ECE Colloquium - October 9th

Dr. Frank Bentley, Yahoo! Research

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - 10:00am - 12:00pm

CoRE Building Lecture Hall


Health Mashups: Encouraging behavior change through identifying long-term patterns between wellbeing data and context


People now have access to many sources of data about their health and wellbeing. Yet, most people cannot wade thr-ough all of this data to answer basic questions about their long-term wellbeing: Do I gain weight when I have busy days? Do I walk more when I work in the city office? Do I sleep better on nights after I work out?

We built the Health Mashups system to identify connections that are significant over time between weight, sleep, step count, calendar data, location, weather, pain, food intake, and mood. These significant observations are displayed in a mobile application using natural language, e.g. "You are happier on days when you sleep more." We performed a pilot study, made improvements to the system, and then conducted a 90-day trial with 60 diverse participants, learning that interactions between wellbeing and context are highly individual and that our system supported an increased self-understanding that lead to focused behavior changes.


Frank Bentley is a Principal Research Scientist in Mobile Sensing and User Behavior Research at Yahoo! Labs in California. Frank's work investigates the ways in which mobile devices can help strengthen strong-tie social relationships. He takes projects from early conceptual studies through to prototyping, field evaluation, and product as a routine process. Frank recently joined Yahoo! after 11 years at Motorola Labs in Chicago. He also teaches a Mobile HCI class at MIT and recently completed a book, Building Mobile Experiences, with MIT Press.