News & Events

Pre-pilot confirms operability of data collection technology

Pre-pilot confirms operability of data collection technology

Students aged 15-16 at the IEGS high school in Stockholm have, since November 14th, been using the BigO app to photograph and upload food advertisements that they encounter in their everyday life.

As of December 8th, a total of 367 images have been uploaded and the collection points can be viewed on the community portal (http://gateway.mysphera.com:28080/dist/#/map).

Reports are that some 80% of the uploaded pictures are classified as valid data collection points, and that no app glitches have been observed.

The next test will involve some 25 students from the same high school, designated to map all the advertisements in certain geographical regions, with the students acting as “scientists”. The 3 regions of Stockholm that have been selected represent areas with significantly different socioeconomic characteristics and also significantly different overweight and obesity prevalence.

The projected dates for data collection would be December 13-14-15 and the data analysis will be carried out December 18-19.

“This type of deployment could be the basis of a very focused use case for the public health authorities, and the collected data will help to initiate the development of the BigO analytics  too.”, says coordinator Dr. Ioannis Ioakeimidis

Posted by Jenny Nolstam in BigO News
First students in The Netherlands have been acting as citizen scientists

First students in The Netherlands have been acting as citizen scientists

On Friday November 24th, five young citizen scientists (12-14 years old) have participated in a pilot in the Netherlands. During 45 minutes they captured food advertisements in shopping area of the city centre of Ede (~112,000 inhabitants, 318.6 km²). The purpose was to see whether children can help us in collecting data on their own food environment, but more importantly how we can intrinsically motivate them to be engaged in these type of projects.

The children walked around in two teams in the shopping area, with the mission to locate as many food advertisements as possible within the given time. To this aim they used a demonstration version of the BigO app, containing only the functionality to locate were pictures are taken. After the pilot study, the children filled out questionnaires about the application and the project.

The children, all students from the local Technasium school “Het Streek”, were very enthusiastic on being citizen scientists and were surprised about the number of food advertisements in their surroundings. In total they located about 60 food advertisements in an area of 0.3 km2. The students came up with good suggestions for the researchers on how to proceed with the project.

Posted by Jenny Nolstam in BigO News
Big O has been presented at the AGORA meeting in Warnsveld (NL)

Big O has been presented at the AGORA meeting in Warnsveld (NL)

On November 14th The BigO project has been presented during the symposium that was held on the occasion of the anniversary of AGORA in Warnsveld, the Netherlands. AGORA is a research alliance between the regional municipal health agency (GGD Zuid-Oost Nederland) and Wageningen University that was founded in 2005. AGORA is Greek for market place; the alliance is founded to strengthen connections between academia and practice; it is a marketplace were applied and fundamental researchers can find mutual research interest and start research projects.

 

During the symposium a diverse group of health policy advisors, epidemiologists and researchers were discussing actual issues on health policy, such as childhood obesity and care of elderly. One of the discussions was on the public space and how this may affect health related behaviour. The citizen scientist and big data approach of BigO was introduced as a novel and research methodology concept to collect information on local environmental risk factors and health related behaviour, such as diet and physical activity. During the meeting contact has been made between local health policy advisors, and opportunities for cooperation were explored.

Posted by Jenny Nolstam in BigO News
BigO in ‘Open Schools for Open Societies’

BigO in ‘Open Schools for Open Societies’

On October 21st, BigO was presented in the Open Schools for Open Societies conference that was held at Ellinogermaniki Agogi in Athens (Greece).  “Schools fighting childhood obesity in Greece” was the topic of a scenario workshop for teachers, where BigO was discussed as an example case of how schools can foster collaboration with families, universities and experts in the battle against a major societal problem, such as obesity.

The conference promoted Open schooling where schools, in cooperation with other stakeholders, become an agent of community well-being. Families shall be encouraged to become real partners in school life and activities; professionals from enterprises, research institutes and the general public should actively be involved in bringing real-life projects to the classroom.

