Paging Dr. Google: Does Better Data = Better Health?

In 2011, information scientist Larry Smarr described his 10-year effort to “increasingly quantify my body.”

Smarr brings serious skills to the task. Based for many years at UC-San Diego, he’s a long-time top-tier performer in deep realms of computer science.  

Smarr has had periodic MRIs, regular blood work, and colonoscopies far more often than the national average. He has tallied what he eats and drinks and the calories he has burned. He has had his DNA sequenced. He has produced, and shown to his colleagues, 3-D images of his innards.

It paid off when he figured out that he had Crohn’s disease, a challenging gastrointestinal condition, before his doctors did.

Smarr clearly has a passion for self-development and access to plenty of tools for the job.

But his story, and the stories of thousands of self-trackers, raise challenging questions.

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