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



With thanks to Maarten den Braber whose talk at BerlinDX included the products

and websites referenced in this article. Gratitude also to Abbott Diabetes Care

which organised BerlinDX for Europe's bloggers and diabetes websites.

data was gained using inhalers that had

sensors on them. The inhalers tracked

the user's location and how often they

had to use the device, hence analysing

and identifying the cause - in this case

the dodgy bean dust.

Big data, big doctor

Data on that scale can lead to solutions

being identified, but it's still a brave new

world. Big data goes beyond what one

person can generate, but there are hazy

borders between data about the self and

shared data. One big question about big

data is, who owns it? It is your data, in as

much as it is about yourself, and you have

generated it, but you are using somebody

else's technology and they are storing it. If

you are using their kit to gather your data

and they are storing it, they might have the

rights to it (they might literally 'own' it, not

you). One worry put forward about shared

data is whether an insurance company

could use your shared data to judge your

diabetes control and, for example, not

cover you against certain outcomes.

Maarten den Braber, a commentator

on the Quantified Self and Big Data, says,

"No one knows yet about who owns

big data, this is a discussion that needs

to continue. Gene tests in the USA are

covered by privacy laws, so no matter

what DNA discoveries you may make

about your ancestor's health, it can't be

used by insurance companies to exclude

you from policies. There are DNA markers

for pre-dispositions but you might want

to consider, do you want to know? It's

also possible to donate to data banks of

information without actually knowing the

results of the tests yourself."

Measuring sticks

Undoubtedly, diabetics are already being

quantified (your GP knows your last

HbA1c result), and we are quantifying

ourselves to some degree or another,

whether blood testing, using a food diary,

downloading meter or pump data or using

a CGM sensor.

You may not actually like it, but you

know it's for your own good. The good

news is that it's getting easier to do -

there's better kit, better access to data

though downloads and uploads. While

you may take a while to gather any

enthusiasm about it (not all of us are 'early

adopters', and think the Luddites had a

point), an increasingly quantified self is

part of our collective future. You will have

to quantify for yourself how far you (and

your diabetes data) want to take part in it.


For a great little video on

the Quantified Self see this

entry on TED. To discover

more about your DNA delve

into www.23andme.

com. Find friendly fellow

healthcare sharers on www.

patientslikeme.com or go to

ginger.io. To read more about

the Barcelona asthma story see



  1. Desang diabetes magazine
  2. Bayer Contour blood test meter range
  3. Desang diabetes magazine diabetes information
  4. Page 0004
  5. Page 0005
  6. Desang magazine food news
  7. Page 0007
  8. Diabetes kit diabetes management equipment
  9. Page 0009
  10. Page 0010
  11. Page 0011
  12. Page 0012
  13. Desang diabetes kitbags
  14. The Quantified Self and diabetes, big data and diabetes
  15. The Quantified Self and diabetes, big data and diabetes
  16. diabetic data, The Quantified Self and diabetes, big data and diabetes, blood glucose,
  17. OneTouch Verio blood test meter
  18. diabetic data, The Quantified Self and diabetes, big data and diabetes, blood glucose,
  19. Accu-Chek Mobile blood glucose system
  20. Vanessa Bolosier The Creole Kitchen
  21. Vanessa Bolosier The Creole Kitchen
  22. Vanessa Bolosier The Creole Kitchen
  23. Page 0023
  24. Making Carbs Count
  25. Page 0025
  26. Page 0026
  27. Page 0027
  28. Page 0028
  29. Page 0029
  30. Living with diabetes

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