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”.


CalFit awarded UC Davis RISE grant

Dr. Jay Han, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, at UC Davis Medical Center has been an important partner in validating the CalFit phone’s energy expenditure algorithm.  Along with a group of multi-disciplinary researchers, this summer we were awarded a Research Investments in the Sciences and Engineering (RISE) grant to establish the iWHW (Initiative for Wireless Health and Wellness) at UC Davis.


This grant is a testament to the success of cross-campus collaboration fostered by the UC CITRIS initiative, through which I began working with Jay.  The RISE grant will enable further development of CalFit technologies to improve personalized mobile health technologies.