As researchers, we are constantly thinking of new ways to gather real-time data to help illuminate how the working environment affects the health of flight attendants.
With today’s availability of wearable technology, we are able to take a more hands-on approach to monitor health symptoms in relation to flight. This means that we are aiming to measure participants’ real-time flight experience using wearable sensors, such as Apple watches, in conjunction with a mobile FlightHealth app.
Specifically, we are developing an app, to be released in February, that we will distribute along with wearable sensors to a small subset of Flight Attendant Health Study participants. The app will also be available for free on our website for any interested flight attendant, pilot, former crew member, or passenger with an iPhone and any series of Apple watch. For people downloading the app from our website, optional sensors include a Spire monitor to measure respiration, an iHealth Air pulse oximeter to measure blood oxygenation, and a ResMed S+ sleep monitor to measure sleep quality during layovers.
Our hope is that this research will shed light on subtle, difficult to detect flight-related changes in health markers, sleep, and mood that could in turn potentially increase the risk of adverse health outcomes. Our goal is to leverage our initial findings to distribute the full sensor package to as many flight attendants as possible in future research efforts!
Feel free to spread the word to your friends, co-workers, and union. The more people who volunteer, the greater impact we can make on the flight attendant community and the availability of scientific knowledge for all flight crew and passengers.