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Ben Halpern
Ben Halpern

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Do you track any personal health data? If so, what and how?

I'm curious about any "standard" data you track with a watch or smart scale, etc., but also anybody who does anything "above and beyond" in this regard.

Also β€” what do you do with the data? Which services do you use for aggregation and visualization, or do you work with any of the data directly as a programmer?

Top comments (24)

theaccordance profile image
Joe Mainwaring • Edited

You want Above and Beyond? I got it for ya. Here's a list of the health data I currently have in my possession:

  • Workouts (~ 900 in 8 years)
  • Heart rate
  • Steps
  • VO2 Max
  • Standing Hours
  • Weight
  • List of all my appointments and surgeries (~ 60 in the last 2 years)
  • List & usage history of my Medications
  • Rounds of Chemotherapy (33 and counting!)
  • The amount of blood that's been drawn from my body (damn you Elizabeth Holmes and your failed dream)
  • Urinalysis Labs every 2 weeks (Gravity & PH of my pee)
  • CBC with differential Labs every two weeks: WBC, MCV, MCH, MCHC, RWD, PLT, MPV, Neutrophils, Lymphocytes, Monocytes, Eosinophils, Basophils, Absolute Lymphocytes, Absolute Monocytes, Absolute Eosinophils, Absolute Basophils, RBC, HGB, HCT, Immature Granulocytes, Absolute Neutrophils, Absolute Immature Granulocytes, Differential Type
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel Labs every two weeks: Creatine, ALT, Sodium, Potassium, Chloride, CO2, Anion Gap, Blood Urea Nitrogen, eGFRcr, Calcium, Glucose, Protein, Albumin, Alkaline Phosphatase, AST, Bilirubin, Magnesium, Phosphorus,
  • 20+ CT Scans (reports, I don't have access to the images)
  • MRI and X-Ray Scan reports (only a couple of these)
  • Various ad-hoc labs over the last 2 years (ex: Vitamin D levels)
  • A genetic report which links my genome to cancer studies (Fun fact: My close friend & business partner created this product for Tempus)
  • Labs which track the amount of cancer cells floating around in my bloodstream (~ 4 times a year)
  • Immunizations (since 2021)
  • How many medical marijuana joints I've smoked since being diagnosed with Cancer (~ 700, a joint a day keeps the cancer at bay πŸ™ƒ)
  • And last but certainly not least: All of my insurance claims since 1/1/2020 ($1.5 million billed ☠️)

Clearly, that's an extraordinary amount of health data, and as the list eludes to, I was Diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer last year - a very serious diagnosis with only a 14% survival rate after 5 years. Thankfully, I have responded well to my treatment plan and I can confidently say that today, the risk to my life is very small. I'm also a participant in a clinical study, which is partly why that list is so... long.

Now as far as what I do with all this data?

  • Practically speaking, I use the clinical data to have conversations with my care team (Oncologists, Physicians Assistants, Surgeons, and my GP). Having this volume of data enables trend analysis, which is very important when you're dealing with chronic diseases like cancer.
  • From a developer perspective, I use the data to prove concepts in my sandbox. Having 1M+ records of factual data provides a lot of opportunities to present that data in useful ways. I've been using Chartbrew to build out a report which I will eventually share publicly.

As a final word, I'll share one insight that I've learned through my health experiences these last few years: Cancer in our society is trending in earlier and earlier age groups. I encourage everyone to seek those screenings earlier than you might otherwise consider.


glenn_miller_860ba12ffbf7 profile image
Glenn A Miller

Sorry for your troubles, though I'm glad you have the tools to track it.

My medical providers all have online portals I can use to keep track of things. It was a godsend during my treatment of lung cancer the last three years. Every result is an URL away. I also check my health numbers from my Apple Watch and smart Withings scale.

theaccordance profile image
Joe Mainwaring

OMG yes, having electronic access to your records is such a game changer, things would have been considerably more cumbersome and time consuming had this disease surfaced 10 years earlier.

