Quantified Self: A Scientific Approach to Measuring and Improving Health

Quantified Self: A Scientific Approach to Measuring and Improving Health


Table of contents

"The best investment you can make is into yourself" - Warren Buffet

In an interview where Tony Robbins speaks with MMA fighter Conor McGregor, McGregor talks about what it takes to be a champion.

πŸš— McGregor spent millions of dollars on expensive cars, watches, and other materialistic things. However, his yearly investment into his own health was ZERO.

Things have changed for McGregor. He now recognizes the importance of prioritizing his body and mind (not only as a professional athlete.)

He assembled a whole team that follows him everywhere he goes and focuses on achieving peak performance. His team consists of a doctor, nutritionist, and coach.

Similarly, LeBron James, the star basketball player, invests over 1.5 million USD annually in his health.

Whether you are a lawyer, doctor, or CEO, to be at your best every day it is necessary to invest daily time and energy into maintaining and improving bodily health.

How can we reach our full potential if we neglect our body and well-being and invest in materialistic things like a new second car we don't really need instead?

πŸ“ Making Health Measurable

"You cannot manage what you don't measure." - Peter Drucker

Various gadgets and tools nowadays allow us to measure bodily indicators to improve our fitness and health.

Quantified Self - Self Knowledge Through Numbers

If you want to learn more about tracking data and using it to find patterns and improve your life by finding patterns, sharpening your awareness, and having fun experimenting by trying different tactics, there is a whole community called The Quantified Self that specializes in this topic.

Felix Krause has an amazing website called Howisfelixtoday where he publishes and shares nearly every data he tracks of himself. From the current location, over body measurements, like height and weight to daily caffeine intake.

My Tracking Habits

For tracking my fitness I use the Garmin Venu 2 watch. For tracking my sleep I use the Oura Ring 3 which measures parameters like blood oxygen saturation, pulse, and heart rate variability.

🧫 Blood Biomarkers: Going beyond the skin

"The term "biomarker," a combination of "biological marker," refers to a broad category of medical signs – objective indications of a medical state observed externally – that can be measured accurately and reproducibly.
They may or may not correlate perfectly with a patient's experience and sense of well-being. Some measurable biological characteristics may not correspond to patients' clinical state, (...)" - What are Biomarkers?

πŸ’Š Supplementation

These days, we often get recommendations like "Take your Vitamin D; you need it in winter" or "Taking a Vitamin B supplement is always good for staying calm and focused."

But do you even have a deficiency?

The consequence of excessive supplement consumption without a deficiency of the vitamin can lead to kidney damage or even organ failure (in the case of Vitamin D for example) as vitamin D is not metabolized properly.

🟒 Inside Tracker: Blood Analysis in the United States & Canada

If you're a follower of the Huberman Podcast, you may be familiar with Inside Tracker.

Based on your blood work, Inside Tracker creates individual action plans to improve your overall health and well-being. As of August 2023, Inside Tracker is currently only available to residents of Canada and the United States.

🩸 CARE in Switzerland: "For a healthier and longer life"

Since early 2023 CARE is located at Zurich's central train station.

CARE's focus is on prevention rather than cure, "for a healthier and longer life," as they write on their website. After taking a blood sample, CARE analyses biomarkers and tells you which ones are worth improving and how to get there.

πŸͺœThe 3-step process:

  1. Initial consultation and blood sample
  2. Blood analysis of 46 biomarkers, with a medical professional helping you to understand the outcome
  3. Personal coaching, access to the CARE app, a supporting community, tools to improve your health, as well as the option for infusions and injections such as Vitamin B12, iron, and Vitamin D3 shots.
Three pictures with a blue background describing how the process of CARE works
Three simple steps on care.me

🩺 The Difference between CARE and a visit to the doctor

Last year after my annual health checkup, the doctor informed me that my bloodwork was within the average healthy range. Good, I thought first ... but what does that exactly mean?

According to a CNN Business article, doctors focus on disease detection, while health companies like CARE have a different approach. Like Inside Tracker they specialize in maintaining health and coaching customers to stay and become healthier.

I believe anything that contributes to one's health is an investment (as long as it is within reason) worth making.

Bullet Point Summary

  • The blog post discusses the importance of investing in one's health and the use of measurement tools for improvement.
  • Biomarkers and blood analysis are highlighted as ways to gain insight into health status.
  • Different health services, such as Inside Tracker and CARE, are mentioned for personalized coaching and action plans.
  • The post also highlights the difference between traditional doctor visits and specialized health services in terms of focus and approach.