This guy could have saved himself some trouble if he just wanted the data and with Google Health he could have imported it, that is if Google Health was his personal imagehealth record of choice.  Myself, I am very cautious of devices that do not go directly to a PHR as they are collected on the web and all sites have some type of a disclosure and some of which are pretty gray these days and if you read privacy issues on the news, you hear it right and left.  We have a serious privacy issue that could easy be called “Body Leaks” out there today! 

Google Health PHR Gets a Facelift and Adds Some New Features–Augmentation for the Consumers

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What is also interesting is that on another site we have another thinking about throwing away his fit bit.  How many of these types of devices can we use and collect?  That’s a good question and again look at the privacy issues.  He also mentions this quote from Carnegie Mellon:image

“Manual collection of information means the collector is focusing on the data (whenever collection occurs) and has the opportunity for short reflections, and can keep abreast of the data more easily. We have found that completely automating collection removes these opportunities and can actually hinder individuals in keeping track of and making sense of their data.”

Where are we at, it is called participatory sensing, in other words how much connectivity can you have before it makes you nuts?  Insurance companies are pushing this to the hilt though as they want the data and don’t care if we go nuts in using a device in the meantime.  It’s all about marketing and sales. 

I used to write code and I know what companies are capable of doing out there and that is not to say that all are selling your data, but determining who is and who is not is the problem, so the safe alternative is to use none of them in my book unless the devices goes directly to a PHR you control. 

Stick a FitBit on every member of Congress and see how they function and it might just bring some of those folks out of the 70s!  Could you image that sight on YouTube with trying to create laws and all of them having to stop and respond to the Fitbit when needed?  This would be a very funny site indeed.  When I read about folks in Congress that are mad at Google over data accidentally collected due to the fact that they did not put a password on their own personal wireless network at home, we have elevated digital illiteracy in some very scary spots, at least ask someone to help you I say. 

Would our President sleep with a Fitbit on?  I ask that in pursing the big question once more is this something for everybody or is it that old paradigm of “its for those guys over there”.

What is useful and what is useless is in the eye of the beholder and and devices that are made to help us will go down the toilet soon with current marketing trends and no first hand participating of our leaders to get a clue.  We tired of these things and it’s work to look at data.  The average consumer doesn’t want all the detailed data, or after a week of it, is bored and tired of it. 

Participatory Sensing with Cell Phones – New Study to Determine If This Works and How Disruptive It Could Be

Luckily there are some forward thinking people out there that have also realized how these devices if not used properly and thrown at people with demands to send data could be a problem, but it’s the insurance and behavior modification guys you can bet!  We have some security issues with some wireless devices too.

Participatory Sensing – Center for Embedded Networked Sensing Studies Gathering Information with Cell Phones Relative to Use and Security

It is just so damned hard to get excited about a device that is marketed to help generate better health and then know on the back side they are potentially collecting data and selling it, anonymized or not.  That doesn’t mean squat any more as there are companies filing for patents to algorithmically match this stuff up and find you so the formulas of mathematics just keep on rolling while the non participants in digital society today (many are the ones who makes laws) are oblivious.  Read this book for some additional insight…and don’t think they are not out there to get data for sale, as they are

If programmers can write it, someone will try to make a buck off it and that even goes beyond healthcare too at times to read up.  Look at how those formulas made millions for Wall Street if you don’t think this all around us as formulas can be written for accurate results and for what I call desired results, used to write queries and algorithms all the time as software is nothing but a group of algorithms that cause a computer to calculate or do something.   Those are the words of Bill Gates.  BD

“Proofiness–The Dark Side of Mathematical Deception”–Created by Those Algorithms–New Book Coming Out Soon

The other week I received my Fitbit and have been in geek heaven ever since. Fitbit is a tiny magical device($99 USD) that automatically tracks your fitness and sleep statistics. Throughout the day it will track your calories burned, steps taken, distance traveled, your activity level, and even track your sleep patterns. All of this data is synced wirelessly through your base station to Fitbit’s website where you can get very detailed daily and historical graphs. The main benefit is that you can be conscious of and keep track of your fitness level, food your eating, and how well you’re sleeping so you can make better choices throughout the day.

Eric Blue’s Blog » Fitbit – Unofficial Perl API and CSV Download

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