The Research Challenge
We live in an increasingly technology-saturated world. Our digital dependency and near constant connection to the internet creates both opportunities and challenges for our health and wellness. Over 95% of Americans own a cell phone (77% own smartphones) and almost 1/3 of young adults use some form of wearable device (e.g., FitBit) – these products, that have become embedded in our everyday lives, collect a tremendous amount of information about us, often times without our awareness. As these technologies become ubiquitous, they have become more affordable and in turn, have come to provide access to the internet for those living in poverty across the world.
Meanwhile, emerging technologies such as cars that collect data about our driving habits, shopping mall face recognition, gait analysis systems, and more create unlimited potential for observing and perhaps influencing individuals. Either directly or through metadata inference, data-rich technology has the potential to track our location, activities, social media usage, interests and preferences, social connections, and physical and mental health. Technological advances present us with a unique opportunity to influence health – a chance to re-imagine how to reach people in their real lives (outside of the lab and clinic) and to nudge, create, and ultimately sustain behaviors that will dramatically improve health outcomes. Yet there is often a disconnect between those who develop the technologies, those who have the ability to manage the complex data these platforms create, and those who specialize in health behavior change and the social milieu of health. Moreover, the personal nature of the data collected, and the unobtrusive and sometimes undisclosed manner in which it is gathered, presents some challenging socio-legal and ethical issues about how this information should be used.
InCHIP’s Ideas Labs are designed to: Engage teams of interdisciplinary researchers in tackling wicked problems by exploring new ways of thinking about, studying, and generating novel solutions to those problems. The focus of this Ideas lab is to generate and examine questions such as: How can we better utilize wearable, mobile-based, and other data-rich technology to promote health and well-being and ultimately prevent and manage chronic disease in an ethical and legally sound fashion? We invite experts from a broad range of disciplines to join us in this work, including but not limited to: behavioral, social, biomedical, and environmental sciences; engineering and mathematics; policy and law; business; education; the arts and humanities; or any other discipline that can provide new insights and perspectives on this topic. We are interested in faculty from the College of Fine Arts who are interested in designing for health.
Internal Funding Opportunity
This ideas lab also provides an opportunity for participating faculty to apply for internal seed funding. Following the two-day Ideas Lab, the newly formed interdisciplinary teams will emerge with nascent project ideas that they will continue to develop over the following weeks. Teams will then submit proposals to compete for internal pilot funding from InCHIP of up to $50,000.
Ideas Lab Personnel
- Ronald Beghetto (Professor of Educational Psychology & Director of Innovation House)
- Andy Burnett (Managing Director, Knowinnovation)
- Kim Gans (Professor of Human Development and Family Studies)
- Amy Gorin (Professor of Psychological Sciences & Director, InCHIP)
- Grace Morris (Research Development Specialist & Boundary Spanner, InCHIP)
- Justin Nash (Professor & Department Head, Allied Health Sciences)
Following this Ideas Lab, InCHIP provided an internal funding opportunity for participating teams from the Ideas Lab. Two teams were funded at $25,000 each through this mechanism. Below are the project titles and Principal Investigators for each team.
- “Using mobile technology and artificial intelligence to foster student health, wellness, and resilience”– Principal Investigators: Leslie Snyder (Communications) and Crystal Park (Psychological Sciences)
- “Unifying clinical support methods for preventing and managing opioid use disorder”-Principal Investigators: Anna Tarakanova (Mechanical Engineering), Derek Aguiar (Computer Science), Dipak Dey (Statistics), and Emil Coman (Health Disparities Institute)
Have Questions or want to learn more about the Ideas Lab?