Introduction to the Minitrack on Health Information Behavior and Activity Tracking Technology
Proceedings of the 53rd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Today, various consumer-facing wearable activity trackers (e.g., Fitbit, Apple Watch) provide a range of health-related functionalities, starting with counting steps, tracking sleep, monitoring heart rates and ending with evaluating exercise performance or providing personalized insights through data analytics. We use the term activity tracking technology to refer to the totality of activity trackers and related web or mobile health applications. The increasing ubiquity of this technology
... is technology enables users to quantify and monitor their daily physical activities as part of their overall health, anytime and anywhere. Researchers in various disciplines (e.g. computer science, information science, system sciences, engineering, medicine, and social sciences) have investigated different aspects regarding activity tracking technology, such as understanding the adoption and abandonment of activity trackers, optimizing accuracy of activity tracking technology, and supporting behavior change with this technology. For instance, Ilhan and Henkel  investigated the perceived service quality and acceptance of activity tracking users. Also, Feng and Agosto  has examined activity tracker users' personal health information practices with regard to this new technology. Apart from that, it is still not well studied how people perceive, interact and make use of the manifold information offered by their activity trackers and related health applications. This evokes critical questions which needed to be examined to evaluate the impact of activity tracking technology on users' health information behavior. Some of the key questions are: Is the information provided by activity tracking technology adequate to satisfy users' various health information needs? How effective is the information offered by the technology in supporting users' desired behavioral change? What are the privacy implications as the wearable activity trackers become increasingly popular? What concerns do users' have if others (e.g. employers, insurance companies) have access to the information generated by the technology? How can we design privacy-enhancing wearable technology to safeguard activity tracker users' privacy related to their health information? This minitrack aims to foster a wider and deeper discussion on health information behavior and activity tracking technology by exploring a subset of these critical questions.