Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Blog 18: The End of the Beginning


In the end of Neff and Nafus’ self-tracking exploration they discuss the future of self-tracking and how it can easily and productively be transferred into the medical field. Our medical data is often taken, analyzed, and used for studies and we have very limited access to it. But, is we were given the opportunity to manage and maintain our data and then do with it as we please we may be able to feel like we have more control. The argument stems from the fact that we do know our bodies better than anyone else. However, there are some issues with putting that much power and responsibilities in our own hands. If this data is life or death information and something goes wrong a normal person who isn't in the medical field may have a hard time figuring out what to do. Or they might not even know something went wrong and scue the data. We need to be able to trust that people will keep up with the tracking and make it  a priority which can be hard to do.
Finally, in chapter six Neff and Nafus go over some of the topics that they covered in their book. They make predictions for the future and how self-tracking will expand into our everyday lives. There are a couple concerns regarding security of personal information and the selling of data that I think need to be worked out before we can go much further with self-tracking. Neff and Nafus make the point of putting the data in our hands and giving us the responsibility, but I think this could get sketchy with the buying and selling of data. People could eventually put the price of their data extremely high which could ultimately limit research and growth in many different fields of research. Another area that will need to be introduced to the ideals of self-tracking is the government, laws, and regulations. We need proper legislation and what is ethically acceptable and where that line is before we can explore too far. Ultimately, I think self-tracking is something that has a lot of room for development and will be interesting to see how it grows in the future by the way it affects our lives.

Some questions I have are:
  1. How do we work with legislators to help them fully understand what these devices are capable of so we get proper laws in place?
  2. What is the next step for self-tracking devices? What do they look like? What do they track? Why do we need this information?

Neff, G. & Nafus, D. (2016). Self-Tracking. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Picture: http://groupvisual.io/tag/healthcare/

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