This was an invited keynote delivered in Sydney, at Australia's annual health informatics conference HIC2012. I was asked to speak about the Quantified Self, and the self-tracking movement in general, and its potential impact on healthcare.
Nearly 40 years ago in Silicon Valley, a group of pioneers leveraged technological advances and new ways of thinking to make computing personal. Computing went from being dismissed as a tool of bureaucratic control to being embraced as a symbol of individual expression and liberation. The creativity of millions of individuals was unleashed. Their experimentation has changed the world, often exceeding the innovation from traditional institutions. Today another generation is leveraging technological advances and new ways of thinking to make healthcare personal. They are developing and using tools, technologies, ideas and communities to enable and empower individuals to understand and manage their own health. They are encouraging and supporting crowd-sourced scientific advancements. What are these people doing? What tools are they using? What have they learnt? And how is all this activity going to impact traditional healthcare institutions, the nature of care services, and the pace of health technology innovation?