News & Events

Dr Monica Mars explains BigO in living rooms in Wageningen

Dr Monica Mars explains BigO in living rooms in Wageningen

On Sunday November 4th, 17 living rooms opened their doors for lecturers and researchers of Wageningen University and Research and invited their neighbors and friends for the event. The event was organized on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the University. In one of the living rooms Dr. Monica Mars talked about childhood obesity and how the BigO Project may contribute in the prevention thereof. The lecture was given in two rounds and as the audience was relatively small there was enough room to have an interactive discussion. The citizens were very interested in the issue as they were all parents or grandparents. It was a good way of having interaction with the general public and to get to know their concerns and suggestions. More information about the event can be found here.

Posted by Socialmedia in BigO News
EKP presented BigO at the Thessaly Science Festival 2018

EKP presented BigO at the Thessaly Science Festival 2018

During the Thessaly Science Festival [Larissa, 11th-12th of October 2018], Ekpaideftiria N. Mpakogianni (EKP) presented the BigO project to numerous schools from the area, receiving great interest from students and their teachers. Volunteer students had the opportunity to register in the BigO system and start contributing their data.

In addition, elementary school students that will participate in the BigO pilot during this year visited the Thessaly Science Festival of the University of Thessaly on Thursday, October 11th. The students had the opportunity to chat with scientists and take part in educational workshops and impressive experiments.

Posted by Socialmedia in BigO News
BigO presented to teachers from different schools in the Stockholm area (Sweden)

BigO presented to teachers from different schools in the Stockholm area (Sweden)

On October 5th representatives from KI and IEGS presented the BigO System (the mobile app and the School Portal) to Physical Education, Science, and Home Economy teachers in the facilities of IEGS in central Stockholm. The participating teachers came from 3 different schools in the Stockholm area (IES Årsta, IES Hässelby, and IES Länna) and they had the chance to test the BigO mobile app themselves and discuss potential uses of the system for different types of school projects. The meeting was arranged in preparation for the planned data collection actions of the project in Sweden during the 2018-2019 educational year, establishing the basis for an extended collaboration among the represented organizations.

Additionally, on October 19th, two IEGS personnel met with representatives of IES Täby, presenting the BigO app and discussing the possibility to use it for a school-wide citizen science action, involving all the school students into data collection about their dietary habits.

All the BigO-supported data collection actions in Sweden are expected to initiate by the end of November 2018!

Posted by Socialmedia in BigO News
BigO at AUTH in the City 2018 in Thessaloniki, Greece

BigO at AUTH in the City 2018 in Thessaloniki, Greece

On Sunday, October 7th 2018, members of the BigO project team were present for the 2nd consecutive year at “AUTH in the city” 2018, an event that takes place annually at the main square of Thessaloniki, in Greece. AUTH in the city is organised by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and offers the opportunity to selected research groups of the university to communicate their work, achievements and innovative ideas to the wider public. This year we had the opportunity to engage students 9-18 years old to register in BigO and become citizen scientists by using the mobile app and contribute their physical activity and eating behavior data.

Posted by Socialmedia in BigO News
BigO presented at the 57th Annual ESPE Meeting in Athens, Greece

BigO presented at the 57th Annual ESPE Meeting in Athens, Greece

Prof. Anastasios Delopoulos, project coordinator, presented BigO as a poster during the 57th Annual ESPE Meeting 2018. The ESPE (European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology) meeting was held in Athens, 27-29 September 2018. The theme of the meeting was “Narrative and Precision Medicine in Paediatric Endocrinology” and the audience comprised of around 2000 doctors, diabetologists.

Posted by Socialmedia in BigO News
BigO at the Researchers Night 2018 in Thessaloniki, Greece

BigO at the Researchers Night 2018 in Thessaloniki, Greece

On the 28th of September, members of the BigO project team were present at the Researchers Night in Thessaloniki to inform the general public of the BigO vision and activities. This night also provided an opportunity to come in contact with the BigO target group and engage youngsters aged 9-18 years old to register and use the BigO app to contribute data with regard to their physical activity and eating behavior to help us map our living environment!

