Med student turning doctor, wanted to say hi!

Hi all!

I just wanted to introduce myself and say hi to you all! I have just graduated from medical school in the UK and will be starting the art of doctory in a few weeks. I have long been interested and fascinated by the idea of “biohacking”. I will spend most of my life fixing problems when people bodies break down, but why not go further and improve the “normal” body? It seems to me to be neglected as we move forwards as a society. Anyway, in the past I took a keen interest in nootropics, starting from sleep, exercise and diet, alongside repeated cognitive tracking. I love the idea of collecting as much data on myself as I can, so that I can learn more about my body, how it works and ultimately, how I can optimise myself, the same way I optimise my work flow.

I have been thinking about trying to get more data on myself, but have been struggling to come up with how apart from a fitness tracker. Then today, out of nowehere I happened to come across the Quantified Self, amazingly this is exactly what I have been looking for but could just not figure out the keywords for google to obey! So here I am. Ready to begin afresh soon, and hopefully a new quantified self.

So I was wondering if you lovely people could give me some tips on starting out. Currently, I am using Sleep as android to track sleep, my fitness pal for food(when I can be bothered), google fit for steps and any other activity, just installed rescue time a few days ago to monitor my digital activity and also went with 23andme a year ago to get my genome which I have since run through Promethease.

Where can I go from here?? An activity tracker with continual HR monitoring sounds quite attractive and easy, but I have a problem in that hospital staff in the UK are not allowed to wear wrist watches. Would say the fitbit alta HR work as-well on my ankle during the day? Or should I perhaps look for another solution?

Also what are the go to sites/info/materials? I came across a few excellent blogs today and am a little overwhelmed with all the information/services/apps out there. If you could start again from the beginning, then which would you use? Sorry for the wall of text!!! Hopefully it will spark useful discussion and be helpful to any other newcomers!!


Hi and welcome. I’m always interested in the gut microbiome so if you could provide sequencing data, I would have somene to chat with :slight_smile:


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That does sound quite interesting actually! Curiously enough, I did a project a few years ago looking at the relationship between gut flora and inflammatory bowel disease! I imagine this might be a little costly though if using an external company? How do you go about collecting that data?

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If you’re going to be doing a residency next, tracking your sleep (or lack thereof) and its effects on your body should be interesting, along with coffee consumption :slight_smile:

Continuous heart rate data can be interesting, but isn’t as useful as 1. daily resting heart rate (and heart rate variability…) measurements, which you can do with an app like HRV4Training, and 2. keeping an eye on your heart rate during aerobic exercise (using a chest strap or smart shirt).

Keeping track of your body weight and composition (e.g. with a Nokia or Fitbit scale) can be useful as well, and doesn’t require much effort.

Finally, location data collected with an app like Moves can be quite valuable, e.g. if you want to know if spending more time at work correlates with weight gain, or if working late affects sleep.

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Thanks alot for that @ejain! Some great starting tips and advice! I have seen this Moves app around quite alot, how is it different to google fit? Why are so many people using it over other location/activity tracking apps?

I just got the HRV4training, so will start keeping up with that. I am indeed going to do the equivelant of the residency, even got night shifts in the first week…

Which activity tracker do you recommed? I’m tempted by the fitbit AltaHR, for sleep+HR. Are there any others I should have a look at? There are quite alot of different ones out there!

@amishra123 I collect through ubiome. Usually $150/kit but they often have sales. ubiome gives you the Illumnia files and their post processed OTUs.

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The Moves app and Google’s “Location History” keep track of where you spend your time and how much time you spend in transit without draining your battery too much. Neither is a replacement for apps like Strava or RunKeeper that record a tracklog that is as accurate as possible, but just for the duration of an exercise session.

If you keep your mobile device glued to yourself at all times, that might be enough to keep track of how much you are walking around (Google Fit, Apple Health). If you don’t, and can’t wear a wristband all the time, the Fitbit One is a great option (have had one for almost five years now).

Wouldn’t get a wristband just for tracking sleep since they aren’t very accurate, for most people, unless you want one just to get a vibrating, “smart” alarm. If you want a gadget just for tracking sleep, the Beddit and Emfit QS are two good options. They may not be very accurate, either, but more convenient (assuming you sleep in the same bed every night).