Proceedings: GI 2013

Personal informatics in chronic illness management

Haley MacLeod, Anthony Tang, Sheelagh Carpendale

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2013: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, 29 - 31 May 2013, 149-156

  • BibTex

    author = {MacLeod, Haley and Tang, Anthony and Carpendale, Sheelagh},
    title = {Personal informatics in chronic illness management},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2013},
    series = {GI 2013},
    year = {2013},
    issn = {0713-5424},
    isbn = {978-1-4822-1680-6},
    location = {Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada},
    pages = {149--156},
    numpages = {8},
    publisher = {Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society},
    address = {Toronto, Ontario, Canada},


Many people with chronic illness suffer from debilitating symptoms or episodes that inhibit normal day-to-day function. Pervasive tools offer the possibility to help manage these conditions, particularly by helping people understand their conditions. But, it is unclear how to design these tools, as prior designs have focused on effortful tracking and many see those tools as a burden to use. We report here on an interview study with 12 individuals with chronic illnesses who collect personal data. We learn that these people are motivated through self-discovery and curiosity. We explore how these concepts may support the design of tools that engage curiosity and encourage self-discovery, rather than emphasize the behaviour change aspect of chronic illness management.