Chronic disease affects 3 out of 5 Canadians aged above 20 years. Indeed, almost 2 out of 3 deaths in Canada are related to non-communicable chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, some cancers, diabetes and respiratory diseases. Decades of research support the causal relationship between several health-risk behaviors (e.g., over- or unhealthy-eating, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption) and chronic diseases. Lowering these behaviors can impact the prevalence of several chronic diseases. However, our current ability to understand and quantify these behaviors in daily living is limited. Thus, interdisciplinary research that provides technology-driven behavior monitoring solutions is necessary.
The overarching goal of my research program is to study novel technology-driven solutions that can support automatic behavior monitoring and augment clinical practice in health-risk management. In this talk, I will describe the steps that I have taken towards bridging the gap between technology and behavioral health and well-being. I will present the role of ubiquitous mobile and wearable sensor systems that I have developed and the associated machine learning algorithms that I have created to understand human behavior. I will specifically highlight some wearable sensor-based approaches that I have taken to tackle the dietary monitoring problem, a complex behavioral health monitoring problem. Understanding human behavior in free-living conditions remains an open problem in its infancy. My research mission is to develop foundational tools to increase our understanding of human behavior in naturalistic settings with the aim to manage health-risk behaviors that are associated with various chronic disease.
Sougata Sen is a postdoctoral scholar in the Ka Moamoa lab at McCormick School of Engineering and the HABits lab at Fienberg School of Medicine, at Northwestern University working with Prof. Josiah Hester and Prof. Nabil Alshurafa. Before joining Northwestern University, Sougata was a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Computer Science at Dartmouth College. He was part of the Mobile Health Security and Privacy lab, working with Prof. David Kotz. Sougata received his Ph.D. in 2017 from the School of Information Systems at Singapore Management University, where he was supervised by Prof. Archan Misra. During his PhD, Sougata interned at IBM Research and Samsung Research. He also spent a year in the HCI Institute at Carnegie Mellon University as an exchange student. Sougata’s work has appeared in top mobile systems and ubiquitous computing venues such as PerCom, ISWC, and IMWUT. He is also an inventor in 3 patents. His primary research interests are in developing mobile and wearable sensing systems to understand human behavior and develop solutions to help manage health-risk behaviors.