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Informatics Research Seminar: Case Studies in Personal Sensor-Based Data Collection for Observation, Intervention, and Disease Detection

January 16 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST

Speaker: Robert Furberg, PhD, MBA

Presented from UNC-CH

Broadcast Link: Seminar


The burgeoning market of wearable devices (e.g., Fitbit, Garmin, Apple), used to measure physical activity, sleep, sedentary behaviors, and other health indicators, provides new opportunities for low-cost and scalable measurement of human behavior in a variety of settings. These sensor data support a range of uses, from guiding self-improvement, delivering patient-centric clinical care, tailoring public health interventions, reporting on population-level prevalence and trends, and offering a new avenue for public health surveillance.

To help illustrate the versatility of personal sensor data, three ongoing projects, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Justice (DOJ), and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), have been selected for review and discussion.


Robert Furberg, PhD, MBA studies how emerging technologies, including smartphone apps and wearable devices, can be used to support clinical and public health interventions.

For over 15 years, Dr. Furberg has led interdisciplinary research and development teams at RTI implement and evaluate digital interventions for health promotion, primary and secondary disease prevention, and treatment adherence across a variety of patient populations. His current work explores how digital biomarkers can be used for both individualized assessment and public health surveillance.

In addition to his scientific responsibilities, Dr. Furberg serves on RTI’s Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects as an Institutional Review Board member. He is also a member of IEEE Standards Association Working Groups on Personal Data Privacy (P7002), Mobile Health Data (P1752), and the Consumer Technology Association’s Working Groups on Physical Activity and Stress Monitoring Data Standards.


January 16
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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