Eric Hekler, Ph.D.

Hekler-100x118Eric Hekler, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion at Arizona State University and directs the Designing Health Lab @ASU. His research focuses on how to design and evaluate health behavior-change technologies, with a particular emphasis on promoting increased physical activity.  For example, he is currently funded by the National Science Foundation to develop a mathematical model that can guide a “just in time adaptive intervention” for promoting physical activity.  A just in time adaptive intervention is an intervention that takes advantage of current information about an individual (e.g., place, time of day, previous physical activity) to determine the “right” intervention for that person at the “right” moment and location.  The NSF grant is focused on developing a mathematical model for determining exactly when, where, and how to intervene. Dr. Hekler’s Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant is focused on developing a methodology for the more rapid collective development of technology-delivered behavioral interventions, a process he has labeled Agile Science. He also has an active research project funded by Google focused on developing tools to simplify behavior-change techniques used within evidence-based interventions into small modules that an individual can pick and choose and tweak to their own personal needs; an strategy that he and his colleagues have labeled  “DIY Self-Experimentation Toolkit.” Prior to ASU, Dr. Hekler completed his postdoctoral training at Stanford University and received his Ph.D. in Clinical Health Psychology from Rutgers University.