Are Cell Phones Enabling anyone to be a Scientist or Doctor - Participatory Sensing from CENS at UCLA
Posted Jun 05 2009 3:40pm
We have a new buzz word for this now, “ participatory sensing” from the halls of UCLA. I think at this time this might be a good idea to roll this right up into the “meaningful use” discussions going on. They do go hand in hand.
One of the key areas they address from the text below I feel is huge: “Our ability to design and control these complex Systems”, something that with all the talk with healthcare and documentation that is somehow getting left somewhere down at the end of the line when in fact it should be right at the forefront, as if you can’t manage it intelligently, what good is it, and continued fragmentation continues along with confusion and utilization. I just get extremely worried and concerned when I see members of Congress that have not even seen a personal health record for a simple example, yet they are the decision and law makers. This is an area that can’t be ignored. I think this organization at UCLA has a lot going on here and perhaps more will tune in soon. Nothing will occur in a designed fashion until the area of education is fully addressed with participation from all and this is a big task. Here are some of the industry members listed below, hmmm…even Walt Disney and many academia members.
With all the new devices and cell phones being connected to healthcare, something to ponder, as it appears today, the meaningful use discussions have a long way to go, first off perhaps educating those at the top on what is really out there and how it is being implemented today could be a good start. You can’t fix healthcare today without first recognizing what is happening in the world around you and it’s moving fast. BD
From the Website:
UCLA’s Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS) is a major research enterprise focused on developing wireless sensing systems and applying this revolutionary technology to critical scientific and societal pursuits. In the same way that the development of the Internet transformed our ability to communicate, the ever decreasing size and cost of computing components is setting the stage for detection, processing, and communication technology to be embedded throughout the physical world and, thereby, fostering both a deeper understanding of the natural and built environment and, ultimately, enhancing our ability to design and control these complex systems.
By investigating fundamental properties of embedded networked sensing systems, developing new technologies, and exploring novel scientific and educational applications, CENS is a world leader in unleashing the tremendous potential these systems hold.
The center is a multidisciplinary collaboration among faculty, staff, and students from a wide spectrum of fields including Co mputer Science, Electrical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Biology, Statistics, Education and Information Sciences, Urban Planning, and Theater, Film, and Television. CENS was established in 2002 as a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center and is a partnership of UCLA, UC Riverside, UC Merced, USC, and Caltech.
Cell phones let you chat with friends, send emails and even guide you to the nearest pizza joint. But now these toys are acquiring more serious roles: They're turning into personal and environmental sensors useful for health and science.
Equipped with high-tech GPS, cameras and other sensing devices, cell phones can allow individuals to monitor their environment and their health. They can connect groups and whole communities, letting them exchange information about their surroundings. And they can even turn people into " citizen scientists" who contribute data to scientific research.
Participatory sensing could also help people monitor their exercise habits and medication adherence — behaviors that are particularly important with chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Many people loose track of how much they move around or they fall off their medication schedule, and cell phone sensors may help individuals avoid these situations.
In the same way that PEIR monitors your travel habits, a CENS project called "footsteps" measures your walking activity. A program like this helps users be more aware of health behaviors that might otherwise go unnoticed, says Estrin. "When you fall and break your hip, you notice that. When you slowly, over the course of a year, drop off in how mobile you are and how much you move around, that's something that's much more [likely to] sneak up on you."
Cell phones can also be programmed to ask users questions about how often they take their medication, or when they experience particular side effects to their drugs. A CENS project called "And Wellness" is testing a program like this with the UCLA Global Center for Children and Families.