Hypochondriasis and tracking

I’m a family doc, and have been managing an interesting case.

individual is fixated with quantifiable phenomena, often hitting up multiple emergency rooms a week to have serial measurements of whatever the current fixation is, pulse variations, blood sugars etc . this behaviour has been ongoing for several years, and fluctuates in intensity. i’ve encouraged using patients like me, and simple self tracking which has helped at times, but can also lead to worsening obsession. the patient and i have been talking about purchasing a fitbit or fuel band, but we wondered how this may effect symptoms.

i had read previous accounts of obsession in this forum.

my open ended question: what may happen to hypochondrics as we develop biometric hardware? has anybody had any experience with hypochondriasis and self tracking?


The Fitbit and the Fuel Band just record activity levels. Some kind of remotely monitored heart rate sensor might reduce emergency room visits. If that sounds too expensive, try a placebo tracking device :slight_smile: