meme in this spac...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 24
Wired magazine captured the zeitgeist in ...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 25
As anyone who is an IEEE member knows ver...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 26
Control-Goal Mismatch
On key point is tha...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 27
“like applying sunscreen
and claiming it ...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 28
Time lags
Simple feedback loops are often...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 29
Tighter feedback loops?
There’s a tendenc...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 30
“When there are long delays in feedback
l...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 31
#3 Feedback Loops
— triggers for
reflectio...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 32
#4 Engagement
Another hot meme is engagem...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 33
QS experiments
$$ or “points”
public comm...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 34
B. J. Fogg
BJ Fogg is a Stanford professo...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 35
B. J. Fogg
BJ emphasizes that for a behav...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 36
Decades of behavior research conclusion
R...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 37
Decades of behavior research recommendati...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 38
#4 Engagement —
support intrinsic
motivat...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 39
#5 Value
The final lesson I’ll share with ...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 40
Appearance:
Success Stories
Many of the Q...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 41
Reality:
Goals not achieved
Only when you...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 42
Why? It’s hard!
Why? Partly because its j...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 43
Why? Bad science
Poor experiment design
N...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 44
And yet ...
Experience worthwhile
Learn s...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 45
Finding the finding
We talk about “finding ...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 46
#5 Value is in the doing,
in the engageme...
Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 47
Next local meetup: Sep 25
Conference: Oct...
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Quantified Self—5 years 5 lessons

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Quantified Self—5 years 5 lessons

  1. 1. 5 years, 5 lessons Quantified Self: The next frontier in mobile healthcare IEEE Communications Society SCV + TiE SV 19 Sep 2013 Rajiv Mehta • rajiv@bhageera.com • 650/823-3274
  2. 2. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 2 September 10, 2008 The first meeting of QS was at the home of Kevin Kelly, on September 10, 2008. About 30 of us were there. • The very first speaker showed us something unexpected. He had been recording his activities, some as brief as 5 minutes, for the past 3 years! He showed us color-coded charts of this data. And then, astoundingly, he asked us what he might learn from it. And that started the conversation. • The speaker in the photo is Seth Roberts, a Berkeley professor, who has been doing self-tracking and self-experimentation for decades. • The guy in the middle with a yellow t-shirt with red letters is Tim Ferris, who has since gone on to write the bestselling book “The 4-Hour Body” based on his own self-experimentation. • I’m the guy up front on the left of the picture. That first meeting was almost exactly 5 years ago.
  3. 3. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 3 1. Market size 2. Sensors 3. Feedback loops 4. Engagement 5. Value From these 5 years of experiences, I’m going to highlight 5 things that seem especially pertinent to pursing business opportunities: the market size; the key topics of sensors, feedback loops, and engagement; and the question of what value users are finding.
  4. 4. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 4 #1 Market Size Niche or mainstream? First the issue of market size. Ironically, for a topic that’s all about data, it’s hard to get clarity on the size of the market. Is it still a niche, just early adopters, or is this already mainstream? It’s confusing ... there’s a mess of indicators.
  5. 5. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 5 USA-West San Francisco QSXX-SF Silicon Valley San Diego Seattle Los Angeles North Bay Portland Hawaii Berkeley Santa Barbara Davis/Sacramento Boulder/Denver San Francisco Salt Lake City Phoenix/Scottsdale Reno/Tahoe Orange County USA-East New York Boston QSXX-Boston Washington DC Chicago Pittsburgh Philadelphia Louisville Houston Raleigh Vermont Austin Nashville Minneapolis Denton Dallas Albany Atlanta Huntsville Memphis Champaign, IL Lansing Indianapolis Southwest Florida Grand Rapids Charlotte Columbus Cleveland Cincinnati Europe Amsterdam London Paris Brussels Edinburgh Spain Dublin Munich Berlin Helsinki Czech Republic Hamburg Aachen/Maastricht Geneva Poland Budapest Stockholm Copenhagen Milan Stuttgart Cologne Groningen Athens Berlin (English) Zurich Ruhrgebiet Oslo Africa Cape Town Australia Sydney Melbourne South America Rio de Janeiro Buenos Aires Bogota Canada Toronto Vancouver Montreal Ottawa Asia Tokyo Beirut Singapore Dubai Bangkok Beijing Taiwan ShenZhen Hong Kong Seoul Bangalore Mumbai Let’s look at QS itself. From that modest beginning, QS has grown rapidly. When I last looked, we had 96 meetup groups around the world — including new ones in Mumbai and Bangalore. We’ve had 4 conferences, 2 in the Valley and 2 in Amsterdam, and the 5th one is coming up in San Francisco next month. Speakers at QS events generally talk about their own experiences. We ask them: What did you do? How did you do it? What did you learn? For the past couple of years we’ve also asked for a show of hands: “How many of you are at a QS event for the first time?” Usually about half the people raise their hands. That’s amazing. This is obviously growing fast. Still, the total number of people who have attended at QS event is admittedly a very small percentage of the population.
  6. 6. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 6 Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies 2013 This is Gartner’s famous “hype cycle” chart, where technologies proceed from some innovation trigger, through the peak of inflated expectations, crashing down into the trough of disillusionment, along the way to the plateau of productivity. Regarding QS, Gartner seems to want it both ways. As you can see, QS is placed on the left side of the chart reflecting its newness. But, they’ve noted it as a light-blue dot indicating they think it will reach the plateau stage in just 2-5 years. So, it’s supposed to go from something new to something mainstream practically overnight. On the other hand, they’ve put “Mobile Health Monitoring” technologies further along the chart, but with a dark blue dot indicating it’ll take 5-10 years before that is mainstream. Gartner seems to be saying that QS will become mainstream sooner than the technologies that drive it.
  7. 7. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 Pew Internet “Tracking for Health” 2013 7 For some more confusion, a recent Pew Research survey found that 70% of American adults say that they track at least one health indicator. That’s pretty darn mainstream. However, half of those people that track say they just track “in their head”. Overall, they found that only about 11% of American adults use apps or devices for tracking. But, is this an overcount? Even 11% seems much beyond an early-adopter, niche market. Some argue that this is in fact an undercount, because the sales of home glucometers, scales, blood pressure cuffs, etc. is higher than this 11%. Pew has deep experience doing such surveys, so the numbers must be correct. But they don’t feel right, and so there has been lot of conversation online and off about how to reconcile these results with common experience. One issue that comes up, is that of perceptions: not everyone who is currently tracking thinks of what they’re doing as “tracking” — they’re managing their diabetes, not tracking their glucose level.
  8. 8. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 ABI Research, Feb 2013 8 100 Million (2014) 300 Million (2019) annual wearable device shipments 61% of wearables are sports / activity trackers 2013 Business Intelligence, Apr 2013 Some industry forecasters are quite bullish. Here’s one middle-of-the road forecast. It would seem this is already a significant business.
  9. 9. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 9 Finally, many crowdfunding campaigns for personal trackers have had success. * Instabeat, based in Beirut, is a gadget that attaches to your swim goggles, tracking your performance while you’re in the water. * Lumoback is a local company focused on posture. We’ll be hearing more about it from CEO Monisha Parkesh in a few minutes. * Beddit, from Finland, provides a thin film strip that you place underneath your sheets for sleep sensing. It’s very accurate and unobtrusive. * Emotiv, based in San Francisco, has head gear for measuring brain waves. * And Scandu, also based locally, is developing the Star Trek tricorder. Clearly there are many that want such products.
  10. 10. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 10 Self-reflection ... not a new idea It’s also worth mentioning that this idea of self-reflection, self-analysis is nothing new. The Buddha, and many other philosophers before and after him have been teaching us the value of paying attention to one’s self. Something that’s a few thousand years old can hardly be thought of as new.
  11. 11. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 11 #1 Most everybody’s doing it ... but they don’t call it tracking, and they may not use technology Bottom line ... self-tracking is commonplace. If you can tap into what people are already doing, the market could be huge.
  12. 12. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 12 #2 Sensors Next, let’s talk about sensors. The availability of cheap, small sensors sparked the Quantified Self movement.
  13. 13. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 13 Shiny new toys There’s lots of excitement about these new technologies — after all, the technical possibilities explored by the first panel is partly what lured you here today. And it feels like we’re just barely scratching the surface, that there is a lot of innovation to come in this space. The shininess of the new devices, their gadgety novelty, often is what attracts people to self-tracking in the first place. This is not to criticize these gadgets. If they inspire people to consider their wellbeing, that’s fantastic. But it’s more than just the excitement of a new toy ...
  14. 14. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 14 “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes” Marcel Proust Marcel Proust said “The real voyage ... eyes” These new sensors, just like the telescope and the microscope before them, open new worlds to us. Each new sensor allows us to see something new about our universe, something that’s always been right there in front of us, but that we weren’t able to see before. Sensors, and the new data they provide, are absolutely essential to this space.
  15. 15. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 15 Human sensors However, interestingly and unexpectedly, these new sensors have reminded us that we all possess some in-built sensors, that work quite well. Many of those who have done self-tracking have discovered that, with practice, they get very good at knowing their numbers. People using pedometers pretty soon just know about how many steps they’ve walked that day. People using sleep measurement devices soon know how they’ve slept and what their “sleep score” is just from how groggy they feel that morning, and so don’t need to look at the sensor data.
