With the advent of personal computers connecting humans with the internet, coupled with longer working hours, studies show that the average person in America spends an average of 21 hours a day indoors. Work and school keep people indoors, housekeeping obviously keeps one in the house, and even physical-fitness activities are relegated to indoor gyms and fitness centers.
Unfortunately, buildings and their contents can and do negatively impact people’s health and well-being. Older structures containing hazardous materials such as lead-based paint and asbestos are good examples. Poorly ventilated spaces can lead to more than just a lack of oxygen.
If people need to be indoors for longer-than-normal periods, what can be done to make that time safer and healthier? The Well Living Lab is working towards an answer with a focused study of the connection between health and the indoor environment.
“By 2021, the Well Living Lab aims to answer critical questions to make homes, offices and independent living environments healthier places. That means indoor environments could be altered to reduce stress and increase comfort, performance and sleep. By understanding the interplay of elements such as sound, lighting, temperature and air quality, indoor spaces may be altered to address people’s specific and overall health needs. And by understanding how people’s behavior is shaped by their physical environment, facilities can be designed to maximize positive health habits and reduce negative influences. This three-year research plan is the start toward transforming human health and well-being in indoor environments.”
No doubt sensors will be playing a major role in the research and an even bigger part in the solutions. However, you do not have to wait three years to learn what’s happening in the lab. If you attend Sensors Expo & Conference 2018 you can also attend sessions in the co-located and sponsored Medical Sensors Design Conference. And if you find yourself there, you’d not be ill advised to attend the session titled, “Understanding Human Health and Well-Being Through Sensing Technology”, Tuesday, June 26 from 9:50 am to 10:30 am.
Presented by Well Living Lab’s Director of Biomedical Engineering Sara Aristizabal and Syed Shabih Hasan, Director of Computer Sciences, the session will introduce the Well Living Lab as a sensor-rich state-of-the-art facility established as a collaboration between Delos Living and Mayo Clinic aimed at connecting building science and health science to improve human health and well-being indoors. The speakers will describe studies related to acoustic, lighting, and thermal conditions and their effects on health and well-being via the integration of heterogeneous sensors systems.
Sara Aristizabal is highly focused on the development of new techniques and biometric indicators to assess the health and wellness of the human body under varying conditions. After earning a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Escuela de Ingenieria de Antioquia in Colombia she received a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering and Physiology from the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. During her Ph.D., Sara focused on developing theory and experimental approaches to evaluate the mechanical properties of soft tissues as a screening tool for various diseases using medical ultrasound. In addition, Sara has worked on developing algorithms for optimization of wearable devices.
At the Well Living Lab, Sara will contribute her knowledge and experience to the wearables research field by exploring the tremendous power of digital physiological signals and the amount of knowledge these signals can help us harness to further understand the effect of the indoor environment on human health and performance. Sara specializes in signal processing, biological modeling and clinical research.
Shabih Hasan is a computer scientist at the well living Lab in Rochester, MN. He leads the design and maintenance of the Well Living Labs’ data analytics platform. Additionally, he advises on technological aspects of research studies such as the choice of wearables and other tracking devices.
Shabih also specializes in machine learning, signal processing, wearable computing, mobile health and mobile ecological momentary assessments. Prior to joining Delos, he acquired extensive experience in building end-to-end healthcare systems, ranging from building mobile data collection platforms to creating machine learning models for generating actionable insights about human behavior, and physiology.
He holds a Doctorate in Computer Science from the University of Iowa and a Bachelor of Technology in Computer Engineering from the Aligarh Muslim University in India. In 2013, he received the Best Student Paper Award at the 26th Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers International Symposium on Computer-Based Medical Systems (IEEE CBMS).
Now there are two things you need to do. First, register to attend Medical Sensors Design Conference. Then be sure to attend the “Understanding Human Health and Well-Being Through Sensing Technology” session. No medical insurance required.