Now we just need a solution which actually stores your electronic records. As I discovered with Apple's Healthkit, the clinical records are only pointers to a secured server.

besworks profile image

body check engine

subhamx profile image
Subham Sahu


sherrydays profile image
Sherry Day

I've begun sleeping with my Apple Watch on, and use a combo of the default Health app, as well as Autosleep (which is neat, but I'd also be fine with just the health app).

I'm curious about other Apple health visualization apps people are using beyond just the Health app.

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

I use FitnessView for good widgets, but am also curious about other apps I don't know about.

andypiper profile image
Andy Piper

Pretty much all of the "standard" stuff that I get from Apple Watch and Oura Ring, as well as blood pressure and weight / other metrics from Withings Smart BPM and Body Scale.

I started down this path a number of years ago when I had a heart scare. tl;dr but I had a condition where my heart would race uncontrollably at seemingly random times (SVT).

On ageing, and a wake-up call – The lost outpost

Oldness Yesterday, I turned 37. I’m often mistaken as being younger than I am. At first that was funny, then it became annoying (mostly when every bar in the US demanded ID), and then it beca…


Fortunately I've now had a procedure around that specific anomaly, but the devices are there and still useful. When I was in the hospital to get that procedure, on the day, I was able to use the Health app to provide my most recent blood pressure and heart rate etc to the clinicians. With iOS 16 I'm also using the medication tracking feature. The ECG feature on the last few generations of the Watch, as well as blood oxygen level measurement, were absolute selling / upgrade sales for me.

One thing I've played with but not stuck to well enough, has been tracking fluid intake. I have the WaterMinder app on my phone and Watch and I use it sometimes but right now I'm not consistent. It also breaks out caffeine etc which was key to my original usage.

For visualisation there's another app called Heart Analyzer which can do a nice PDF output on a monthly basis, and an app called Heart Hive from the same developer which has more of a social element. Those are really centred on heart health. An interesting observation is that since I stopped drinking alcohol my heart rate has been much more consistent and lower overall, which is really clear when measured on an ongoing basis by some of these devices.

I haven't done much with the data as a programmer myself, but curious to learn how others use their data!

jess profile image
Jess Lee

I don't currently but just ordered the pixel watch and plan to start doing some minimal tracking to help me lead a healthier lifestyle.

However, I've been getting targeted by nutrition apps that track your glucose levels? Curious if anyone has done that sort of thing. The idea of physically attaching a device to my body freaks me out, plus all the additional data these companies would have. Here's an example of what I'm talking about:

jansche profile image
Jan Schenk (he/him)

I'm a Type 1 Diabetic. I track bio data, especially blood glucose and carbohydrates through an app called LoopKit and store it in Nightscout. Both open source community projects not for profit.
What do I do with it? I improve my medical treatment, automate insulin delivery, and have less to think about.

xomiamoore profile image
Mia Moore

I don't track a lot of health info because it feeds into the part of my brain that is prone to disordered behavior/eating. I feel like that's an important caveat when it comes to this kind of thing, it can be easy to take a harmless hobby (tracking data) to an unhealthy place. (If you can do that without falling into disordered behavior, more power to ya, haha)

I wear an Apple Watch most of the time, and I appreciate that I can look at bigger trends ("Oh wow, I'm way more active now that I have a toddler!" "My resting heart rate went down once I was more active!") without getting too in the weeds. :)

For people already tracking a lot of things, I used to use and I LOVE how it aggregates alllllll the data to make interesting connections!

tngeene profile image
Ted Ngeene

I've been using Strava to track my runs and started using relive which has nice visualisations, challenges to keep you motivated and great communities.

etienneburdet profile image
Etienne Burdet

Only my workouts (90% runs, a bit of hiking/ski touring) where I measure heartrate, basically to follow a training plan. I just use my watch's app (Suunto). I used to sync to Strava, but I don't anymore.

The main thing I do is try to feel in which heart rate zone I am and see if my watch agrees. I check my resting heart rate once in a while too.

