How sensors might help define the external exposome

Miranda Loh*, Dimosthenis Sarigiannis, Alberto Gotti, Spyros Karakitsios, Anjoeka Pronk, Eelco Kuijpers, Isabella Annesi-Maesano, Nour Baiz, Joana Madureira, Eduardo Oliveira Fernandes, Michael Jerrett, John W. Cherrie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)
106 Downloads (Pure)


The advent of the exposome concept, the advancement of mobile technology, sensors, and the “internet of things” bring exciting opportunities to exposure science. Smartphone apps, wireless devices, the downsizing of monitoring technologies, along with lower costs for such equipment makes it possible for various aspects of exposure to be measured more easily and frequently. We discuss possibilities and lay out several criteria for using smart technologies for external exposome studies. Smart technologies are evolving quickly, and while they provide great promise for advancing exposure science, many are still in developmental stages and their use in epidemiology and risk studies must be carefully considered. The most useable technologies for exposure studies at this time relate to gathering exposure-factor data, such as location and activities. Development of some environmental sensors (e.g., for some air pollutants, noise, UV) is moving towards making the use of these more reliable and accessible to research studies. The possibility of accessing such an unprecedented amount of personal data also comes with various limitations and challenges, which are discussed. The advantage of improving the collection of long term exposure factor data is that this can be combined with more “traditional” measurement data to model exposures to numerous environmental factors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number434
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2017


  • Exposome
  • Exposure assessment
  • Exposure factors
  • Mobile technology
  • Sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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