diabetic data, The Quantified Self and diabetes, big data and diabetes, blood glucose,


continued over

Foodie snaps

Talk of scales takes us directly on to

food. Google Tech has something under

development whereby you can take a

photo of your food and upload it, and

be shown what calories are in it. In an

article written by Zak Stemer and posted

online in May 2015, he reported that while

working on Google's image recognition

programs - algorithms that can analyze

a photo and precisely identify items -

Google research scientist Kevin Murphy

thought of a unique application: Counting

calories by analyzing photographs of

food. Murphy explained that food photos

are the most common type of photos on

the web after pictures of actual people.

With this developing software, a Google

computer can look at an image of,

say, eggs, pancakes and bacon, and

identify each food. But Murphy's vision

goes one step further as he wants to

create an app that looks at the photo,

identifies the foods, analyzes the size of

the food portions, matches the nutritional

information for each food, and then spits

back the caloric intake of your meal. As

Stemer wrote, that would mean "No more

clunky food diaries, no more guessing

serving sizes. Snap a pic of your dinner

(some of us already do it for Instagram),

give it to Google and learn the caloric

count of what you're putting into your

body. And while Murphy confirms that

this project is in the works, he knows it

faces several obstacles before it's ready

for consumer use. Given the potential

demand for this product - more than

78.6 million Americans currently battle

obesity - and Google's resources, it

shouldn't be long untill counting calories

is, literally, a snap."

Thank you for sharing

It's also now possible for you to

contribute to research through your

phone. Increasingly apps are looking to

facilitate how you upload your data either

to a general site, which can compile

information for a particular medical

condition, or so you can send it to your

healthcare professional. You can upload

your data to places like Patients Like Me

and share it with the wider community.

This data from the wider community can

be vital to researchers.

Patients Like Me hosts shared data and

with services like this you can collaborate

with researchers to help move forward

knowledge about your condition. As their

site states, "Learn from others: compare

treatments, symptoms and experiences

with people like you and take control of

your health. Connect with people like

you: share your experience, give and get

support to improve your life and the lives of

others. Track your health: chart your health

over time and contribute to research that

can advance medicine for all."

Similarly Ginger IO uses smart

phones to track your health, particularly

mental health, and predict things. They

say, "The potential for big data in health

is endless. We built our company to

empower researchers, physicians and

healthcare providers to improve patient

care. Our company is based on cuttingedge predictive

models developed by

MIT scientists and engineers. Our datadriven approach

helps unlock patterns in

the massive amounts of health data we all

generate today."

Now you can begin to see where Big

Data comes from. It's everyone's data,

not just the miles of data you personally

generate. But smaller groups matter

too. Sub-groups of quantified selves can

make things happen though a shared

interest. Within the diabetes community

are CGM sensor wearers. Within that

group are Dexcom sensor wearers. Within

that group and within Twitter social media

#wearenotwaiting was a movement

started by people using Dexcom CGM

who were unhappy that they could not

see their data on their watches, so they

did it themselves.

A great example of the power of

data contributed my multiple users with

a medical condition involved a spate of

asthma attacks in Barcelona in the 1980s

which was eventually tracked down to

ships transporting soya beans. Soya

bean dust had blown across the city

only at those points in time when those

ships were in town. What it lead to was

smarter management for asthma and

other breathing conditions like COPD. The


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