  16. 16. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 16 And if you look around, you see that such perception skills are commonplace. Any good mechanic is able to grab the right wrench or the right screw without getting out his calipers.
  17. 17. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 17 Artists differentiate between many subtle color differences just using their eyes, and piano tuners just use their ears.
  18. 18. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 18 “new eyes” vs. teaching us to see Basically we’ve found that while the new sensors do open our eyes to things we had not perceived before, that we often learn to continue perceiving without the crutch of the sensors. So, are these new sensors giving us new eyes, or simply teaching us how to see? And do we measure the success of a new sensor by how often it is worn, or rather by how much more accurately the user perceives his world whether or not he continues to use the sensor?
  19. 19. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 19 Making sense of sensors Another key issue about sensors is making sense of the numbers.
  20. 20. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 20 “What we discover in nature is not really a matter of what exists; what we find is determined by our ability to understand” Peter Hoeg Another novelist, Dane Peter Hoeg, had this to say “What we discover ... understand.” (In “Smilla’s Sense of Snow”) Can you understand what the data is showing? Figuring out what the data means, what you should do, whether or not you should even pay attention to it ... these are not trivial issues. Many people looked through telescopes when they were first invented. Only a few, like Galileo, understood what they were seeing.
  21. 21. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 21 Weather Baseball Elections Poker Earthquakes Wall Street ... This challenge -- making sense of the data -- is a challenge in many, many fields. Nate Silver made his name initially by brilliant baseball analysis, then got even more famous by predicting elections much more accurately than all those pundits. In this great book, he covers many fields.
  22. 22. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 22 #2 Sensors ... are catalysts, and sometimes critical So, these exciting new sensors are indeed very valuable ... but not every single one, and not always ... and don’t underestimate the value of those real people that the sensors are attached to
  23. 23. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 23 #3 Feedback Loops A hot meme in this space is feedback loops
  24. 24. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 24 Wired magazine captured the zeitgeist in a June 2011 article. Thomas Goetz, such a good writer, captured the essence of why so many are excited about the potential of feedback loops. It seems so straightforward: measure what’s important, compare to your goal, make a change, measure again ... and you should quickly reach your goal. And you’ll find many success stories in the QS community. People who have been able to make significant improvements in their lives by being able to get and respond to data about themselves. You’ll hear later from Sky Christopherson, who will share with you some amazing stories of his own achievements and those he’s worked with using such techniques. But also true is that the experience of many QS experiments is that often the goal is not reached, despite the measurement and tinkering.
  25. 25. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 25 As anyone who is an IEEE member knows very well, feedback loops are not a new discovery. This great poster by Dubberly Design shows that the basic idea is used in many fields. So, there is deep knowledge about feedback loops that helps explain the lack of success.
  26. 26. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 26 Control-Goal Mismatch On key point is that your actuator, the thing you can control, has to have a meaningful impact on the variable you’re trying to control. Otherwise the feedback loop isn’t going to work out as planned. You can set your home thermostat to whatever you want ... it won’t make any difference to the temperature outside.
  27. 27. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 27 “like applying sunscreen and claiming it protected you from a nuclear meltdown ... wholly inadequate to the scale of the problem” Nate Silver, The Signal and The Noise Sometimes it seems the controls at your disposal just aren't good enough. As Nate Silver says it's “like applying ... problem”. You can track your weight, and eat more broccoli and walk 10,000 steps, and still not have much impact on your weight. If your body’s weight set-point is responding to other, more powerful stimuli, your body will just adjust itself to compensate for all that broccoli and walking.
  28. 28. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 28 Time lags Simple feedback loops are often no match for complex systems. And one major complexity, when it comes to our bodies, is the time lag between a change in diet or environment and whatever it is that you’re tracking.
  29. 29. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 29 Tighter feedback loops? There’s a tendency to think that more information, faster information, and more responsiveness is always better. One wants to tighten the feedback loop.
  30. 30. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 30 “When there are long delays in feedback loops ... foresight is essential. ... If a decision point in a system is responding to delayed information the decisions will be off-target ... if action is taken too fast, it may nervously amplify short-term variation and create unnecessary instability. ... Overshoots, oscillations, and collapses are always caused by delays.” Donella Meadows, Thinking in Systems: A Primer Recipe for disaster But in fact, that’s often a recipe for disaster. Donella Meadows notes that “If a decision point ... unnecessary instability.” Time lags play havoc with feedback loops. Many experienced self-trackers have learned not to react too quickly. The difficulty is knowing when to wait and when to react. ...
  31. 31. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 31 #3 Feedback Loops — triggers for reflection, not instant response So, if you’re going to build a business around some smart sensors that are going to help people know what to do, proceed with caution. You’re safer promising feedback for the person’s own reflection, rather than promising to tell them the “right action”.
  32. 32. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 32 #4 Engagement Another hot meme is engagement ... motivation, behavior change. The idea that these new tools are going to get you to do what you should be doing.
  33. 33. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 33 QS experiments $$ or “points” public commitments social support This is a very popular idea. Many in the QS community have struggled with changing their own behaviors, and so have developed tools to help themselves. They want to hack their own behaviors, and help others do the same. There have been lots of experiments. • People have tried money or points, that you win some for doing the right thing or you lose some for missing your target. • People have tried public commitments, motivated by either the support that comes from people cheering you on, or the shame of failing publicly. • People have tried social support ranging from very social sites, to small groups, to very private. Interestingly, all this QS experimentation mainly seems to have confirmed what the experts have been saying all along ...
  34. 34. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 34 B. J. Fogg BJ Fogg is a Stanford professor, a well known and popular lecturer and consultant on technologies for behavior change. One of things he stresses is that motivation is most likely not the problem. He advises: Don’t build tools to increase motivation. Build tools that makes things easier to do.
  35. 35. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 35 B. J. Fogg BJ emphasizes that for a behavior to happen, both motivation and ability are required. And, in practice, the problem usually is that something is simply too hard to do. BJ also emphasizes that a trigger is necessary, something has to remind you at-the-right-moment that you should do something. Too much energy is being focused on motivation, when ability and triggers are often what’s really lacking.
  36. 36. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 36 Decades of behavior research conclusion Rewards may provide small motivational boost for routine, boring tasks requiring no creativity There’s also decades of research that external motivation hardly ever works. External rewards — carrots & sticks — only work, a little, in very specific situations. At other times, they are not just useless, but often counter-productive. Daniel Pink's book "Drive" is a wonderful lay summary of this field.
  37. 37. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 37 Decades of behavior research recommendation Make it easier for people to do what they want to do Things that have been successful in the QS world so far — such as the original Nike + system, or the MyFitnessPal or RunKeeper apps — have made it easier for people to do what they already wanted to do. Just note that in this context the idea of “easier” also includes making things more pleasing, fun, beautiful, etc.
  38. 38. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 38 #4 Engagement — support intrinsic motivation So, based on the experience of successful QS products and of decades of behavior science, you’re better of building a business supporting what people want to do, than on nagging them to do what you think they’re supposed to do.
  39. 39. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 39 #5 Value The final lesson I’ll share with you from the QS experience is what value people are getting from self-tracking. It may surprise you.
  40. 40. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 40 Appearance: Success Stories Many of the QS presentations you’ll hear are of successful experiments — people tracked something, made some adjustments in their lives that resulted in a positive change. People like presenting successes.
  41. 41. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 41 Reality: Goals not achieved Only when you talk with people informally do you learn that in fact most of the time people aren’t very successful in achieving the change they seek: they haven’t lost a lot of weight, significantly improved their sleep, etc. Specific improvements have been hard to come by.
  42. 42. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 42 Why? It’s hard! Why? Partly because its just plain hard ... I’ve just described some of the complications.
  43. 43. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 43 Why? Bad science Poor experiment design Not based on evidence Just anecdotes Placebo effects “Messy” data Poor analysis And partly because many people seem to have a very poor grasp on the basics of science, on the basics of doing experiments. Almost all of the QS experiments I’ve come across have been bad science.
  44. 44. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 44 And yet ... Experience worthwhile Learn something valuable And yet, almost all the people who did those flawed experiments seem to have found the experience worthwhile, and have learned something valuable. They’ve come to this learning from doing the experiment. They get satisfaction from doing something, from paying attention, from learning something about themselves.
  45. 45. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 45 Finding the finding We talk about “finding the finding”, the unexpected discoveries. I tracked my own sleep only to discover I didn’t have a sleep problem. But in the process came to better appreciate the normal ups & downs of life. Another QSer tracking energy expenses couldn’t make much impact on her budget, but came to learn how much she enjoyed the meditative rhythms of line- drying her clothes. The meta-learning is often far more valuable than the actual data, the experiment results.
  46. 46. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 46 #5 Value is in the doing, in the engagement A possible lesson to be drawn is to make sure you design products or services such that don’t preclude this possibility. If your solution is too paternalistic, you may make such learning impossible. Pay attention to what Steve Jobs said.
  47. 47. Rajiv MehtaTiE & IEEE: QS the next frontier in mobile healthcare, 19 Sep 2013 47 Next local meetup: Sep 25 Conference: Oct 10-11 quantifiedself.com rajiv@bhageera.com • 650/823-3274 If you want to tap into these early adopters yourself, you’re welcome to come to QS activities. The next local meetup is next week in San Francisco. And the next conference is just a month away. Thank you.

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