Person-generated Data in Self-quantification. A Health Informatics Research Program

Kathleen Gray, F. J Martin-Sanchez, G. H Lopez-Campos, M. Almalki, Mark Merolli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)



The availability of internet-connected mobile, wearable and ambient consumer technologies, direct-to-consumer e-services and peer-to-peer social media sites far outstrips evidence about the efficiency, effectiveness and efficacy of using them in healthcare applications. The aim of this paper is to describe one approach to build a program of health informatics research, so as to generate rich and robust evidence about health data and information processing in self-quantification and associated healthcare and health outcomes.


The paper summarises relevant health informatics research approaches in the literature and presents an example of developing a program of research in the Health and Biomedical Informatics Centre (HaBIC) at the University of Melbourne. The paper describes this program in terms of research infrastructure, conceptual models, research design, research reporting and knowledge sharing.


The paper identifies key outcomes from integrative and multiple-angle approaches to investigating the management of information and data generated by use of this Centre's collection of wearable, mobiles and other devices in health self-monitoring experiments. These research results offer lessons for consumers, developers, clinical practitioners and biomedical and health informatics researchers.


Health informatics is increasingly called upon to make sense of emerging self-quantification and other digital health phenomena that are well beyond the conventions of healthcare in which the field of informatics originated and consolidated. To make a substantial contribution to optimise the aims, processes and outcomes of health self-quantification needs further work at scale in multi-centre collaborations for this Centre and for health informatics researchers generally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-45
JournalMethods of information in medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 09 Jan 2017


  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Humans
  • Medical Informatics
  • Research
  • Journal Article

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