The Netherlands have a first! The first ever Quantified Self Institute (QSI) in the world has been founded in Groningen in September 2012. The institute was founded in collaboration with the QS Labs (San Francisco). Worldwide, people find it interesting (and fun!) to make and use sensors and applications for self-tracking. With use of all kinds of sensors and applications, they gain insight in different aspects of their life and physiology. However, the link with science hasn’t been established yet , as became clear at the third Quantified Self global conference two weeks earlier in Stanford.

Share, share, share.
The QS conference serves users and tool makers interested in self-tracking systems. Approximately six hundred people from the QS community (there are more than fifty groups worldwide, including one in Amsterdam) came together, inspiring and learning from each other. I have never before experienced a conference with such a fantastic atmosphere! Everyone was excited about QS and wants nothing more than to share, share, share…. Participants were encouraged to skip programmed presentations when they ended up in an interesting conversation, and plenty of people used this opportunity.

Toenail Growth.
We discovered that nowadays virtually nothing is not measured. When the founders of QS, Kevin Kelly and Gary Wolff, suggested that the growth of toenails probably had not yet been measured and asked the audience, someone gingerly raised his hand….

QS linked with science.
At the conference it became clear that the link between QS-knowledge and science has not yet been established. And thus, the idea to found a Quantified Self Institute was born, initiated by Joan Janssens with credits for Martijn Aslander. The QSI is worldwide the first academic initiative to combine the knowledge and experience of the QS community with applied sciences. The aim of QSI is to bring together technology, healthcare, sports and wellness outside of restrictions of existing professions and institutions to contribute to the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. The founding of QSI was embraced by the QS-community and cofounder of QS Labs Gary Wolff. And, two weeks later, it was a fact.

Learn more
Valesca van Dijk and Martijn de Groot will write more about different aspects of QS and about what is happening within QSI. Want to know more about Quantified Self? Follow QSI on Twitter (#qsinstitute). The next QS Meetup takes place in Groningen; you’re more than welcome. Or sign up for the fourth QS global conference in Amsterdam on 11-12 May 2013.

By Martijn de Groot

Source: Digitale Zorggids, 31 October 2012