HSNewsBeat Edmund said, "It's about collecting and giving people information about the hazards they face personally. Air pollution is something we all understand, but this could apply to any toxin, noise, and so on. You are willing to track yourself and understand something about your world, but would you change?"
He also created a mobile app called CalFit featuring short surveys that pop up throughout the day. The app will ask users things like, "Just before the beep, how stressed were you feeling?" The multiple choice answers selected by users are then overlaid with information about their location, the time, and their activity to determine the environment's impact on their mood.
One of Dr. Seto's devices, the Personal University Washington Particle Monitor (PUWPM), is being used in a study of adult twins in Washington State. The study currently involves more than 8,800 sets of twins. Edmund and his team hope to discover how environmental factors impact differing health outcomes among two individuals with nearly identical genetics and similar upbringing. Researchers are measuring environmental exposures to air pollution and noise, and lifestyle behaviors, such as diet and physical activity, to determine the association between these environmental factors and health outcomes.
"We recently tested usability and reliability of the wearable sensors (e.g., physiological status monitor and activity tracker) for work stressors, physiological reactions, and worker’s health behavior and lifestyle measurements. Based on the concept of Total Worker Health® (TWH) which integrates occupational health and safety with the promotion of workers’ off-duty wellbeing, we believe wearable sensors have facilitated personalized objective measurement of workers’ health and wellbeing", said Wonil.
"Among construction workers, roofing workers encounter high on-duty health and safety risks and have poor off-duty lifestyles. Thus our study has examined the reliability and usability of wearable sensors for monitoring roofing workers’ on-duty and off-duty activities."
The research team is also hoping to use the sensors to analyze construction workers' trunk posture. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders are common in the construction population, their current research uses laboratory conditions to evaluate the best sensor placement for assessing the risks of non-neutral trunk postures.
Wonil has an MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering, and is rounding out his skills with his academic work in occupational health and safety. Wonil is also a PhD Student in the UW College of Built Environments where he works with program advisor Ken-Yu Lin, PhD, MS. Dr. Lin is a co-primary investigator with Dr. Seto on this project.
Photos top to bottom: Edmund Seto, Brian Donohue HSNewsBeat, Edmund Seto