Our first wearable integration

Recently, we have been working with researchers from Texas A&M University to create a mobile platform for measuring pedestrian experiences as they navigate areas that are under construction. As part of this project, we developed a custom integration that enables the Daynamica app to read data from the Empatica E4 wristband.

This integration allows us to link physiological data from the E4 wristband to the behavioral pattern data collected by Daynamica on the device in real-time, and store the linked data in the cloud. The context provided by the Daynamica data will allow our research partners to make sense of their sensor data much more quickly.

Do you use a wearable device in your research that you would like to integrate with the Daynamica app? Get in touch with us!

Coming soon: Daynamica Lite on the Google Play Store

We are hard at work putting the finishing touches on the Android version of Daynamica Lite, which will be available shortly in the Google Play Store.

Daynamica Lite allows anyone to capture and view their daily activity information. App data is stored entirely on your device, and not sent to Daynamica servers. It is an ideal way for potential users to get a taste of the app’s core features.

Discovering the happiest mode of transportation

Activities and trips detected by the Daynamica smartphone application can be easily be annotated by users, allowing researchers to collect data about the emotions associated with those. The following screenshot shows an example survey for collecting companionship and emotion data associated with a completed activity.

A recent paper published in the journal Transport Findings and co-authored by Dr. Yingling Fan and Dr. Julian Wolfson used Daynamica to study trip-associated emotions for individuals in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area.

Here’s the abstract:

Understanding trip happiness—a measurement of people’s emotional well-being during trips—is an essential aspect of people-oriented transportation planning. We use data collected via smartphones from 350 residents in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region to examine trip- and person-level factors associated with trip happiness. Trip mode, purpose, duration, distance, companionship, activities during the trip, and temporal characteristics of the trip are significantly associated with trip happiness. Mode and companionship are the strongest predictors of trip happiness. Among personal factors, age is the strongest predictor, followed by general happiness of the person. Race, gender, and neighborhood have modest effects on trip happiness.

From Understanding Trip Happiness using Smartphone-Based Data: The Effects of Trip- and Person-Level Characteristics

Making sense of the day

“So, what did you do today?”

It’s a simple question, but gathering reliable data on how people spend their time is challenging. Traditional self-report based methods are burdensome to study participants and prone to recall bias. If this were an infomercial, we’d say (or yell): “THERE HAS TO BE A BETTER WAY!”

That’s where Daynamica comes in. We provide cutting-edge tools and infrastructure for collecting, processing, and understanding human activity and travel behavior data, including:

  • Daynamica, a smartphone application that captures detailed daily activity and trip data with minimal user burden.
  • StudyMap, A suite of study management tools to ensure compliance and data quality.
  • Secure cloud-based data storage.
  • Interactive data visualization and analysis tools.

Co-founded by faculty members at the University of Minnesota and based on more than a half-decade of research, Daynamica was developed by researchers, for researchers. Our aim is to provide a platform that research teams and organizations can use to collect high-resolution activity and behavior data on study participants in a transparent, secure, and ethical manner while protecting individual privacy and confidentiality.

Interested in using Daynamica in one of your studies? Here’s how you can get started. And, of course, you’re also welcome to contact us at info@daynamica.com. You’ll also find us on Twitter at @DaynamicaApp.

Daynamica and mobile health

It seems like almost everyone is interested in mobile health (or, to be hipper, mHealth) these days. There are a ton of devices out there that can measure physical activity, heart rate, and a number of other physiological parameters. For the most part, these devices provide only a partial picture of human activity during the day. Daily habits and behavior patterns have a substantial impact on health, but until recently, our ability to uncover links between lifestyle and health outcomes has been limited by the inherent difficulty of accurately measuring individual human activity and behavior patterns. 

For example, a mountain of research has shown that high levels of air pollution are associated with increased mortality. However, these findings are based primarily on pollution levels measured at fixed measuring stations; much less is known about how individual exposures vary over time, and hence how they impact health. Since the Daynamica app captures both movement patterns (i.e., location) and activity types (indoor/outdoor), it could be used either in conjunction with fixed or personal air pollution monitors to obtain much more precise, personalized measures of air pollution exposure. Indeed, Daynamica data could be paired with data from a wide variety of medical devices such as continuous glucose monitors or cardiac monitoring devices.

Another potential use of Daynamica is for developing and optimizing behavioral interventions. There is currently great interest in developing interventions that encourage behavior changes to improve health. But these interventions have mostly had only a modest degree of success. One key barrier to increasing the success of these interventions is that it is difficult to obtain accurate information on compliance, particularly since the behavior changes involved tend to be over-reported due to social desirability bias. Daynamica provides a platform for obtaining objective information about intervention compliance so that the reasons for intervention success or failure can be understood. The Daynamica app can also be used to deliver “just-in-time” interventions that adapt to each user’s past and current locations and activities. For instance, an intervention to decrease sedentary behavior could potentially be much more effective if it delivered reminders to users to increase their activity level at times when, based on past data, they have typically been sedentary.

The Daynamica app and data collection platform is already being used in several ongoing projects (and producing some interesting results), but the possibilities extend far beyond our existing partnerships. If you would like to know more about what Daynamica can do for your organization or research group, see our Services page or get in touch.