Andrea Gaggioli (unicatt.it) wrote an interesting posting via BioMedTown (http://forum.complexevents.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=303
) 29 April 2011:
A related concept to Physio-environmental sensing and live modelling is psycho-physiological self-tracking. Conceptually, this approach was developed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Reed Larson in 1983, much before the advent of personal informatics. They created a paper-and-pencil methodology, called Experience Sampling Method (ESM), which requires participants to fill out multiple brief questionnaires about their current activities and feelings by responding to random alerts throughout the day. ESM has been used effectively with adolescent and adult populations for decades to understand areas such as mood, social interactions and time use. This approach has also proven to be helpful in defining therapeutic interventions that are optimally suited for an individual patient.
Used in combination with physiological and contextual measures, computerized version of the ESM may provide a powerful tool to study person-environment interactions. Researchers interested in experimenting with this approach, but lacking programming skills, can use MyExperience (http://myexperience.sourceforge.net/
), a BSD-licensed open source mobile data collection tool developed for Windows Mobile devices. MyExperience allows the combination of sensing and self-report to collect both quantitative and qualitative data on experience and activity. The beta release of MyExperience supports 50 built-in sensors including GPS, GSM-based motion sensors and device usage information. The sensor events themselves can be used to trigger custom actions such as to initiate wireless database synchronization, send SMS messages to the research team and/or present in situ self-report surveys. Other external sensors (i.e. physiological) can be added via MyExperience plug-in architecture. MyExperience can also be used for designing innovative cybertherapies. For example, Dr. Margaret Morris from the Digital Health Group at Intel and colleagues from Oregon Health and Sciences and Columbia University have recently developed and tested a mobile phone application for mood reporting, which also provides therapeutic exercises for cognitive reappraisal and physical relaxation (M. E. Morris et al, Mobile Therapy: Case Study Evaluations of a Cell Phone Application for Emotional Self-Awareness, Journal of Medical Internet Research, 12(2):e10, 2010). In summary, self-tracking is an emerging trend in personal informatics, with potentially interesting applications in the fields of cyberpsychology and cybertherapy. However, more research is needed to determine the real benefits (and risks) of this approach.