Survey: Help Researchers Navigate the Benefits and Pitfalls of Wearable Sensors in the Workplace


BCBusiness UBC and Technical Safety BC

Given the seismic impacts of COVID-19 on our lives, our work, and our families, it is hard to find a lot of upside in the global pandemic that has changed our world over the past year. But one bright spot has been the realization that embracing the game-changing potential of data in our everyday lives, and in particular our work lives can have major impacts.

Don’t forget that only a year ago, we couldn’t access healthcare or visit our family doctor virtually as we can today. This was largely prohibited by privacy rules – as was the responsible gathering and sharing of a variety of other important health data. Some of those rules were relaxed due to the pandemic, and we have seen the positive impact that thoughtful policymaking can have on our ability to get accessible and more streamlined care.

There is an equally game-changing potential when it comes to the use of wearable technologies in the workplace for health and wellness monitoring, and it is a trend that is growing steadily. However, little is known about exactly how these technologies are most commonly used, how the data is collected and stored, and even what employees and employers think about the benefits and risks of wearing them.

That’s why researchers from UBC have teamed up with Technical Safety BC, the independent organization that regulates technical systems and equipment in the province, as well as Worksafe BC to conduct a study around the use of wearable devices for monitoring health and wellness in the workplace. The Neuroethics research group within UBC’s Faculty of Medicine hopes to use the study to inform best practices and policy to ensure the safety of all users as these devices become even more common.

But the researchers need help from the public and are looking for British Columbian workers over the age of 18 to take part in a quick 10-minute online survey about how brain and body sensors are being used now and may be used in the future, and what employees and employers think of them.

The survey is completely anonymous. Participants don’t need to answer every question and can stop at any time.

Participants who complete the survey can enter a draw to win one of five $100 Amazon gift cards. More importantly, they will be providing invaluable information that could shape the future use of data in the workplace to ensure we better understand both the benefits and how to navigate the risks.


Created by BCBusiness in partnership with UBC and Technical Safety BC