Center for Direct Reading and Sensor Technologies

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Direct-reading methods and sensors are being used more frequently in many different settings ranging from personal monitoring of individual health to applications in research and in clinical practice. NIOSH began organized research in this area in 2008 with the creation of the DREAM initiative (Direct Reading Exposure Assessment Methods). NIOSH will build upon and expand the DREAM program to address lessons learned, advances in technology, and stakeholder contributions. NIOSH researchers have developed a number of direct-reading methods and monitors and are exploring new ways to use these technologies to improve occupational safety and health.

The use of sensors has increased exponentially as countless remote wireless sensors are now employed for monitoring the environment, work sites, disaster response, “smart” buildings and facilities, and in agriculture and health. Wireless data transfer based on cell phone networks and smart phone technology is enhancing the adoption of these sensors, and allowing integration of geographically disperse sensors to produce comprehensive exposure pictures. Wearable and even implantable sensors are being developed that could aid in exposure assessment and clinical practice.

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