Archive | November, 2011

Leave Me Alone!

29 Nov

Lots of people resonate with the idea of involving other people in behavior change efforts. But not everyone does. And they have some pretty good reasons.

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The Eatery: Crowdsourcing Evaluation of Food Diaries

3 Nov

Previously, I suggested that other people can be a good source of feedback, among other things, to support self-regulation. Right on queue, two days ago The Eatery was released, the first iPhone app from MassiveHealth. The two biggest differences from other food logging applications out there are:

  1. You just take a photo of what you are about to eat; you don’t try to semantically tag it in a way that allows for calorie counting or ingredient analysis.
  2. Other people rate what you eat on a 10-point fit-or-fat scale. Continue reading

Where are the Recommender Systems in Tailored Health Messaging?

1 Nov

In areas like smoking cessation and cancer screening,  where the goal is to educate and get people to take the first steps toward behavior change, “tailored messaging” was developed in the 1990s to try to improve on the effectiveness of one-size-fits-all brochures that are often distributed in clinics. So far, however, the techniques of recommender systems (also called collaborative filtering) that I helped to develop, also starting in the  early 1990s (recipient of ACM Software Systems Award last year) , don’t seem to have been applied in tailored health messaging. In this post, I’ll explore what has been tried in tailored health messaging, and where the opportunities might be to incorporate the recommender system techniques that are now ubiquitous in commerce and other applications on the Internet. Continue reading