HEALTHY BEHAVIOUR DATA CHALLENGE
Exploring new data sources to monitor public health
Innovation in tracking public health
In 2017, MaRS launched the Healthy Behaviour Data Challenge. Participating innovators were asked to identify and leverage new data sources to improve monitoring of indicators of physical activity, sleep, or sedentary behaviour.
After evaluating entries from across the country, eight Canadian proposals were selected, advancing to the second stage of the contest where teams continued development and validation of their concepts. Three proposals were then selected as overall challenge winners.
How the challenge worked
Phase 1: Ideation
Challenge participants identified and proposed new data sources, platforms and methodologies for measuring any number of indicators for physical activity, sleep or sedentary behaviour. Proposals allowed for measurement of indicators at a nation population level and used a list of suggested indicators as a starting point. Finalists selected from Phase 1 received a financial prize ($10,000) and advanced to Phase 2.
Phase 2: Testing
Selected submissions were invited to further develop and validate their Phase 1 concept. The results were compared to existing research, analysis, and/or surveillance outputs from the Public Health Agency of Canada. The most promising solutions were then selected to receive a financial award ($25,000) and an opportunity to explore how the concept could be integrated into public health surveillance systems.
The group: The Stremler research lab at the University of Toronto focuses on improving sleep and related health outcomes for children and parents. The idea: The PHASStrak System entails an inexpensive Bluetooth accelerometer, smartphone app and cloud-based automated analysis pipeline using research-validated algorithms to concurrently generate objective measures of sleep, physical activity and sedentary behaviour. […]
The group: The Ubiquitous Health Technology Lab (UbiLab) at the University of Waterloo designs, develops and evaluates technologies that can be used with minimal burden to the user, providing maximum reliability and an outstanding user experience. UbiLab’s mission is to leverage wearable, Internet of Things and mobile health technologies for population-level surveillance. The idea: This project […]
Social Health Lab
The group: The Social Health Lab at the University of British Columbia conducts research to understand and improve social connectedness, well-being, and physical and mental health. The idea: This project uses a smartphone app to predict important sleep parameters solely from natural phone use, and it validates this approach against objectivelyassessed indicators of sleep quality. […]
The group: Comfable is a dynamic and innovative tech company dedicated to creating a more comfortable, sustainable and healthy environment. Its latest product, QSun, is a sun safety solution that helps people avoid sun damage while maintaining a healthy level of vitamin D. The idea: Comfable’s proposed data source consists of tracking the sun-safe outdoor […]
The group: nourished babe empowers expectant moms with nutrition information they can trust. The idea: nourished babe aims to improve access to comprehensive, insightful data about drivers for healthy pregnancy outcomes, mothers and babies. This positions perinatal care to make a positive impact on current and future generations: creating healthier babies who will be a […]
OpenSports Project Go
The group: OpenSports makes it easy for recreational athletes to find, join, and create sporting events through its mobile and web platform. Users have sport specific profiles that grow with them over time, allowing OpenSports to connect them with the most suitable sports and recreation opportunities, using artificial intelligence. The idea: OpenSports Project Go, which […]
Healthy Populations Institute
The group: The mission of the Healthy Populations Institute at Dalhousie University is to improve population health and promote health equity by understanding and influencing the complex conditions that impact the health of communities. The idea: The team will develop a national surveillance system to provide timely and reliable data about people’s physical activity, sedentary […]
The group: INTERACT (INTErventions, Research and Action in Cities Team) is a multidisciplinary research team from multiple universities that studies the impact of urban form interventions on physical activity, well-being, and social participation. The idea: Its submission proposes the development of a methodological toolkit to use machine learning on smartphone sensor data to predict physical […]
Health Data Science Lab
The group: The Health Data Science Lab at the University of Waterloo consists of a group of researchers who aim to develop and apply data-driven approaches to solve problems in various areas of health. The idea: Its solution involves real-time monitoring of Twitter and Google Trends data to track indicators of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep […]