Bootcamp & Incubator on Understanding Health Behavior using Smartphones and Wearables

Custom sponsored versions of bootcamp: Please note that we deliver customized versions of this bootcamp. These sponsored bootcamps can be focused on study design, management and analysis for particular health subdomains (e.g., social determinants of health, communicable diseases, maternal-child health, health service delivery). If you are interested in the possibility of sponsoring a custom bootcamp at your institution or city, please send me an email, and I would be pleased to explore the idea with you.

Timing: August 8-11, 2016

From the event: Videos on conducting mHealth studies via iEpi/Ethica Health, Materials (slides, etc.) on conducting mHealth studies via iEpi/Ethica Health

Fees: $200 for students, postdoctoral fellows, and public sector/non-profit employees; $1440 for others ($1000 per participant for groups of 3 or more from the same organization).

Registration:Our on-line registration system is available here.

Accomodations: Information on accomodations is available here.


Videos: Selected videos will be made available via a dedicated youtube channel.

Coverage: A preliminary prospectus is available. A summary of that document can be found below.


Acquisition of evidence-based understanding of human health behavior and exposure to environments forms a central focus of health research, and a critical prerequisite for effective health policy. The use of mobile devices to study health behavior via cross-linked sensor data and on-device self-reporting and crowdsourcing have been demonstrated to provide important insights that traditional techniques cannot. However, design, delivery and analysis of mobile data studies requires skills rarely developed in training in the health sciences.

This tutorial introduces public health researchers and practitioners to tools and practical skills required to collect and analyze mobile data on health behavior, and assists them in getting started in applying such techniques to their study interests. This tutorial will include hands-on work with novel and standard tools and techniques.

This event includes both a classroom curriculum (including much hands-on work) and an incubator designed to help students craft and test out study designs, survey instruments, and sensor-based data collection mechanisms for their specific data collection priorities. Both portions of the event will make heavy use of the Ethica smartphone- and wearable-based data collection system (the latest generation version of the longstanding iEpi epidemiological data collection system).

Intended Audience

This workshop is targeted at professionals from a variety of health fields including health researchers, health service delivery, public health workers, health decision makers, and any health professionals or modellers seeking empirical behavioural data.

Classroom Teaching

Lectures and step-by-step hands-on tutorials will be provided on conceptual foundations, mechanics & best practices. Topics are anticipated to include the following (please see the prospectus for a more complete list), with details of coverage of these and additional topics depending on participant interests expressed via a pre-event questionnaire:


The "incubator" side of the event will further leverage the extensive experience of the instructor and teaching assistants to provide ongoing advice, guidance, tips and hands-on assistance as participants build, explore, test, and refine their own study designs, survey and crowdsourcing instruments, sensor data collection mechanisms addressing their surveillance needs. Guided by instructors and interdisciplinary team of TAs, participants will have the opportunity to design a prototype data collection experiment, and to acquire, visualize and analyze the collected data using current tools and techniques.