Part of the healthcare revolution that is in our midst is the continuous quantification of a patient's data, and the patient's continuous participation in collecting, analyzing, and transmitting those data to healthcare providers. In an excellent article in MIT's Technology Review, Dr. Larry Smarr describes his quest to quantify everything about his health and how this led him to a startling discovery, an unusual partnership with his doctor, more control over his life, and improved health. Dr. Smarr, professor of engineering at UCSD, was an early pioneer of the internet who came to UCSD to direct a new institute called the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology.
Since becoming involved in the quantified self movement, Smarr dropped from 205 to 184 pounds and is now a fit 63-year-old. His transformation transcends a regular exercise program and carefully managed diet: professor Smarr has become a poster man for the medical strategy of the future. During the past decade, he has gathered as much data as he can about his body and then used that information to improve his health. And he has accomplished something that few people at the forefront of the quantified self movement have had the opportunity to do.... he helped diagnose the emergence of a chronic disease in his body.