Table 1.

Examples of traditional and emerging environmental and behavioral measurements on the individual level (i) and ecologic level (e)

DescriptionExample referencesType (sensor or bioassay; external or internal); how implemented/disseminated (tissue sample, monitoring device)Rough cost/participant (O: order notation)# of VariablesSources of error (e.g., measurement)
Microbiome (i)Robinson et al. (52)Sequencing of samples (e.g., feces, saliva)O ($100)O (1,000)Diverse ‘omics modalities; diverse sample collection methods
Targeted mass spectrometry and biomarkers (i)Holmes et al. (133), Wang et al. (134)Assay of human tissue (e.g., serum, urine, tissue-specific)O ($100–1,000)O (10–100)Technical variation; sample origin and collection
Untargeted mass spectrometry/metabolomics (i)Tzoulaki et al. (60)Assay of human tissue (e.g., serum, urine, tissue-specific)O ($100–1,000)O (1,000)Technical variation; sample origin and collection
Context & behavior assessment (i)Chen et al. (135), Ellis et al. (136), Marinac et al. (137), Lam et al. (138)SenseCam camera; iPhone research kit apps<$100O (10–100)Device use and attrition; recall
Dietary intake assessment (i)Subar et al. (139)Self-administered auto-coded mobile and/or web-based 24-hour recalls, food records and food frequency questionnairesSome freely available, others <$100O (100)Day-to-day random error and systematic error or bias
Thompson et al. (75, 140)
Physical activity assessment (i)Kerr et al. (141), Meseck et al. (142)Accelerometer<$100O (10–100)Wear time
Occupational exposures assessmentsCochran and Driver (74)Questionnaire supported by algorithms to infer exposures<$100O (1,000)Participant recall, impreci-sion estimating exposures
Air pollution monitoring (e)Jerrett et al. (143)Sensor$100–1,000O (10–100)Imprecision estimating internal exposure
Global Positioning System (e)Jankowska et al. (144)Sensor<$100O (10–100)Location error
Individual sensors (i)O'Connell et al. (145)Sensor$100–1,000O (10–100)Measurement error; reporting bias; wear time