For everything else, I go by feeling and it works well enough. We I don't train or sit all day or whatever, I just know it beforehand, no need for my watch to tell me.

devjour_app profile image

It's a very interesting question. I believe that tracking varies based on the health category you want to track, is it mental / psychological health, is it the physical aspect?

Like in Devjour, we track mental health and productivity by user interaction in their guided journaling. So, on a daily bases they add their:

  • Mood,
  • the cause of the mood,
  • The productivity level,
  • Plus notes

Then we generate advanced insights to them. like the one below

Image description

koralarts profile image
Karl Castillo

I only track my workouts. I use Strong for my tracking. It provides some nice visualizations -- eg. approximate max weight based on your lift, total volume. These visualizations are for individual exercises so you can setup your dashboard with the lifts that are important to you.

I use the data I gather to plan out my next workout cycle and to make sure my volume-frequency-intensity ratio are good since you can't be high in all three.

I don't keep track of what I eat but I do keep track of my weight once every 2 weeks out of curiosity.

perssondennis profile image
Dennis Persson

I have four year of data in Daylio app. Have been tracking each day but it varies what I am tracking so it's just a few records I have four year of data for.

They have added som summaries for you, to compare a month to previous month, correlating activities to moods and so on. They also have so you can set up goals and stuff.

Quite good app. What I do miss is the ability to design custom advanced queries for the data. There's an option for exporting the data though, so it should be possible to analyze it on your own.

No idea what's in the free plan. Have had premium all the time.

scubaninja profile image
April Edwards

I track alot. Here we go...

Some background, I am a triathlete and developer. I also train to my female cycle as there has been a HUGE amount of data coming out on this in the last few years.

I wear a Garmin Fenix 6.
I use the Garmin App and Wild.AI to track it all. My training data is also on Training Peaks (Garmin plugs into this) and I upload a minimal amount up to Strava because their platform isn't great for performance data.

I wear my watch 24/7.

I track from Garmin:

  • almost all of my workouts
  • Daily steps
  • Sleep data
  • Movement
  • Heart Rate
  • Training Status incl Load and VO2 Max
  • HRV, resting HR and HR all day
  • Stress scores
  • Sleep data (duration, type, quality)
  • calorie expenditure
  • water intake
  • Respiration
  • Pulse Ox
  • all menstrual symptoms

This all hooks into Wild.AI and this tracks

  • Menstruation days/spotting/bleeding/ etc - all details around this
    • Feeling/readiness to train
    • soreness
    • fatigue levels
    • alcohol intake
    • quality of food intake
    • Acne
    • Bloating levels
  • GI habits
    • illness, injury
    • back pain
    • moods
    • motivation -night sweats
    • cramps

With Training Peaks it pulls in my training data but then outputs

  • fatigue (based on performance and training load)
  • effort of training
  • HR
  • Cadence
  • fitness level

I also used the SuperSapiens blood gluose monitor for a couple months. This tracked your intake, blood sugar levels etc and measured the 'why' when you had a spike and measured it against your training performance.

With Garmin, I've never been granted access to their API, they're extremely tight on that. I have a good working relationship with Wild.AI and you can export your data and throw it in PowerBI
With Training Peaks, it's all built into their platform. There is a 3rd party API/App you can purchase access to, it just became too cost prohibitive.

Basically, I have too much data in different places...

jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel Fayard πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¨πŸ‡΄ • Edited

The better question is WHY?

A data tracker is just a tool.
A tool for what?

If you don't know why you are using a tool,
the tool isn't auto-magically valuable by the virtue of it being new.

For example sleep is super important for me because I used to have insomnia during 72 consecutive hours. Which sucks indeed.

Do I need an IoT health tracker storing things on the blockchain to recognize that it's a problem and reflect on what's going on exactly?

No, writing words on pen and paper worked just fine.

andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden

I use my Apple Watch to check the usual health data like walking, blood, standing etc... And I am using the Daylio app to check my moods and mindfulness.

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Sorry, it's true.