Posted by Jenny Nolstam in BigO News
Plenary meeting in Athens

Plenary meeting in Athens

On October 17-19, the BigO plenary meeting was held at the COSMOTE premises in Athens, Greece. The focus of the meeting was to present the progress, results and issues for the first year of the project, take decisions and plan for the next steps. A mobile app creating a map of food advertisements in a city is ready to be released. High school students at Wageningen (The Netherlands) and Stockholm (Sweden) will be enrolled as citizen scientists to test the app.  Next in line is the upcoming first prototype for data collection of the users’ physical activity, eating behaviour and of the local urban environment.

 

 

Posted by Jenny Nolstam in BigO News
BigO – Raising awareness in Thessaloniki

BigO – Raising awareness in Thessaloniki

On Sunday, October 8th 2017, BigO participated in the ‘AUTH in the city’ event that took place at themain square of Thessaloniki, in Greece. This yearly event is organised by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and offers the opportunity to selected research groups to communicate their work, achievements and innovative ideas to the wide public of the city.

At the BigO booth, visitors could receive information about the project, walk through a demo of the mobile app and smartwatches, and directly interact with the researchers. There was high interest by nutritionists, exercise physiologists, teachers, parents, and school aged children. BigO also attracted attention by the press. An article has already been published, followed by TV and radio interviews with BigO researchers.

Posted by Jenny Nolstam in BigO News
Swedish National Food Agency hosts BigO meeting in Uppsala, Sweden 18 Sep

Swedish National Food Agency hosts BigO meeting in Uppsala, Sweden 18 Sep

BigO consortium partners gathered for a fact-finding meeting in Uppsala at the behest of the NFA, to establish what information produced by BigO is desired by public health authorities to complement or enhance their own knowledge bases. Along with NFA, Karolinska Institutet, Wageningen University (NL), University College of Dublin (IRL) and Temple Street Children’s Hospital (IRL) participated in the event that saw the Public Health Agency of Sweden as the sounding board for the discussion.

In addition to BigO data being able to complement public health authorities’ own data collection and analysis, cross-country data comparisons were found to be a relevant study topic for public health authorities. The disparities between different national and local communities and makes it possible to adapt, use and deploy a variety of strategies depending on the circumstances.

The ambition of BigO is to – through the use of Big Data – describe the background and outcome of community behaviour regarding physical activity and eating patterns, to aid public health authorities deploy efficient strategies.

Posted by Jenny Nolstam in BigO News
BigO technical meeting in Dublin

BigO technical meeting in Dublin

The first BigO technical meeting took place at the Insight Center in Dublin, on June 8th and 9th 2017, hosted by UCD. Technical partners and representatives from the pilot sites and the BigO community took decisions on the functionality of the BigO data collection system and the role of the users. Moreover the system architecture was finalized and a development plan for the preliminary release V0 in the fall of 2017 was agreed. V0 will be tested during a pre-pilot at the International English School in Stockholm.

Posted by Jenny Nolstam in BigO News
“Nutrition & Youth” group

“Nutrition & Youth” group

On March 9, the team of Aristotle University researchers that develop the BigO app visited the facilities of Ellinogermaniki Agogi (EA) in Athens to meet with 14 junior high school students (~ 15 years old) of the “Nutrition & Youth” group. The researchers demonstrated an early prototype of the BigO app and had a fruitful discussion with the students in an effort to collect valuable feedback concerning the concept and the design of the app.

Posted by Jenny Nolstam in BigO News
Kick-off meeting

Kick-off meeting

On December 15-16 2016, the BigO consortium met at Thessaloniki, Greece for the kick-off meeting. Representatives from all partners were brought together for the first time. Following a review of project objectives and approach, the rest of the meeting was dedicated on the planning of tasks starting in the first 6 months of the project.

Posted by Jenny Nolstam in BigO News