Wireless Health 2012 talk on Smartphones, GPS, and location-based context

Fun times in San Diego at Wireless Health 2012.  We’ve really seen the field of wireless devices and sensors within the health field explode over the last few years in all directions: in the consumer market, research, clinical care, and public health.

To kick off, I showed a picture from 5 years ago of a researcher in my lab wearing something like 7 sensors all over — absolutely crazy, but cool in that we were able to collect all sorts of data on movement, location, and environmental exposure.  It motivated the questions of my talk:

  • Do all these sensors need to be “wearable”?
  • Do all sensors need to be “automated”?

The talk was a good opportunity to demonstrate some of the recent work that Jenna is doing in China, along with EECS PhD student, Victor Shia using CalFit smartphones to comprehensively study obesity risk: continuous inobtrusive physical activity assessment using the smartphone’s accelerometry, diet assessment using phone videos, exposure to environmental stressors like air pollution and noise (e.g., our noise modeling work), locational context like overlaying GPS data on food environment (e.g., foodscoremap.com).

I finished by showing some results we’ve collected in China based on people’s self-report data using a Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA)-like smartphone app on what makes for “Happy Meals”.


Health Effects Institute funds UCLA/UCB study on NOx concentration changes in California

The Health Effects Institute has funded Professor Ying-Ying Meng at UCLA and Professor Edmund Seto to conduct a new study on NOx concentration changes within California. Over the weekend and today, we deployed Ogawa monitors at various sites in Los Angeles and Alameda Counties, which will be compared to similar monitoring that was done before California’s aggressive emissions reductions programs. Students and staff deployed all day yesterday in Alameda County. And today, I deployed monitors at four of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s monitoring stations. Thanks to BAAQMD staff for their help.

Data on site locations (no monitoring results yet)


SAGE – Systems Approach to Green Energy

I presented (and ate a cookie) yesterday at the new NSF IGERT program for Green Chemistry…

Developing clean energy technologies that are truly sustainable will require a systems approach that considers multiple environmental and social impacts in tandem with research and development. The research program of the SAGE IGERT aims to develop inherently greener energy technologies by incorporating impact assessment into the earliest stages of clean energy research. Specifically, SAGE will offer interdisciplinary research opportunities to students in biofuels, solar energy and energy storage. These three thrusts match significant research programs already underway across the participating academic units.

My interests related to SAGE…
Health Impact Assessment

  • Health Impact Assessment
    What are the potential health impacts of new energy innovations and policies?
  • Exposure Assessment
    Are these positive or negative health impacts, and for whom?
  • Equity Assessment
    Are the health impacts distributed equitably among populations of color and income?
  • Relevance to SAGE
    These assessments may lead to more systematic and process-driven analyses of new green innovations and policies, including:

    • Earlier consideration of health in the development and policy lifecycle.
    • Consideration of short and long term exposures and toxicity of new chemicals.
    • Avoidance of later environmental and social injustices.
My related research (all are student-engaged projects)…
UCBHIG website
  • HIA on proposed California Cap and Trade Regulations (2009) [link]
  • HIA on California Carbon Tax as Strategy for Climate Change Mitigation (2009) [link]
  • HIA on California Maximum Speed Limit as a Strategy for Climate Change Mitigation (2009) [link]
  • HIA on Expansion of Capacity at the Richmond California Chevron Oil Refinery (2010) [link]
  • CDPH’s AB32 HIA [link]

mSpray training begins in South Africa

Following the development of mSpray, a malaria control mobile application for tracking indoor residual spraying of pesticides, initial usability testing at Berkeley and in South Africa has been completed, we’ve iterated on the design of the app, and workers in South Africa are now being trained to use mSpray.

Below is a map that tracks the progress of the teams testing of mSpray.