Please help me see the errors in my plan for my self tracking project

Good morning all!

I am a single father, retired Army guy and I have found that art is the best way to heal my soul. However, it seems that my best creative work comes out after I binge on unhealthy activities. I would like to use a quantified self project to find my path to a sober, sane, stable connection to the creative force.

Please help me see the possible pitfalls and solutions to my plan. Here is the gear I will use and the things I will be tracking:
Garmin 255: Sleep, resting heart rate, and HRV
Dexcom G6: glucose
General big bank credit card: track ALL spending
Apple Health on iPhone 13 Pro Max: Storing the biometric data for retrieval and analysis

I would like to use a simple code to pull the data from apple health, but I haven’t found something that I know will work. Someone probably has the solution up on Github or on this forum, but my search skills haven’t yielded the solution :frowning:

I plan to compare my artistic production, specifically illustrations created and pages written, with my data. Hopefully, I will find a way that I can be artistically productive AND healthy. I would like to carry out this project for at least three years.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have followed this site for years with various accounts, but this is my first time posting or being brave enough to put together a self tracking project. Thank you all!

  • Charles A. Rothbard

It’s a frustration that Apple have not made it possible to export Health data to a Mac where it could be analysed. Other than their export option which dumps all the data out each time it is used and they format it as XML, wihch varies depending upon how many different iPhones the user has had or upgrades to iOS there have been. This will become a major grieveance for me once I start using an Apple Watch in the near future as the Watch can update the iPhone data but there it sticks.

The QS team used to have an iOS app that would extract data from Health as CSV files. Was very useful unfortunately they decided not to continue development. There are various apps available in the App Store that appear to do much the same thing. Unlike the QS app these are either “In App Purchases” or paid.

Perhaps it would be possible to create an iOS Shortcut that pulls out (recent?) data from the Health app uploading it to the cloud from where it could then be retrieved from a Mac. (Probably should point out, if it is not already obvious, that I run an Apple-only set up.)

I would use the Health app more if it were not so inconvenient to extract my data from it.

As it is much in news I tried to get ChatGPT to write that shortcut for me and having had great results yesterday with getting a perl script written to produce CSV files and create Excel Workbooks. This is what it responded with:

Unfortunately, as an AI language model, I do not have the capability to write iOS shortcuts, but I can provide you with instructions on how to create an iOS shortcut to extract data from the Health app, convert it to CSV, and then upload it to iCloud. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Shortcuts app on your iOS device.
  2. Tap the “+” button to create a new shortcut.
  3. Tap “Add Action”.
  4. In the search bar, type “Get Health Samples”. Tap on the action when it appears.
  5. Select the health data you want to export. You can choose from a variety of data types, such as steps, heart rate, and sleep data.
  6. Tap “Add Action”.
  7. In the search bar, type “Convert Health Sample to CSV”. Tap on the action when it appears.
  8. Set the output format to “CSV”.
  9. Tap “Add Action”.
  10. In the search bar, type “Save File to iCloud”. Tap on the action when it appears.
  11. Choose the folder where you want to save the CSV file in iCloud.
  12. Give the file a name and make sure the file extension is set to “.csv”.
  13. Tap “Done” to save the shortcut.

Now, when you run the shortcut, it will extract the selected health data from the Health app, convert it to CSV format, and save it to iCloud.

I have not (yet) tried this Shortcut but it could be a start and a workable replacement for the defunct QS app of old.

Then I asked for the opposite version (importing a CSV file) this was the response

Unfortunately, the Health app on iOS does not have a built-in feature to import data from a CSV file. However, you can use third-party apps that allow you to import data into the Health app. Here are the general steps to follow:

  1. Find a third-party app that allows you to import data into the Health app. One such app is Health Importer, which is available on the App Store.
  2. Open the app and grant it permission to access your Health data.
  3. Prepare your CSV file. The file should contain a header row with column names that match the Health data types you want to import, such as “Date,” “Heart Rate,” or “Steps.” The following columns are available for HealthKit:
  • date
  • value (numerical value, e.g. for heart rate, number of steps, etc.)
  • unit (e.g. “bpm” for beats per minute)
  • type (e.g. “HKQuantityTypeIdentifierHeartRate”)
  1. Upload your CSV file to the app. Follow the app’s instructions to select the file and import the data into the Health app.
  2. After the data has been imported, check the Health app to ensure that the data has been added correctly. You may need to adjust the data type and units in the Health app to match the data you imported.

Note that importing data into the Health app using a third-party app carries some risks, such as the possibility of errors or incorrect data. Always use caution when importing data and verify the data has been imported correctly.

What has been your experience with the Health Auto Export - JSON+CSV app?

Is this a viable option for getting all of my data out of Apple Health so I can analyze it?

Interesting! ChatGPT and other AI developments are a big contributing factor behind my decision to use Apple Health as my data repository. I believe that in the near future, people with accurate biomedical data will be able to interact with AI and get health solutions that address root issues, help people maximize their performance, and achieve their well formulated goals. Apple Health seams like one of the most trustworthy places for me to store my data. Even though Apple Health isn’t perfect, it does have most of the data fields that I would want to populate.
Thanks for responding and giving me some ideas. This community is awesome!

Never tried it. I was happy with the QS app.

Going to investigate that Shortcut nethod.

AI as a diagnostic tool in a specific case, for example the old Mycin expert system from the 1970s, could a useful adjynct to doctors’s medical training. Personally am more circumspect about AI usage in health care and also commercial DNA services such as 23 And Me because health insurancer could use the data collected to declare “pre-existing conditions” from the presence of specifc genes withdrawing coverage even though the customer-patient might never delevop the illness or condition that the gene has a propensity to cause.

Again personally I veer more toward the use of data mining tools for analysing health/quantified self data. Tools such as Weka would be invaluable in such situations.

Update, I decided to use the Freestyle Libre 3 for my CGM. It is much less expensive than Dexcom and the newest version of the Libre tracks glucose automatically without doing cumbersome manual scans.

Creativity may or may not be linked mental illness, but if you’re looking for other factors that affect creativity, this podcast could be a good start (disclaimer, I haven’t listened to it myself yet):