Ernesto Ramirez, PhD

Personal Data, Public Health, Behavior Science


Helping build the future of health behavior research by improving consumer device and application data flow.


2016- Director of Research & Development, Fitabase / Small Steps Labs LLC

Leading new feature development and special projects for Fitabase, the leading data management and analytical platform for wearble devices deployed in research studies and healthcare innovation projects.

2014-16 Program Director, Quantified Self Labs

Co-led the direction of Quantified Self Public Health program (funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation). Managed the Quantified Self Public Health Symposium, bringing together multiple stakeholders in government, academia, and industry. Led program development for the Quantified Self Global and European Conferences. Conducted research on self-tracking and communicated about Quantified Self at conferences and events.

2012-14 Community Organizer, Quantified Self Labs

Coordinated the communication strategy for a worldwide network of meetup leaders. Managed speakers for multiple conferences. Edited and managed the website.

2008-12 Graduate Research Assistant, Center for Wireless and Population Health Systems (UCSD)

Designed and coordinated field studies of wearable activity devices. Developed deployment and data analysis protocols for accelerometer, GPS, and other wearable bio-sensors for research studies. Conducted secondary data analysis, and coordinated peer-reviewed research articles. Co-taught undergraduate public health courses.


2008-16 Ph.D. Public Health (Health Behavior). San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego

Dissertation: Discretionary self-monitoring of physical activity: A mixed-methods study of behavior change technique use and historical physical activity. Designed and conducted a study of long-term users of physical activity trackers (Fitbit) using qualitative and quantitative data. Explored real-world behavior change techniques and their potential impact on activity behavior in 30 individuals.

2005-08 M.S. Kinesiology (Exercise and Health Psychology). Arizona State University

1999-04 B.S. Finance. Arizona State University

Invited Talks

2017 Data Driven Health Health Technology Forum (Panel Moderator)

2016 Innovations in Behavior Measurement Mathematica Policy Research

Innovations in Behavior Measurement Agents of Change Summit

2015 Health Data from Wearables: Clinical Implications of the Quantified Self American Medical Informatics Association Annual Conference (Panelist)

Quantified Self & Personal Data Data and Innovation at the Climate-Health Nexus, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Would Taylor Wear a Fitbit? Quantified Self in the Workplace and Beyond California Association for Behavior Analysis Annual Conference

2014 Living With Data California College of the Arts

Patient with Chronic Illness: The New Self-Tracker? Medicine X (Speaker & Panel Moderator)

2013 The Self-tracking Patient Medicine X (Speaker & Panel Moderator)

2012 Know Thyself Medicine X

Quantified Self: A Pathway to Personal Health Digital Health Communications Extravaganza


Journal Articles

2013 Ramirez, E. & Wipfli, B. (2013). Stress reactivity in humans and animals: two meta-analyses. InternationalJournal of Exercise Science, 6(2), 7.

Li, I., Froehlich, J., Larsen, J.E., Grevet, C., & Ramirez, E. (2013). Personal informatics in the wild. In CHI ’13 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. New York, New York, USA: ACM Press.

Wu, W., Dasgupta, S., Ramirez, E.R., Peterson, C. & Norman, G.J. Classifcation accuracies of physical activities using smartphone motion sensors. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 14(5), e130.

2012 Ramirez, E.R., Kulinna, P.H. & Cothran, D. (2012) Constructs of physical activity behaviour in children: The usefulness of social cognitive theory. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 13(3), 303-310.

Carlson, J.A., Sallis, J.F., Ramirez, E.R., Patrick, K. & Norman, G.J. (2012). Physical activity and dietary behavior change in Internet-based weight loss interventions: Comparing two multiple-behavior change indices. Preventive Medicine, 54(1), 50-54.

2011 Marshall, S.J. & Ramirez, E.R. (2011). Reducing sedentary behavior: A new paradigm for physical activity promotion. Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 5(6), 518-530.

2010 Ramirez, E.R., Norman, G.J., Rosenberg, D., Kerr, J., Saelens, B., Durant, N. & Sallis, J. (2010) Adolescent screen time and rules to limit screen time in the home. Journal of Adolescent Health, 48(4), 379-385

Posters / Published Abstracts

2012 Ramirez, E.R., Peterson, C., Wu, W., & Norman, G.J. (2012). Accuracy of the Fitbit pedometer for self-paced and prescribed physical activity. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 44(5S), 648.

2011 Ramirez, E.R., Norman, G.J., Merchant, G., et al. (2011). Multi-behavioral determinants of weight loss in men and women. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 41 (suppl), s101.

2010 Ramirez, E.R., Patrick, K., Griswold, W., et al. (2010). Context-aware intervention systems: Strengths and weakness of a new approach to health interventions. Poster presented at the mHealth Summit, Washington DC.

Kerr, J., Raab, F., Ramirez, E.R., Norman, G., & Patrick, K. Integrating multiple sensors to improve assessment of physical activity in time & space. ICPAPH, Toronto May 2010

Kerr, J., Raab, F., Ramirez, E.R., Norman, G., & Patrick, K. Development of a Physical Activity Location Measurement System (PALMS) and validation in young and old populations wearing GPS. Active Living Research Conference, San Diego, Feb 2010

2009 Ramirez, E. Patrick, K., Norman, G. & Raab, F. (2009). Integrating Spatial Data Sources to Measure and Influence Physical Activity Behaviors: The Physical Activity Location Measurement System (PALMS). Poster presented at the International Conference on Diet and Physical Activity Measurement (ICDAM), Washington DC. 1.

Book Chapters

2015 Arredondo, E., & Ramirez, E.R. (2015). Physical Activity. In Introduction to Health Promotion & Behavioral Science in Public Health (p. 320). Cengage Learning.

2013 Norman, G.J., Kolodziejczyk, J.K., Hekler, E.B., & Ramirez, E.R. (2013). How to Deliver Physical Activity Messages. In ACSM’s Behavioral Aspects of Physical Activity and Exercise (p. 336). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


2010 NIH Minority Supplement, Social and Mobile Approaches to Weight Loss

2008 NIH Minority Supplement, Physical Activity Location Measurement System


Health Behavior Science

Research and Evaluation

Presentation and Dissemination

Public Speaking

Data Analysis: Proficient in R


Gary Wolf, Director, Quantified Self Labs


Kevin Patrick, MD, Director, Center for Wireless and Population Health Systems, UCSD


Joe Smyser, PhD, CEO, The Public Good Projects