Sunday, September 16, 2012

Collaborating to Develop Apps

At the University of California at Irvine in their “California Institute for Telecommunication and Information Technology” (Calit2) program, researchers, computer scientists, engineers, biologists, chemists, and game developers are working to combine their expertise to produce new apps for healthcare consumers as well as providers. The multidisciplinary teams working in the new eHealth Collaboratory are using a high touch approach so that the user’s experience using the app is personalized and offers individual support.

Some of the results of their collaborative research efforts:

  • Two engineers, a neurologist, and a computer gaming expert developed “iMove,” a grant supported initiative to improve human mobility.

  • A pediatric anesthesiologist teamed with an engineer and psychologist to develop an app for children undergoing cancer treatment. “Pain buddy”, funded by Hoag Foundation for $450,000 helps kids report on their pain level at regular intervals on a handheld electronic device with the information going to the oncology treatment team

  • A personalized app called “webTIPS helps kids prepare for surgery and helps their parents manage postsurgical pain

  • Low cost gaming technology developed by teams of computer scientists along with medical professionals can use the technology to reinforce positive behaviors and social networks to help people with chronic health issues

  • A relatively inexpensive web-based rehab strategy to treat tinnitus. A masking pitch close to the sound of the ringing in the ear will help a majority of patients. The site “” prompts users to identify their tinnitus pitch and loudness and at that time a customized sound is delivered to download onto an iPod or other device

The eHealth Collaboratory is working on new applications for telemedicine, mobile operating systems, wireless interfaces, and even micro and nanofluidic diagnostics are in the works.

For more information on the eHealth Collaboratory, email