Real-Time Health Monitoring Study

This study investigates how real-time air quality data might be more useful to residents of Richmond, Crockett and Rodeo, including to protect personal and community health. The study will combine air quality data with personal wellness data collected via consumer-grade apps, such as Fitbit. Participants’ use of these apps will help to investigate relationships, if any, between these local air quality data and personal wellness indicators. Such indicators include heart rate and blood oxygen levels, which may be affected by chemicals in ambient air. Through this study, we hope to surface new possibilities for public data exploration, interpretation, and advocacy.

Please note that this is not a medical study and we are in no position to give medical advice, nor should any study communications be construed as such. Rather, this study investigates how widely available digital tools might be used in new ways by residents of fenceline communities.


Details of participation

● Participants will be asked to complete an initial survey, covering information such as the number of years they have lived in a refinery fenceline community, basic demographic information, as well as any existing health concerns or issues they may have.  

● Participants will be asked to use selected personal wellness apps over a period of two months, to collect data on physical indicators that pertain to health (e.g. heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and location and travel data).

● Participants will be offered the opportunity to explore any correlations between these personal wellness data and air quality data, in consultation with study researchers and, if they wish, with other community residents.

● Participants will be invited to complete an exit survey, asking for feedback on the study’s digital tools and what they found most or least valuable about participating in the study.


who is conducting this research?

This study is being conducted by researchers at Drexel University. The study is partially funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (Professor Gwen Ottinger, Principal Investigator).

If you have additional questions about the study, please contact Cheryl Holzmeyer at:, or Gwen Ottinger at:


Interested in participating?

Please click here, to view the study’s Informed Consent documentation. If, after reviewing these study details, you agree to participate, you will be invited to proceed to the next steps.