Posted by Socialmedia in BigO News
BigO at EASD Postgraduate Course on Diabetes and Technology in Athens, Greece

BigO at EASD Postgraduate Course on Diabetes and Technology in Athens, Greece

Prof. Anastasios Delopoulos, project coordinator, presented BigO during EASD (European Association for the Study of Diabetes) Postgraduate Course on Diabetes and Technology, that was held in Athens, Greece, on September 20-22, 2018. The audience comprised of around 80 doctors, diabetologists. The presentation of BigO is entitled: “Οbjective Monitoring of the Obesogenic Behaviour and the role in the local environment”.

Posted by Socialmedia in BigO News
BigO Partner meeting in Athens, Greece

BigO Partner meeting in Athens, Greece

On 19-21 September, 2018, the BigO consortium partners gathered in Athens. The focus of the meeting was to evaluate the results of the first phase of data collection at the schools (EA, EKP, IEGS) and clinics (BRFAA, Mando, TSCUH) and discuss the plans for the next phase of data. Version 2 of the myBigO app was introduced to all partners for the next phase of data collection. New in this version are, amongst others, the ability for non-organized users to register themselves as citizen scientists and availability of the app for iOS, lower battery consumption of the smartwatch and the visibility of more data on the different user portals.

Posted by Socialmedia in BigO News
Students aged 9-10 years at EA discuss Nutrition with Dr. Ioannis Ioakeimidis

Students aged 9-10 years at EA discuss Nutrition with Dr. Ioannis Ioakeimidis

As part of Ellinogermaniki Agogi (EA) School’s interdisciplinary project on nutrition, Dr. Ioannis Ioakeimidis (Assistant Professor at the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden) visited the School in Athens, Greece on September 21st. The students had the opportunity to discuss with him and solve questions on issues related to proper nutrition and compare eating habits and behavior of children in Greece and Sweden. After thinking about it, the students came to the conclusion that proper nutrition combined with physical activity improves our quality of life.

 

Posted by Socialmedia in BigO News
BigO to present at SmartCities4SmartStatistics conference in October 2018

BigO to present at SmartCities4SmartStatistics conference in October 2018

BigO will be presenting at the SmartCities4SmartStatistics conference organized by the Hellenic Statistical Authority that will take place in Kalamata, Greece on October 5-6, 2018. Project coordinator, professor Anastasios Delopoulos will give a talk with title: Objective monitoring and analysis of the obesogenic behaviour in relation to the Local environment: A tool facilitating decisions by public health authorities.

Posted by Mando in BigO News
Students develop suggestions to increase engagement with the target audience for the BigO app

Students develop suggestions to increase engagement with the target audience for the BigO app

Three students from Het Streek high school in the Netherlands used the BigO app for a 12 week assignment to improve the current version of the app. The students were asked to come up with new ways to introduce the BigO app to the target audience (children and adolescents).  They came up with short-term and long-term solutions, which included a video advertisement and an education kit. They also suggested using brighter colors and changing the font to enhance the appearance of the app. The students reported that they found working on this project a truly rewarding experience. Their feedback will be taken into consideration for the development of the next version of the BigO app.

Posted by Mando in BigO News
Students use BigO app to map food advertisements in Stockholm

Students use BigO app to map food advertisements in Stockholm

Using the BigO mobile app, a team of IEGS high school students completed a school project about mapping all the food advertisements in two separate Stockholm areas. Between May 30th and June 1st, 8 IEGS students and 3 KI researchers visited shopping centres in Östermalm (central Stockholm) and Skärholmen (South Stockholm) and photographed all the advertisements in these areas, with the intention to quantify the prevalence of food-related advertisements and the frequency of promotion of sugary drinks and fast-food food items. The student efforts resulted in more than 2000 pictures being uploaded in the BigO system, creating a full mappings of food advertisement in two Stockholm neighbourhoods which differ significantly in regards to their socioeconomic characteristics.

