Spotlight on Research at COPH – Dr. Aaron Yoder has always liked to fix things, which led to his education in engineering. He was taught early on that he could use his engineering skills to protect and improve the well-being of others. Now Dr. Yoder uses his passion for engineering and information technology to improve the health and safety of individuals.
Most recently Dr. Yoder has been exploring ways to use new technologies like smartphones, smartphone accessories, fitness trackers, smart watches and other wearable technologies in this area of health and safety. Dr. Yoder is working with researchers across UNMC, as well as private corporations, to investigate the applications of these types of technologies. The technology allows researchers to collect real-time data from a large group of individuals, also known as crowdsourcing, and provide both real-time and delayed feedback to the users. Applications of this technology include monitoring of environmental factors like noise and dust exposure to monitoring biometrics such as heart rate and skin temperature.
Dr. Yoder is also the Education Core Director for the NIOSH-funded Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health. In this role he conducts and manages educationally based research projects that are aimed to reduce the number of injuries and illnesses in the agricultural workforce. This includes managing the National Agricultural Safety Database, the largest online source of agricultural safety and health information in North America. This database is used by a wide range of individuals from public health practitioners to educators at all levels to support them in their research and educational efforts.
As an occupational safety and health expert, Dr. Yoder works with investigators across UNMC, the University of Nebraska system and the world to improve the health and safety of individuals. This work is done through various research projects and professional organizations that set the standards and priorities for research and outreach in his field.