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Would You Like to Help Us Understand How We Use Mobile Phones?

Would You Like to Help Us Understand How We Use Mobile Phones?

There are nearly as many mobile phone connections in the world as there are people (between 7.3 and 7.6 billion). It is estimated that 63% of the population already use a mobile phone, and this number is growing year on year as we see an increasingly broader range of devices with an ever growing variety of uses.

The XmobiSurvey was launched to gain a better understanding of how we use our mobile devices and seeks to recruit 5,000 volunteers across different European countries

After they first appeared, mobile phones quickly became part of our life, and within 15 years they have gone from being a rare sight to being an integral part of our everyday existence that warrants in-depth study. Our exposure to radiofrequencies is constant because we carry our phones with us at all times.

 

The findings of Interphone, an international study published in 2010-2011, indicated that radiofrequency fields emitted by mobiles are possibly carcinogenic to humans. This conclusion was based on findings of an increased risk in people who used their phone intensively over a prolonged period. However, the evidence is inconclusive, making further research necessary.

The wider the range of users we can enroll in the programme, the wider the range of exposure levels we will be able to study

One of the main obstacles to determining the extent to which our bodies are exposed to radiofrequency energy and the health implications of such exposure has been our lack of knowledge about exactly how mobile devices are used. However, the advent of smartphones and mobile apps has now made it possible for us to collect very accurate data on this subject.

The XmobiSurvey was launched to gain a better understanding of how we use our mobile devices and it forms part of the European GERONIMO project coordinated by Professor Elisabeth Cardis, head of the radiation group at CREAL, an allied ISGlobal centre. By means of an Android app called XMobiSense (XMS), our aim is to record data on the ;many ways people use their mobile phones.

The objective is to recruit 5,000 volunteers across different European countries. The study is open to everyone, and the only requirements for participation are to be aged 18 or over and to use an Android device (mobile phone or tablet). We are interested in all types of users, regardless of whether they make intensive, moderate or occasional use of their device.

It is estimated that 63% of the population already use a mobile phone, and this number is growing year on year

XMS records the following information anonymously: number and duration of calls, number of text messages, on which side of the head the user holds the phone when talking, the use of a hands-free setup, and the total volume of data sent and received each day.

The wider the range of users we can enrol in the program, the wider the range of exposure levels we will be able to study.

Taking part is easy. All you have to do is use your mobile device to visit our website. On the web page you will find complete information about the study and the XMobiSense app. Just download the app and install it on your device for a minimum of four weeks. The data generated are sent anonymously to our centre only when the device is connected to a Wi-Fi network. We do this to avoid using the user's monthly data allowance.

Holding the phone just two centimetres away from your ear when you talk will very significantly reduce exposure to radiofrequencies

Some people have asked us what steps they should take to be safer while we are studying the relationship between the use of these technologies and our health. The answer is simple: radiofrequency exposure declines sharply with distance. For example, holding the phone just two centimetres away from your ear when you talk will very greatly reduce exposure to radiofrequencies and using a handsfree or speakerphone setup will reduce it very significantly.

More information

Download here the XMobiSense app and take part in this study

 

 



Nota: Las personas que integran ISGlobal persiguen ideas innovadoras con total independencia. Las opiniones expresadas en este blog son, por tanto, a título personal y no necesariamente reflejan el posicionamiento institucional.

Patricia De Llobet

Research technician in CREAL

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