Wednesday, August 29, 2012

UC's Wireless Health Initiative

The University of California’s (Davis) “Research Investments in Science and Engineering” (RISE) grants were awarded to the “Wireless Health and Wellness” program. The funding for $800,000 will be used to investigate the use of wireless technologies, mobile sensors, and how telemedicine impacts people’s health.

The university’s RISE grants were awarded through the Office of Research with a program total of $10 million to be awarded to twelve highly innovative interdisciplinary RISE themes over a three year period.

Jay Han, Medical Director of the “Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society” (CITRIS) and Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at UC Davis, reports that the research will develop wireless sensor and mobile health technologies to especially empower individuals dealing with chronic diseases. 

The program is collaborating with the UC Davis Computer Science Department, the Center for Health and Technology, Clinical and Translational Science Center, and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. In addition to studying chronic diseases, Professor Edmund Seto of UC Berkeley and the CITRIS Associate Faculty Healthcare Director is looking for new ideas on how to use mobile phones and sensors for public health purposes.

Initially participants in the study will use smart phones to gather data on how they move, how much they exercise, and how many calories they expend during the course of their daily life. This research will assess technological barriers in terms of usability, privacy, security issues, how to integrate patient data into EHRs, and how to store large data sets with the objective to broaden the use of mobile health technologies. The data will be uploaded to be analyzed and reviewed by medical professionals to include physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals.