Health & Behavior Data Symposium

From crowds back to individuals: the new era of data collection for health and human behavior
Health & Behavior Data Symposium

Technology has made it possible to study people’s behavior at an unprecedented level of detail. The advent of mobile devices and sensors allows both passive and active individual-level data collection. This opens opportunities for research, particularly in the fields of health and human behavior. High-resolution data can be collected from devices as diverse as mobile phones, wearables, social media platforms, and online surveys.  

Data can be collected both purposefully (controlled studies) and as a side-effect of other processes (secondary use). It can then be processed and analyzed for various purposes from "quantified self" feedback to digital phenotyping and personalized medicine. These topics have a high impact on modern research, business, and society.

This symposium will gather the data collection community both in the Helsinki region, Finland, and internationally to discuss and network. The symposium will provide an opportunity to see the state of the art of data collection from humans, both on the tools needed to collect data and applications and analysis of that data. Topics will include design and technology, research questions, analysis and computation, ethics of human data collection, and the current ecosystem at Aalto, in Finland, and beyond.

Symposium talks are available on YouTube:

See Aalto Computer Science's channel!


8:30 Coffee

  • DIY Conference Badges available on site!

9:00 Welcome, Jouko Lampinen, Dean of School of Science, Aalto University

Keynote & talks begin
  • The public value of data: challenges and opportunities. Ciro Cattuto, Scientific Director, ISI Foundation, Italy
  • Long-term data and wearables - learning from your body reactions.  Heli Koskimäki, Senior Data Scientist, Oura Health and Adjunct Professor, University of Oulu

Break and Coffee

10:30 Talks continue
  • Sleep and sleepiness monitoring.  Jussi Virkkala, Medical Physicist, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health
  • Secondary use of health and social data. Jarkko Reittu, Data Protection Officer, THL
  • Panel discussion & questions


12:30 Talks continue
  • A doctor’s dream of future digital era healthcare.  Kiti Müller, Senior Neuroscientist, Nokia Bell Labs
  • How to turn heartbeat into a secret key... and why your WiFi router already knows it. Stephan Sigg, Assistant Professor of Ambient Intelligence, Aalto Department of Communications and Networking
  • Aalto Research Showcase
  • Panel discussion & questions

13:50 Closing and workshop orientation
14:05 Closing remarks, Kimmo Kaski

Break and coffee

14:30–16:00 Afternoon Workshops
See workshop subjects below.

After-work session at restaurant Fat Lizard


    Ciro Cattuto

    Dr. Ciro Cattuto is the Scientific Director of ISI Foundation, a 36 year old non-profit research institute that pursues foundational and applied research in Data Science and Complex Systems. Dr. Cattuto's research focuses on using big data and advanced analytics to measure and model systems that entangle human behaviours and digital platforms.

    He is a founder and principal investigator of the SocioPatterns collaboration, an international effort on studying human social and contact networks with wearable sensors, to advance research in computational epidemiology and computational social science.

    Dr. Cattuto holds a PhD in Physics from the University of Perugia, Italy and has carried out interdisciplinary research at the University of Michigan, USA, at Sapienza University in Rome, and at the RIKEN Institute in Japan. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Torino and at Sapienza University, an editorial board member of the EPJ Data Science and Nature Scientific Data journals, and he has been an organizer and program chair of several leading conferences in Computer Science, Data Science and Complex Systems.

    Kiti Müller profile photo

    Nokia Bell Labs Senior Neuroscientist Kiti Müller (MD, PhD) is a specialist in Neurology. Her main research areas are cognitive neurophysiology, sleep and cognitive ergonomics. The research in neurocognition has focused on studying how sleepiness, alertness, the amount of information present and cognitive load of work tasks, as well as, a person's knowledge level and expertise affect the ability to handle and interpret data. Most research projects have also included R&D of different types of wearable methods that can be used on field studies to objectively measure human performance. Kiti Müller is also an Adjunct Professor in Neurology at The University of Helsinki and in Cognitive Neuroergonomics at Aalto University School of Science. She has supervised over 20 thesis works and has over 20 years of expertise in planning and leading research projects with academic and industrial partners. Before joining Nokia in 2014 she worked as Research Professor and Director of Brain Work Centre at Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. She writes a blog Dashing and a Slash of Health Bytes at

    Heli Koskimäki

    Dr. Heli Koskimäki is an expert of applied data mining and machine learning. She works as Senior Data Scientist at Oura Health, the company behind the Oura ring developed for tracking sleep and recovery. She also holds an adjunct professor position in University of Oulu. In both positions her interests include wearable sensors based intelligent solutions; including biosignal processing, data analytics, research collaboration, etc. At Oura Health, her main task is to turn data into insights for customers as a part of science team.

    Jussi Virkkala

    PhD Jussi Virkkala is medical physicist, sleep researcher at Sleep Laboratory, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. Main research area has been different sleep and sleepiness monitoring techniques. He works also part time as medical physicist at Helsinki University Hospital in Department of Clinical Neurophysiology.  You can find him at @jussivirkkala.

    Stephan Sigg profile

    Stephan Sigg is an Assistant Professor at Aalto University in the Department of Communications and Networking. His research interests include the design, analysis and optimisation of algorithms for distributed and ubiquitous sensing systems. Especially, his work covers proactive computing, distributed adaptive beamforming, context-based secure key generation and device-free passive activity recognition. Stephan is an editorial board member of the Elsevier Journal on Computer Communications and has been a guest editor for the Springer Personal and Ubiquitous Computing Systems Journal. He has served on the organizing and technical committees numerous prestigious conferences including IEEE PerCom, ACM Ubicomp.


    Jarkko Reittu (M.Sc. in physics, LL.M.) is the data protection officer of the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and he is member of THL’s ethics committee. He has worked as legal counsel and DPO at University of Helsinki Research Services and as senior SW specialist at Nokia Networks. He is also doctoral candidate at the University of Helsinki and his doctoral research is about data protection in the scientific research.



    The final part of the symposium program is workshops, where small groups of people will gather to intensively discuss certain topics.  Workshops are pre-planned and listed below (location in parentheses).


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