December 21, 2011
“You can’t manage what you can’t measure” said Dr. Deborah Estrin, Director, Center for Embedded Networked Sensing at University of California, Los Angeles, in her keynote speech titled Participatory mHealth, on the first day of the International Conference on Wireless Technologies for Humanitarian Relief at Amritapuri.
Outlining how mHealth is making use of widely adopted mobile technologies, especially Smart Phones, to help people transform ephemeral daily life conditions into data, she said that this will support analysis, understanding and management of chronic diseases.
“50% of Americans have one or more chronic diseases resulting from lifestyle causes such as poor diet, lack of exercise and smoking,” she noted.
Explaining that mHealth tools have the potential to considerably reduce public health costs, in addition to improving clinical care, she also highlighted the fact that evidence based research could be improved with the generated data streams.
“More interdisciplinary research is needed to make the human interface more appealing,” she said.
She also identified privacy mechanisms as yet another important research area. “mHealth will leverage powerful traces of our daily life, but will these raw traces sometimes be too telling?” she questioned.
The keynote speaker of the second day, Dr. Dawn Song, Associate Professor of Computer Science, University of California, Berkeley spoke about Security and Privacy in Mobile Computing.
Security issues in device and system software and possible malware in third party apps were the main problem areas identified.
Agreeing with Dr. Deborah, Dr. Dawn said that that privacy issues were a major concern in this Age of Big Data.
PPD (Platform for Private Data) that provides a secure digital vault for user data, a sealed container to execute untrusted programs on private data and controlled communication to enforce privacy, was a solution developed by her team.
Speaking on the third day, Dr. Seshaiah Ponnekanti, NEC-Telecome Modus, UK, highlighted the latest technological advances in the telecommunication industry.
Introducing femtocells, or small boxes that provide coverage and capacity inside buildings, useful in cases when the base station cannot cope with the number of users, he said that they provided a smart alternative to setting up more base stations without the infrastructure of an outdoor network.
“This makes them extremely useful in the disaster scenarios where infrastructure needs to be restored within a short amount of time,” he emphasized.
Some other humanitarian relief applications included the ability to track children lost in big crowds, track patients with dementia who might have wandered away and support police information systems.
In addition to reducing costs, improving the robustness, service availability and coverage quality, Dr. Seshaiah also stressed on the need to design a user-friendly system.
Wireless Technologies for Humanitarian Relief
Dr. Venkat Welcomes ACWR 2011 Delegates
ACWR 2011 Inaugurated
Dr. Paula Bohr at ACWR 2011
Swamiji’s Address at Inauguration of ACWR 2011
ACWR 2011 Delegates Meet Chancellor Amma
Panel Discussion on Wireless in Healthcare
Disaster Relief at ACWR 2011
ACWR 2011 Concludes