Venture Beat recently named the “Quantified Self” movement as a top trend for 2012. That publication defined the movement as “self-knowledge through numbers” and cited a number of gadgets that enable their users to quantify everyday activities such as workouts, sleep, heart rate, and galvanic skin response.
Hugo Campos is a proponent of this movement: He uses a FitBit device to keep track of his daily activity level, a Withings blood pressure monitor, a WiFi scale, and a Zeo sleep monitor. He cannot, however, access the data in his implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) because such data is off limits to patients. The data from his ICD can, however, be accessed by his physician and the device’s manufacturer.
In his quest to learn about his condition and ICDs, Campos attends cardiology conferences, takes classes on how to program ICDs, and “does everything [he] can to raise [his] own level of health literacy,” as he explained in a recent TEDx talk. He firmly supports the e-patient movement, in which “networked patients are shifting from being just mere passengers to becoming responsible drivers of their care.”
Campos explains in the talk that he wants “to paint a broader picture in high resolution of what [his] health looks like.” But Campos, who is at risk for sudden cardiac arrest, gets no data from his $30,000 ICD—which includes information on heart rhythm, variations in chest impedance, and battery life.