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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History of LGBTQ+ Health and Ongoing Health Disparities & Inequalities

Editor’s note: Maeleigh Tidd returns with another contribution to the Pharmaceutical Inequalities feature, this time co-authored with a graduate student colleague, Lucy Abrams. Mae and Lucy discuss the history of LGBTQ+ health in the USA, and situate existing LGBTQ+ rights within the international context. They subsequently discuss how pharmacists play a key role in providing gender-affirming care, and how this can be improved upon. The Pharmaceutical Inequalities series is funded by the Holtz Center and the Evjue Foundation.

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