 

 

Posted by Mando in BigO News
BigO presents at Fit4Food2030 Workshop

BigO presents at Fit4Food2030 Workshop

On 12 June 2018, BigO consortium partner, Ellinogermaniki Agogi Scholi Panagea Savva SA (EA), presented the BigO concept at the Fit4Food2030 Workshop.  Fit4Food2030 is an EU project with the aim of future-proofing the European food systems through Research & Innovation. FIT4FOOD2030 supports the development and implementation of the European Commission’s FOOD 2030 policy framework – to find solutions to the challenges facing our food systems, such as obesity, malnutrition, hunger, climate change, scarce resources, and waste through research and innovation.  The event took place at Organisation Earth, Tritsis Park in Athens, Greece, and was attended by various European Stakeholders involved in Food Nutrition Systems.

Posted by Mando in BigO News
BigO meets with public health experts in Ireland

BigO meets with public health experts in Ireland

On Friday 18 May, a focus group with public health experts and BigO partners organized by Professor Geraldine Doyle was held at the University College in Dublin (UCD), Ireland. The aim was to set priorities for public health use of BigO findings. Experts in attendance included Profess Kevin P Balanda (Director of Research and Information Institute of Public Health in Ireland), Dr Sarah Gibney (Healthy and Positive Ageing Initiative at the Department of Health in Ireland) and Celine Murrin (Assistant Professor in the school of Public Health, UCD).  The meeting commenced with a mock-up demonstration of the BigO web portal that will be accessible to public health authorities to enable them to evaluate their communities in relation to childhood obesity.  Christos Diou and Irini Lekka from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece gave the presentation and raised questions that were used as basis for the ensuing discussion.

The three public health experts agreed that BigO would be useful for Public Health Officers in exploring the potential effect on behaviour change for various types of actions in their community.  They highlighted the need to ensure credibility of BigO data and to develop an approach of knowledge mobilisation, so that intermediate results become accessible to policy makers and health programme developers as the project evolves.

Posted by Mando in BigO News
BigO Technical Meeting in Valencia

BigO Technical Meeting in Valencia

On 3-4 May, 2018, the technical and scientific partners of BigO met in Valencia to determine the features of the second version (V2) of the BigO app and system. The V2 system will be used in 2019 by more than 3000 children in Greece, Sweden and Ireland to collect and analyse data relating to their eating behaviour, level of physical activity and sleep patterns. The first version of the system (V1) is currently in operation in three schools, and feedback from the children, parents and teachers involved in using the system has been taken into consideration to inform the design of the updated version of the system and data collection procedures.  It has been proposed the V2 app will support iOS, and will include the addition of informative graphs to facilitate in-class discussions amongst children participating in BigO as part of school projects.  Another significant outcome of the meeting is the inclusion of healthcare policy makers in the strategy and design of BigO. Mock-up screens of a portal for use by public health officials have been designed and focus groups with healthcare policy makers have already been organised.

 

Posted by Mando in BigO News
The BigO team analyse data collected from citizen scientists via the BigO app

The BigO team analyse data collected from citizen scientists via the BigO app

Following the successful deployment of the first live-version of the data collection app, BigO scientists have started looking at real data in an effort to evaluate the data collection system and the ensuing analysis. BigO aims collect data from ‘citizen scientists’ to make estimations about the behaviours of children and teenagers, always in connection with their living environment. BigO will then use this information to inform government policy and develop effective interventions to manage and prevent childhood obesity. From March to June this year, students from three schools—two in Greece and one in Sweden— have been using the newly developed BigO app to anonymously upload various aspects of their lifestyles. As citizen scientists, the students report the food they eat, record their physical activity levels and map the food advertising encountered in their everyday life. Based on the data collected to date, the BigO team are modifying data collection processes and streamlining the analytical abilities of the system in preparation for larger scale data collection in 2019.

 

Posted by Mando in BigO News
UCD initiates Delphi Panel study to establish key indicators for monitoring and evaluating childhood obesity

UCD initiates Delphi Panel study to establish key indicators for monitoring and evaluating childhood obesity

BigO consortium partner, University College Dublin (UCD), is working to engage with leading public health authorities throughout Europe to co-develop a technological system that would be useful to public health authorities for monitoring childhood obesity and evaluating population-level prevention/treatment approaches.

To achieve this, they are carrying out a Delphi Panel study with experts in the field of public health to establish the key indicators or measures that are a priority for the monitoring and evaluation of childhood obesity over the next 5 – 10 years across Europe. This panel of experts will consist of 10-15 individuals who have a direct influence over the development and implementation of policies aimed at reducing childhood obesity in BigO participating countries ( Sweden, Greece, Ireland, The Netherlands, Spain).

The information gathered as a result of this study will go on directly to inform the parameters of the BigO data monitoring system which will be initially rolled out in Sweden, Greece, Ireland and The Netherlands and then later across Europe.

Posted by Mando in BigO News
The Mando Group delivers training to the Temple Street Children’s University Hospital on the Mandometer Method

The Mando Group delivers training to the Temple Street Children’s University Hospital on the Mandometer Method

On April 3-4, the Mando Group met with the Temple Street Children’s University Hospital in Dublin to provide training on the Mandometer Method for normalising eating behaviour and teaching people identify and re-establish hunger and satiety signals.  The Mandometer device will be used in upcoming BigO pilot studies to collect data on the eating behaviour of children and adolescents in clinical populations in Ireland and in Sweden.

Posted by Mando in BigO News
123 meal pictures uploaded to BigO servers in pilot at Ekpaideftiria N. Mpakogianni high school in Greece

123 meal pictures uploaded to BigO servers in pilot at Ekpaideftiria N. Mpakogianni high school in Greece

On Thursday 22 March, 10 students from Ekpaideftiria N. Mpakogianni (EKP) high school in Greece were given smartwatches to use in conjunction with the BigO app to collect data on physical activity, food consumption, food advertising encountered in everyday life, and other metrics over a two-week period.  A total of 123 meal pictures, including breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, were uploaded to the BigO servers during this period!

Today (Thursday 29 March), 10 new students received smartwatches and will use the BigO system for the next two weeks.

Posted by Mando in BigO News
Data collection pilot at Ellinogermaniki Agogi elementary school in Athens commences

Data collection pilot at Ellinogermaniki Agogi elementary school in Athens commences

On Friday 16 March, 18 9-year old children from Ellinogermaniki Agogi (EA) elementary school in Athens received smartwatches and were given instructions for their parents to download and use the BigO app on their mobile phones and connect to their child’s smartwatch.  Nine children have successfully registered, and we have been receiving meal pictures as well as physical activity and other data on the BigO servers.

The EA team is following-up with the parents, and in collaboration with MySphera and Aristotale University of Thessaloniki, they are addressing questions and issues that as they arise.  This feedback is being recorded and will help optimize the technical features and procedures for large scale data collection next year.

Two more schools, IEGS in Sweden and EKP in Greece, will be enrolling high school students very soon!

 

Posted by Mando in BigO News
BigO presents at Erasmus+ ‘Pro-healthy lifestyle with your mobile phone’ meeting in Greece

BigO presents at Erasmus+ ‘Pro-healthy lifestyle with your mobile phone’ meeting in Greece

In February 2018, the BigO team presented the current version of the BigO app and offered hands on demonstrations to attendees at an Erasmus+ ‘Pro-healthy lifestyle with your mobile phone’ meeting at the Technical High School 1st EPAL KALAMARIAS in Thessaloniki, Greece.  The meeting consisted of 36 students and 9 teachers from the I Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. Adama Mickiewicza w Białymstoku in Poland, the Istituto Omnicompresivo “DANTE ALIGHIERI” Nocera Umbra in Italy and the hosting school in Greece. The feedback received was very positive!

 

Posted by Mando in BigO News
Swedish high school students use the BigO system for their school project

Swedish high school students use the BigO system for their school project

Twenty-five students from the IEGS high school in Stockholm, acting as ‘citizen scientists’, used the BigO app to photograph and map all the advertisements they encountered in three geographic Stockholm regions with distinctly different demographics. Afterwards the students analysed the collected pictures in order to quantify the types of advertisements per region. The students focused on the percentage of food advertisements in relation to the total number of advertisements, in each of these areas.

Posted by Mando
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 Pre-Pilot Coordinator in Sweden, 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
BigO has been presented at the AGORA meeting in Warnsveld (NL)

BigO 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