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ResourcesHuman Research EthicsWho Says You Need Permission to Study Yourself? – NEO.LIFE (Emily Mullin | September 2018)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Who Says You Need Permission to Study Yourself? – NEO.LIFE (Emily Mullin | September 2018)

 


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Sara Riggare can’t finish her PhD because an ethics committee says she needed their approval first.

For the past six years, Sara Riggare, who has Parkinson’s disease, has been conducting research on herself as part of her PhD at the prestigious Karolinska Institute in Sweden. Using mobile apps, she tracks her symptoms, sleep, and activity.

She’s not unique in doing so: Many people self-monitor with apps and wearable devices like Fitbit and the Apple Watch, a trend spurred by the broader Quantified Self movement, where “lifeloggers” track everything from their blood sugar to their microbiome, and even carry out experiments on themselves.

For the past six years, Sara Riggare, who has Parkinson’s disease, has been conducting research on herself as part of her PhD at the prestigious Karolinska Institute in Sweden. Using mobile apps, she tracks her symptoms, sleep, and activity.

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