In recent years there has been considerable interest in tracking a variety of health-related data via a growing number of ubiquitous devices, smartphones and wearable devices. This phenomenon is bundled by the so-called “Quantified Self” (QS) movement, an Internet community focusing on self-quantification through technological aids. The Quantified Self movement promises “self knowledge through numbers” and its adherents are proponents of self-tracking in many forms, including the use of wearable devices, blood testing, genetic testing, and journal recording. A variety of relevant health parameters are now being captured via an ecosystem of consumer-oriented wearable devices, smartphone apps and related services. Techniques from information science, sociology, psychology, statistics, machine learning and data mining are applied to analyze collected data. These techniques provide new opportunities to enrich understanding of individual and population health. Self-tracking data can provide better measures of everyday behavior and lifestyle and can complement more traditional clinical data collection, towards a comprehensive picture of health.

This workshop, held in conjunction with IEEE BIBM 2014 in Belfast, aims to engage researchers from both Healthcare and Quantified Self communities to discuss key issues, opportunities and obstacles for personal health data research. IEEE BIBM 2014 provides a leading forum for disseminating the latest research in bioinformatics and health informatics. It brings together academic and industrial scientists from computer science, biology, chemistry, medicine, mathematics and statistics.

Accepted Papers

Author(s) Title
Anita Sant’Anna Activity monitoring as a tool for person-centered care: preliminary report
Chonlatee Khorakhun and Saleem Bhatti Wellbeing as a proxy for a mHealth study
Robin De Croon, Tom De Buyser, Joris Klerkx, and Erik Duval Applying a User-Centered, Rapid-Prototyping Methodology with Quantified Self: a case study with triathletes
Chris Brennan, Paul McCullagh, Gaye Lightbody, Leo Galway, and David Trainor Quantifying Brain Activity for Task Engagement
Alphonsus Keary and Paul Walsh How affective computing could complement and advance the quantified self
Feiyan Hu, Alan Smeaton, and Eamonn Newman Periodicity Detection in Lifelog Data with Missing and Irregularly Sampled Data
Timothy Patterson, Ian Cleland, Christopher Nugent, Norman Black, Paul McCullaugh, Huiru Zheng, Mark Donnelly, and Suzanne McDonough Towards a Generic Platform for the Self-Management of Chronic Conditions
Mark Beattie, Huiru Zheng, Christopher Nugent, and Paul McCullagh COPD Lifestyle Support Through Self-management (CALS)
Krista Lagus Looking at our data – perspectives from Mindfulness Apps and Quantified Self as a daily practice


“Scoping the Role of Quantified Self for Personal Healthcare”

Professor Ruth Rettie

Director Behaviour and Practice Research Group, Kingston University, UK.

In this keynote, Prof. Rettie briefly considers definitions of the quantified self and discusses the development of the QS movement, highlighting its emphasis on self and self-improvement – ‘self knowledge through numbers’. Following a review of QSPH devices and their marketing, she scopes the landscape for the development of quantified self in personal healthcare, focusing on: behaviour change, deep data, data proliferation, data control and commercialisation, QS medical research data, biofeedback, customisation of medicine and genetic segmentation. Limitations of QS data are considered, including the subjectivity of measurements, the lack of blind controls and the placebo and no-cebo effects. She concludes with a discussion of social changes that may accompany the QS trend and possible implications for personal health and medicine.

Ruth is a Professor at Kingston University in the UK. She is interdisciplinary with publications in sociology, HCI and social marketing. Ruth is the Principal Investigator on Smart Communities, a community based action research project on energy demand reduction and on CHARM, which used digital technologies to investigate the impact of individual and social feedback, on energy consumption and walking. She is Co-Investigator on the Digital Economy Sustainable Society Network+, and Director of the Behaviour & Practice Research Group at Kingston University.


Time Program Point
09:00 – 09:15 Welcome and Introduction
09:15 – 10:15 Keynote: Scoping the Role of Quantified Self for Personal Healthcare by R. Rettie
10:15 – 10:30 Boasters (1 minute per poster)
10:30 – 10:50 Coffee break
10:50 – 12:00 Poster session
12:00 – 12:30 Discussion
12:30 Lunch