Congratulations Team Tekla! — Wins 1st Place in Big Ideas@Berkeley

Just heard the great news.  Team Tekla Labs won the 1st Place prize in the Big Ideas@Berkeley competition.  Go Team Tekla!  I knew you guys could do it!

This year, I have been fortunate to work with this exciting student-run initiative that aims to bring low-cost DIY designs for much needed basic lab equipment to the world.  With ties to Instructables, Autodesk, Make Magazine, and DIYbio, Tekla Labs is creating designs and hosting competitions to invent new designs to meet the needs of not only disease control laboratories, but also research and educational in the developing world, as well as impoverished schools in the developed world.

http://www.teklalabs.org

 

CalFit EMA — Smartphone-based Ecological Momentary Assessment

CalFit EMA allows researchers to conduct Ecological Momentary Assessments (EMAs) using smartphones.

EMAs are short surveys — a few questions — that occur during random times during the day.  They measure in-the-moment actions, emotions, and location.  The use of smartphones for EMA takes advantage of the fact that many people are already used to and comfortable with carrying their phone, and responding during the day to phone calls, text messages, emails, calendar events, etc.  Mobile EMAs capture what traditional paper questionnaires and direct observation studies cannot because researchers cannot following subjects for long periods of time (and even if they did so they would likely alter the subjects’ behaviors).

CalFit EMA is part of the CalFit system of apps.  CalFit EMA together with CalFit D (a time-location and physical activity tracker) provides rich contextual sensing of an individuals health.

CalFit EMA is extremely flexible.  It has these features:

  • Runs on inexpensive Android 2.3.3+ phones (e.g., ~$130 Samsung Galaxy Y phone).
  • Completely customizable questionnaires.
  • Can be used with or without a SIM-activated Android phone.
  • Using a SIM-activited phone with a mobile data plan allows for real-time data uploading to an Internet server.  If used without a SIM, data are simply stored on the phone’s memory card, and researchers can download the data later.
  • The phone logs times and locations when EMAs are completed allowing for studies of both temporal and spatial contextual factors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CalFit EMA was developed by Dr. Seto through a grant from the NIH NIEHS R01ES020409.

If interested in using CalFit EMA, contact Dr. Seto.

Tekla Labs: Bringing DIY Labs to the Developing World

bemagWith much of the world’s burden of disease affecting the Bottom Billion in the developing world, bringing effective resources to these regions should be a public health priority.

While the need for drugs, diagnostics, and improved sanitation is well-recognized, thus far little attention has been paid to the more fundamental needs for basic infrastructure to support disease control programs.  Basic needs, such as simple laboratory equipment to support even the most rudimentary disease biology and chemistry work, are often undervalued. How can we combat disease when basic equipment like a microscope, pipet, and centrifuge are non-existent, or sitting on a shelf broken and useless?

Enter Tekla Labs.  www.teklalabs.org

This year, I have been fortunate to work with this exciting student-run initiative that aims to bring low-cost DIY designs for much needed basic lab equipment to the world.  With ties to Instructables, Autodesk, Make Magazine, and DIYbio, Tekla Labs is creating designs and hosting competitions to invent new designs to meet the needs of not only disease control laboratories, but also research and educational in the developing world, as well as impoverished schools in the developed world.

 How can we combat disease when basic equipment like a microscope, pipet, and centrifuge are non-existent, or sitting on a shelf broken and useless?

Please support Tekla Labs by hosting or funding one of their competitions: http://www.teklalabs.org/contact/