Journal of medical Internet research 2017 11 0319(11) e378 doi 10.2196/jmir.6903
The use of wearable tools for health self-quantification (SQ) introduces new ways of thinking about one’s body and about how to achieve desired health outcomes. Measurements from individuals, such as heart rate, respiratory volume, skin temperature, sleep, mood, blood pressure, food consumed, and quality of surrounding air can be acquired, quantified, and aggregated in a holistic way that has never been possible before. However, health SQ still lacks a formal common language or taxonomy for describing these kinds of measurements. Establishing such taxonomy is important because it would enable systematic investigations that are needed to advance in the use of wearable tools in health self-care. For a start, a taxonomy would help to improve the accuracy of database searching when doing systematic reviews and meta-analyses in this field. Overall, more systematic research would contribute to build evidence of sufficient quality to determine whether and how health SQ is a worthwhile health care paradigm.
The aim of this study was to investigate a sample of SQ tools and services to build and test a taxonomy of measurements in health SQ, titled: the classification of data and activity in self-quantification systems (CDA-SQS).
Eight health SQ tools and services were selected to be examined: Zeo Sleep Manager, Fitbit Ultra, Fitlinxx Actipressure, MoodPanda, iBGStar, Sensaris Senspod, 23andMe, and uBiome. An open coding analytical approach was used to find all the themes related to the research aim.
This study distinguished three types of measurements in health SQ: body structures and functions, body actions and activities, and around the body.
The CDA-SQS classification should be applicable to align health SQ measurement data from people with many different health objectives, health states, and health conditions. CDA-SQS is a critical contribution to a much more consistent way of studying health SQ.