More about PACO
What is PACO good for?
Many types of mobile experiments!
Ever wonder how happy you are? Whether your weight is trending up or down? Do you want one place to manage the data and reminder scheduling for all your mobile exercise trackers, weight trackers, baby's bowel movement trackers, fuel consumption trackers (is that the same as the previous one?)?
Mobile Population Studies - Wellness, Corporate environment, or Whatever
Ever want to design, iterate, and deliver a social science experiment or mobile wellness intervention to a group of people on Android mobile phones in a matter of minutes? (You social and behavioral scientists out there know who you are.)
User Control of Data
Do you want to be able to correlate your data across multiple trackers?
Do you want your data kept private and under your control? With informed consent about what you are sharing and with whom?
If you answered yes to any or all of these questions,
then, Paco is the tool for you!
Though we are still building
a lot of these features, so don't be too judgmental just yet -
instead chip in some of your own 20% time.
What does PACO provide?
PACO allows rapid creation and iteration of
experimental trackers and interventions.
You can create a new mobile phone experiment in a matter of minutes on the PACO website. Once you save it, it is ready to download into the PACO Android app. You can keep your experiment designs private, share them with select groups of people, or with the world (Gmail logins for the moment). If you decide that an experimental input isn't quite right, just update it and then within a day the Android app will pick up the new definition.
PACO uses a novel, but validated sampling technique known as Experiential Sampling.
Experiential Sampling was developed by Psychology researchers and has been used in 10s of 1000s of experiments over the last 40 years. It provides a much more accurate way to gather a sample of daily experience by pinging randomly over a period of time. However, PACO can also do more traditional sampling schedules if necessary.
PACO allows users to easily explore and ask questions about their data.
PACO comes with a feature called, Explore Data, that guides the user through answering specific questions about their data. It offers a choice of questions about trends in the data, relationships in the data, and the distribution of the data. It allows the user to chart data across experiments as well to visualize any relationships that might exists between different data sets.
PACO is designed so that you can hear
about a new medical study on the radio and then build a version for yourself in minutes.
Here are some types of "experiments" PACO can help you create:
- Personal diet and wellness data
- Example: You decide to practice healthy eating by following, say, the guidelines in Michael Pollan's Food Rules, and you want to see how well are following the program. With PACO and an Android phone you can easily create a personal "experiment" that will automatically ask you to rate your meal based on the three core food rules (Did you eat food? Was it mostly plants? Was it too much?) and help you track them. You can also easily add weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc., to the data you track and collect.
- Below are sample screen from Alberto's LowCarbTracker experiment:
- Personal exercise or activity data
- Example: You are a runner and you want to track not only how many miles you run each day but also, say, how you feel before, during and after a run. PACO makes it easy to create a study to collect, store and analyze this data.
- Personal work data
- Example: You would like to keep track of where you spend your time at work (34% of my time in meetings! Aaargh!) and how productive or passionate you are feeling about your work. The best way to collect this data is to use Experience Sampling Method (ESM for short.) With PACO you can easily create a simple ESM study that will ask you at random times what you are doing and, say, if you are feeling productive and passionate at that particular time.