Numbers and charts and graphs, oh my!


#1

I’m interested to see if the Soylent Team and Community are planning to collecting any specific bio-data regarding the Soylent users. As a Financial Analyst, I LOVE data. I’ve read talks of Soylent apps and such in other threads, and I’d be happy to put something together if there is enough interest.

I’m specifically referring to the results of blood tests and the effect on body weight, body composition, and cognitive function whilst on Soylent, though the type of data could really be anything that is quantifiable.

Sharing one’s personal bio-data will certainly make some uncomfortable. For now I’d only be interested in people who would volunteer this information, though I’d hope we could eventually put together a process that would allow people to securely submit such data anonymously. We can this use this data to see at-a-glance how Soylent affects various cross-sections of our population, and then use this information to further improve the formula or even to provide a basis of customizing it. Additionally, this project could serve in highlighting any health benefits and risks to the professional medical community.

If I’ve missed a thread that already has good momentum in centralizing such information, please be so kind as to direct me to it. Otherwise, I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts!


#2

This is a feature I’ve been thinking about adding to http://diy.soylent.me. Would be great to get a list of things we’d like to track day to day, month to month etc. Similar to private / public recipes, we could allow users to specify if their data should be completely private, available anonymized, or fully public.


#3

There isn’t really so much one thread that has good momentum in centralizing, as there are at least two (now three) very short threads pursuing the same topic

in any case, I’d cast my vote toward an addition to diy.soylent.me, @nickp. Any thoughts on if/when you might end up with time to work it in?


#4

Potentially soon. I just need to know what people would like to see in such a feature. There must be lots of existing websites / apps out there that do something similar. I can take the best features and incorporate them into the DIY site, depending on what people would like to see.


#5

Check out the data I’m currently planning to allow users to track here:

http://diy.soylent.me/body-tracker

If anyone has any suggestions on extra things to track or what we should change, please let me know! This is a work in progress so nothing is set in stone just yet.


#6

This is really good!

A few suggestions, from someone who has 1) used online fitness trackers and been annoyed by them and 2) had to draw conclusions from various sources and quality levels of data:

  • If you can get the time to auto-fill to “right now” in the app, that’ll be awesome.
  • If you can get more of these to be radio buttons or drop-downs, rather than fill-in-the-blanks, that’ll help with both input and data analysis. Maybe have options for complexion, and a 1-5 or 1-10 scale for cognitive function (or low/medium/high, like you did with energy)?
  • If you make some of them (especially the annoying ones to measure, like waist circumference) optional, that’ll help with adoption rate.
  • You’ll want to offer a definition of some of these terms. A lot of people misunderstand “resting heart rate.”
  • You might also want to give people a chance to add cups of water and intake of food throughout the day, without having to re-enter all of this. Otherwise, it’ll skew how much water intake people are getting.

Other suggestions, as a programmer:

  • When this is done, will you please please please please offer an API? I use Fitbit and MyFitnessPal, and combining this data with those would be valuable!
  • Long-term, it would be really cool if it would auto-fill with food entered in MFP, and sleep quantity/quality from Fitbit. But if you can offer an API, shorter-term, I can ingest that and the FitBit & MFP data with R or something, to make reports for my own use.
  • You could make this open source, if you wanted help.

I hope none of this sounds negative–I’m just trying to help make a good thing better. I’m really happy that you’re offering this! Thanks for working on it! :smile:


#7

I am very much in favor of the idea of publicly available health and nutrition data that can be analyzed in mass without legal hoops to jump through regardless of whether Soylent is involved. My last full-time job involved predictive modelling medical data, but even working for a healthcare software company I wasn’t allowed access to the data my software was supposed to process. It constantly resulted in awkward conversations along the lines of “the software is very sophisticated, but I’m not sure what you’ll get because I’ve never actually ran it because it’s illegal for me to do so, but you totally should, trust me”. It was awful. I quit, but I still believe very strongly in what we were trying to do.

We could do so much good for so many people with what could be learned from a big pool of nutrition and health data. Even better if it’s Soylent drinkers who know with high accuracy what they’re consuming. I’m behind this 100%, and I’d be willing to help in any ways I can…which is probably a lot of ways because, yeah, I’m also a software engineer, but then who isn’t on the Soylent forums?


#8

https://wiki.fitbit.com/display/API/Fitbit+API

@nickp , Integrating this with the Fitbit API would be a good way of tracking that information. If you had a fitbit scale, you’d be able to automatically track your weight, as well. I’d be willing to bet that Fitbit would be willing to work with the Soylent team directly - there’s a definite partnership potential.

You’d also not be reinventing the wheel - much of what you’re tracking and charting is handled by Fitbit’s profiles.

Automatically filling the fields from a daily profile would make tracking easier. Set it up so we only have to edit an entry in the field if there’s a change. Actively filling out a form 2-3 times a day to track progress would just upset me. If all I had to do was enter in a meal and maybe change the dropdown on energy level, then it becomes a lot easier to commit to tracking. If I have a Fitbit and it’s automatically filling in all the fields, and my default setting is 3 servings of Soylent a day, then I don’t have to do anything at all to track everything accurately.

Also, it’d be great to add profile tracking from http://www.quantified-mind.com/ . The more passive tracking, the better - tracking mental function alongside fitness , activity, and sleep would be awesome.


#9

Would be awesome to have a dynamic graph of sorts that showed the average trend of the bloodwork based on time compared to before and after soylent and based on how much % soylent the diet is

Also, some way to compare healthy skin before and after, such as how oily the skin is, any changes in regards to color and zits

And sleep pateren also, how you are feeling in the morning and how many hours you slept

It’s a shame there isn’t a system in place to collect information from new soylent users before they start and after


#10

Just a thought…I use WellnessFX to analyze and record my bloodwork. This wouldn’t be for everyone, but I wonder if WellnessFX would be willing to give Soylent a small price break if they officially “supported” using WellnessFX for monitoring…

But even if they didn’t, maybe they’d be willing to provide some access to the data to Soylent from users using Soylent who give their permissions. This would be more objective reporting than us self-reporting. Not that our self-reporting would be bad - but there is more likelihood of typos and I think academics would probably prefer this sort of controlled data (e.g. it would demonstrate that blood tests were actually taken, that individuals weren’t simply “loading” the data to make Soylent look good).


#11

Perhaps the withings API too


#12

It’s been a while but I’ve done a little more work on the Body Tracker. Check it out here: http://diy.soylent.me/body-tracker

You’re now able to save entries, though ‘food intake’ still needs fixing. Should have some more updates in the near future…


#13

Nick, I’m excited about your project. 2 comments:

  1. could you have the user enter a self chosen identifier so the overall data could be looked at and compared without people worrying about their own data being identified as theirs? I would like to be able to graph and see trends in my various input fields like weight without using my name (especially for more sensitive blood work results).

  2. I would love to see a list of blood work the community feels is pertinent for pre and post tests.

Any chance the Soylent company would like to cover the costs of blood tests in return for access to the results anonymously. Cost is going to be an issue for some people, but a large data base of pre/post tests would help the team with formulation of Soylent 2.0.


#14

I’ve added the option for ‘submit data to anonymous database’ at the bottom of the data entry form. Check out the help button next to the checkbox for how it will work. I’ve also made the ‘Food Intake’ entries work properly now.

I’m pretty sure that Soylent would not cover the cost of blood tests but I think a list of services and their costs would be very useful.