PHI Seminar Speaker Series

Mariya Shiyko presents at the PHI Speaker Series

The PHI Seminar Speaker Series launched in the fall of 2012 and is held many weeks throughout the academic year. Speakers include innovative thinkers in academia and the health and medical technology industries on topics ranging such as basic research that impacts PHI technology, development, deployment, and evaluation of PHI systems, innovations in related key technologies, and health technology innovation, dissemination, and entrepreneurship. You can receive notification of PHI seminar series events by subscribing to the Blog or by subscribing to the PHI-Seminar announcement-only mailing list.

  • Thursdays, 4-5 PM (unless otherwise noted)
  • Open to the community
  • Location: BK (Behrakis) 105.

Schedule for Fall 2014

October 16
Time: 4-5 PM
Location: BK 105
Uncovering the Narrative Code: Interactive Stories for Youth Health
Amy S. Lu, PhD
College of Arts, Media & Design and Bouvé College of Health Sciences
Northeastern University

One of the oldest forms of communication, the narrative is pervasive across digital media. Recent studies have shown that narratives can serve as powerful tools for health promotion. The more a story “transports” or “immerses” a person into the narrative world, the more story-consistent beliefs and thoughts will be afterward.Persuading youth to adopt a healthy lifestyle requires creation of effective health messages through interdisciplinary collaboration. Digital media are especially important when trying to reach this age group, who are active media users and early adopters of new technologies. Young people are also highly imaginative and may be more receptive than adults to entertainment narratives with fictional elements.This talk will discuss a series of empirical research projects exploring the narrative in the context of blogs, animation, and health video games.

October 27
Time: 3-4 PM
Location: WVH 366
Verification of the Daily Activities of Older Adults: A Simple, Non-intrusive, Low-Cost Approach
Charles Consel, PhD
Professor of Computer Science
University of Bordeaux
Talence, France

Charles Consel is a professor of Computer Science at University of Bordeaux. He served on the faculty of Yale University, Oregon Graduate Institute and the University of Rennes. His research contributions cover programming languages, software engineering, operating systems, pervasive computing, & assisted living.

This talk will present an approach to verifying the activities of daily living of elders at their home. We verify activities, instead of inferring them, because our monitoring approach is driven by routines, initially sketched by users in their environment. Monitoring is supported by a lightweight sensor infrastructure, comprising non-intrusive, low-cost, wireless devices. Verification is performed by applying a simple formula to sensor log data, for each activity of interest.

October 30
Time: 4-5 PM
Location: BK 105
PHI Usability Evaluation Practicum
Zessie Zhang
Shuo Zhou

Description: The two presenters spent two weeks at Boston Medical Center to understand the experience of hospital patients, interact with doctors and nurses, and try to identify opportunities for technology-based improvements. They will present their observation findings, qualitative analyses, and design recommendations for future studies.

November 7
Time: 2-3 PM
Location: 315 SH
Combining Real-Time Measures of Health Behaviors, Exposures, and Symptoms
Genevieve Dunton, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine and Psychology
University of Southern California

Unhealthy lifestyle behaviors and exposures such as poor diet, physical inactivity, poor air quality, and ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun have severe health consequences. Using retrospective questionnaires to measure these behaviors can introduce errors, biases, and fallacies. This presentation will highlight the cutting-edge research being conducted in Dr. Dunton’s Real-Time Eating Activity and Children’s Health (REACH) lab at the University of Southern California. It will describe how Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) can be combined with other mobile sensing technologies such as accelerometers, GPS, instrumented asthma inhalers, UV dosimeters, and ambulatory cortisol assessments to examine psychological and contextual correlates of health behaviors, environmental exposures, and illness symptoms. The findings will be discussed in terms of methodological and theoretical contributions to our knowledge of how momentary experiences and decisions affect health.

November 13
Time: 4-5 PM
Location: BK 105
Keeping the “Patient” in “Patient-Centric Care”: Preserving the Relational Aspects of Doctor-Patient Interactions
Timothy Hoff, PhD
D’Amore-McKim School of Business
School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy
Northeastern University

There is a meaningful management and policy focus on making US health care delivery more “patient-centric”. New models such as the medical home place a greater focus on patient needs and expectations at the center of their philosophy. That said, the current health care system appears to moving away from traditional relational elements of doctor-patient care delivery, creating new health care interactions that rely on the use of information technology, the Internet, new health workforce models, and more population-based management of health needs. While advancing the transactional abilities of the care delivery system, these innovations may undermine or transform aspects of doctor-patient relationships in ways not anticipated, and which have implications for key system outcomes. This talk will discuss the factors promoting these transformations, the ways in which to conceptualize their possible effects, and the key research and policy questions that emerge from this understanding.

November 20
Time: 4-5 PM
Location: BK 105
In Vivo Assessments of Human Behavior & Health: A Methodological Perspective
Mariya Shiyko, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Counseling and Applied Educational Psychology
Bouvé College of Health Sciences
Northeastern University

In social & behavioral sciences, intensive longitudinal data are frequently collected with mobile phones that prompt participants to respond to a series of questions that focus on momentary experiences. Assessments include reports of environment (e.g., Right now, are there in a company of other smokers?), behaviors (e.g., Are you smoking right now?), and related psychological constructs (e.g., On a scale from 0 to 10, how much do you want to smoke right now?). Collected data contains missed assessments, irregular spacing of observations, unique scheduling of assessments across participants, and complex relational patterns between variables. The talk with describe two methodological approaches, the time-varying effect modeling (TVEM) and varying-coefficient regression (VCR) that were developed to address challenges of intensive longitudinal data. Both methods can be used to investigate dynamics of relationships between variables expressed as parameter functions that change continuously over time (or another important contextual domain). Empirical examples from smoking-cessation studies will be used to highlight uniqueness of the analytical methods and their contributions to smoking-cessation research.

December 4
Time: 4-5 PM
Location: BK 105
Exploring the efficacy of using a social game for health behavior change
Magy Seif El-Nasr, PhD
Associate Professor
Director of Game Educational Programs and Research at Northeastern
Director of the Game Design Program
College of Arts, Media, and Design
College of Computer and Information Sciences
Northeastern University

Recent reports show that about 34.4% of the U.S. adults above 20 years old are overweight; it is projected that 86% of the adult population will be either at risk for obesity or obese by 2030. Major causes for such epidemic are a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet. Persuasive health games have a potential to impact this problem. And, similar to other types of interventions, adherence and engagement in health games is the keystone for examining their short- and long-term effects. However, according to many reports, only 41% participants are retained in single player games and 29% in social games after 90 days. These statistics raise multiple questions about factors influencing adherence and engagement.
In this talk, we discuss a study we conducted to explore these variables in the context of a commercial health social game called SpaPlay. SpaPlay™ (IgnitePlay, 2011) was built based on theoretical principles of Self-Determination theory. Players build and run a virtual “health Spa resort,” and its growth and success is tied to health-based activities that players undertake in real life. Examples of activities include choosing a healthy snack, including vegetables in a diet, climbing stairs, and walking. Players engage in quests, which include long chain of activities taken alone or in a group. The online community of fellow players creates opportunities for vicarious learning, motivation, and mutual support.
In this talk, we specifically ask the question of what design parameters in the game affect adherence and engagement? As a start to unpack these variables in the design of pervasive social games for health.

Previous schedule for Summer 2014

June 2
Time: 10-11 AM
Location: Room 366 WVH
The InterWalk Project: Implementing Interval Walking Training (IWT) in Type 2 Diabetes Treatment at the National Level
Mathias Ried-Larsen & Henning Langberg
Centre for Physical Activity Research, Rigshospitalet, Denmark
CopenRehab, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Physical activity is included in the first line treatment in Type 2 Diabetes (T2D). However, evidence supports supervised exercise and little evidence indicates that current un-supervised physical activity regimens are effective in TD2 rehabilitation. As the numbers of T2D patients increase and supervised exercise regimens labor intensive and expensive, novel effective unsupervised exercise are pivotal in prevention of morbidities and treatment of T2D. We have shown that the novel exercise mode, interval walking training (cycle of three minutes of slow walking followed by three minutes of fast walking) delivered by a small training computer (JD mate), is more efficient in improving physical fitness and glycemic control and reduce central fatness compared to continuous walking in T2D patients independent of the overall volume during walking. However, delivering interval walking on a large scale still remains a challenge as the training computer was expensive and frequently malfunctioning. New approaches are needed in order to ensure an effective implementation. Information technology (IT) has shown promising results in T2D self-management. Therefore, we developed an application (app) for smartphones to promote interval walking in the T2D population – the InterWalk app. The app serves as a personal trainer and provides feedback on the quality of interval walking by engaging the onboard sensors in the smartphone. Uniquely, we can combine exercise data from the app with the large Danish health and disease registers allowing us to evaluate the effect on a large scale. Although several applications to promote physical activity and exercise exist, none have been developed especially for T2D patients with a focus on individualized exercise and been systematically investigated effectiveness in T2D rehabilitation. The project consists of several sub-projects including testing of the effectiveness of the app in increasing physical activity compared to standard municipal setting in a large scale randomized controlled trial and evaluating the effect of nation-wide release of the app on glycemic control, morbidities, medication usage and contact to the treatment system in T2D patients. The latter is obtained by linking data from the app to the Danish registers. It is of utmost importance that we understand and are able implement and evaluate a feasible concept which is readily available for clinic and long-term therapy. Therefore, special attention is paid to develop novel tools for motivating the users to increase their habitual physical activity level. At the same time we intend develop feasible support frames for the municipalities to use directly in their prevention programs. The results from this project will potentially provide evidence to support implementation of a high quality intervention tool for use in the general public and specifically for rehabilitation of T2D patients at low cost, thus hopefully increase quality of life, decrease contact with the public care system and reduction of medication usage in the patient group. Since the release of the first version in November 2013, the app has been downloaded more than 10,000 times from app-store. Therefore, I expect that the results and experiences from this project will provide evidence that exercise can be effectively implemented at low costs on a large scale. Furthermore, I expect that this tele-medical approach is more effective compared to the municipal standard care implemented currently, thus will impact the way rehabilitation is implemented. Overall this project could potentially form ground for new approaches of rehabilitation, nationally as well as internationally, at reduced personal and societal costs.

Previous schedule for Fall 2013

October 23
Location: Room 348 CSC
Processes of Early language Acquisition in Children with ASD: Comprehension Matters
Letitia Naigles
Professor, Head of Developmental Division
Department of Psychology, University of Connecticut

Language and communication impairments are considered to be a primary deficit of autism spectrum disorders (ASD); however, it is not clear when during development these impairments emerge, nor the extent to which they can be attributed to impairments in core aspects of language per se vs. impairments in other social or cognitive processes. Moreover, most research on the early language of children with ASD relies on standardized tests, which do not target specific aspects of language in depth, and which may underestimate children’s linguistic knowledge. For the past decade, I have conducted a longitudinal study assessing the language development of a group of children recently diagnosed with an ASD, whose language comprehension was assessed using an innovative method for this population, Intermodal Preferential Looking (IPL). In this talk, I will discuss IPL data addressing two core processes of language acquisition that have seemed aberrant in children with ASD; namely, the developmental precedence of comprehension/receptive language over production/expressive language, and implicit generalization or rule use. I also discuss how both ‘internal’ processing speed and ‘external’ social and environmental factors have been found to be associated with the children’s developing language comprehension. I conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for advancing our understanding of autism and of language.

Previous schedule for Spring 2013

January 24
Location: Room 104 WVG
Crowdsourcing technologies for improved public health surveillance
Rumi Chunara
Boston Children’s Hospital and Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School, HealthMap Group

Global patterns of disease burden are constantly shifting. Multiple drivers, such as the shift of populations to urban centers, increased mobility and evolving human-animal interactions favor the emergence of new genetic variants of pathogens as well as increased burden of chronic diseases in low-, middle- and high-income countries. At the same time, traditional public health capacity has remained stagnant, suffering from limits resulting from latency, high cost, inherent contributor biases and imprecise resolution. A critical barrier in disease epidemiology and control has been a lack of rapid, quantitative intelligence on disease dynamics from the point of care. As an engineer working in epidemiology, the goal of my research is to address these gaps by building tools to obtain information directly from individuals, including Internet-based and point-of-care sensors using mobile phones, smart-messaging service (SMS), smart phone applications, portable bio-molecular diagnostics and rapid genotyping. Amongst other challenges, crowdsourced data from these sensors is generally unstructured, unvalidated and noisy. In this talk I will discuss how we approach these challenges in a variety of settings and diseases; malaria surveillance in India, cholera in Haiti and obesity in the United States, to obtain better spatial and temporal insight into disease dynamics.

Special day/time:
February 4 at 10:30-11:15 AM
Location: Room 366 WVH
Transforming Health Care with Technology: Model-Based Approaches
Misha Pavel
Program Director, Smart Health and Wellbeing, Computer and Information Science and
Engineering, National Science Foundation
Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering and Department of Computer Science
and Electrical Engineering, Oregon Health and Science University
Special day/time:
February 4 at 2:00-2:45
Location: Room 366 WVH
New Technology Approaches to Creating Scalable Health Interventions for a Changing World
Holly Jimison
Technology Advisor, National Institutes of Health, Office of the Director, Office of
Behavioral & Social Science Research
Associate Professor, Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology, Oregon Health Science
February 28
Location: Room 104 WVG
Use of Pre-recorded Video and Audio to Create an Engaging Interactive Media Program for Mental Health
James Cartreine, PhD
Research and Clinical Psychologist
Program in Behavioral Informatics and eHealth
Department of Psychiatry, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Instructor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

A 10-year program of research has been undertaken for NASA to develop and evaluate a suite of interactive media programs to help astronauts prevent, assess, and treat their own psychosocial problems. One of the Virtual Space Station tools that is now being transitioned for use by the public helps persons improve their mood and enjoyment of life, based on problem-solving therapy for depression. Through rich media (branching video and audio clips tailored to users’ inputs), a conversation is approximated between the user and a competent, caring therapist. The intent is to make the program feel more like interacting with a person than with a computer. Research studies have indicated that users “bond” with the on-camera therapist similar to live therapy. This talk will provide a rationale for when to use and not to use video, audio, graphics and text in a behavioral health-oriented computer program, as well as the process of storyboarding, scriptwriting, and media production that went into the production. A demonstration of the Virtual Space Station and its components will be provided.

March 14
Location: Room 104 WVG
RAGE-Control: Regulate and Gain Emotional Control
Jason Kahn
Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Many young children have clinical levels of anger and aggression, which has negative consequences with families, peers, and academics. Historically, these children have had to rely on psychotherapy or psychopharmacological medications to treat these symptoms. Both of these approaches can be effective, but have considerable limitations. Adapting both recent findings in neuroscience and constructivist principles, we have been developing video games to help these children by using active biofeedback, which requires both simultaneous attention and relaxation. In pilot studies in both outpatient and inpatient settings, we have found that using our video game leads to reduced symptoms of anger in children. We have taken these findings and started developing toys that use the principles.

March 21
Location: 104 WVG
Applying information technology to individualize health care
Tim Bunnell
Director, Nemours Bioinformatics Core Facility
Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children

Three examples will be presented on how Nemours is leveraging information technology to reach patients (and sometimes providers) as individuals. Our Obesity Cluster project seeks to provide obese teens with a personal health coach, messaging, and feedback to help them pursue healthy lifestyle goals. At the same time, their primary care physicians are provided tools to track how well their management of obese patients (both in aggregate and individually) is succeeding to improve the health of their patients. A second project is exploring the use of mobile devices to facilitate the conduct of a clinical trial for asthma medication. The approach affords immediate data entry by patients, personalized reminders, and virtual visits with clinical staff and is expected to improved adherence to the study protocol, more timely detection of possible adverse events, and make participation feasible for patients who cannot easily make frequent in-person visits to a clinic. Finally, an iPad application will be described that is designed to assist in the delivery of Auditory-Verbal (AV) therapy for pediatric cochlear implant and hearing aid patients. This application will employ utterance verification technology that has been under development in the Nemours Speech Research Laboratory for several years now.

April 4
Location: Room 104 WVG
From MIMIC to Sana: Learning systems, global eHealth, quality improvement and design thinking
Leo Celi

The failure to store and analyze the vast amount of data generated on a daily basis is a key hurdle in advancing the practice of medicine. An equally necessary and important goal involves creating a culture that reacts to and translates the findings of such “big data” into a better system of care. Together, these changes will close a feedback control loop that can help provide a more standardized, yet more personalized care. I will describe an interdisciplinary team-led, data-fueled, learning system that we have built around MIMIC, a public clinical database of patients admitted to the intensive care units at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. I will also discuss the evolution of Sana, a project hosted at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT, from an mHealth solution to an organization that promotes capacity building and design thinking in the development of health information systems to improve the quality of care in resource-poor settings.

April 18
Location: Room 104 WVG
Role of Patient-facing Technologies in the Era of Health Reform
David Ahern
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Abstract: I will describe a framework for organizing patient-facing technologies to enable meaningful use from the patients’ perspective. The major premise is that success of healthcare reform is predicated on creating technology-enabled, proactive care teams coupled with informed and activated patients who are more engaged in their own care. Two technology-enabled research projects in primary care will be presented as exemplars of this model.

Previous schedule for Fall 2012

September 20
Location: Room 30 in the Behrakis Health Sciences Center
Power of Ecological Momentary Data with Modern Statistical Methods: New Questions, New Insights
Mariya Shiyko
Department of Counseling and Applied Educational Psychology
Northeastern University

With technological innovations, electronic survey methods are becoming extensively used to study a broad spectrum of health-related behaviors (e.g., smoking, alcohol use, dieting). Repeated assessments of desired behaviors in real time as people live their lives presents a unique opportunity to understand etiology, dynamics, and contextual determinants that are ecologically sound and void of substantial biases. From the methodological perspective, resulting ecological momentary data (EM data) poses numerous analytical challenges, which are difficult to overcome with traditional statistical methods. This talk will focus on advances in statistical methodology for EM data and will concentrate on the nonparametric tools that allow exploration of complex patterns of relations measured with repeated observations. The talk is aimed at a broad non-technical audience and will introduce the statistical method in a context of empirical examples of smoking-cessation and quality of life research.

September 27
Location: 233 Richards Hall
Quantifying Movement Disorder Symptoms by Voice
Max Little
Wellcome Trust/MIT Fellow

For many progressive movement disorders such as Parkinson’s, it would be valuable in practice to detect the symptoms of the disease remotely, noninvasively, and objectively. Voice impairment is one of the primary symptoms of Parkinson’s. In this talk I’ll describe techniques that can be used to detect Parkinson’s and quantify the symptoms, using voice recordings alone. These algorithms achieve 99% overall accuracy in detecting the disease, and around 2% error in replicating the clinical symptom severity score on the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale. I’ll also describe early results from the Parkinson’s Voice Initiative, a project that has captured a very large sample of voices from healthy controls and Parkinson’s subjects from around the world, using the standard telephone network.

October 4
Location: Room 30 in the Behrakis Health Sciences Center
Using Quantified Health Choices and Financial Rewards to Change Behavior in Adolescents and Young Adults
Dan Imler
Boston University/Boston Medical Center and Willpath

Willpath helps people build healthier lifestyles and better bodies by quantifying real-world data about their small, daily health choices to give them encouraging feedback, financial reward and social validation when those choices are in line with evidence-based guidelines. Willpath was developed from clinical informatics research at Boston University which used an algorithm to determine the value of different health choices in relation to standard medical guidelines for a healthy lifestyle. This value metric is used to build a simple pathway to trusted outcomes that were previously too confusing, expensive, or just not fun.

October 11
Location: Room 30 in the Behrakis Health Sciences Center
Some of the things work for some of the people some of the time … Technology Enabled Behavior Change for Health
Doug McClure

Hea!thrageousHealthrageous is a health service powered by a technology platform that helps individuals to shed unhealthy habits and create lasting health behavior change. The service and technology platform is based on early research conducted at the Partners HealthCare Center for Connected Health. That research showed the power of biometric feedback loops in health and wellness – something that has become popularly known as the quantified self. But, subsequent research and large scale market implementations have continued to show that behavior change comes from different motivations – inspirations, rewards, game play, communities, etc. By creating a synthesis of behavior change models that is powered by web, mobile and machine learning technologies; Healthrageous is creating a one-to–one, ultimately personalized experience that enables each of us to achieve our health goals.

October 18
Location: Room 233 Richards Hall (RI)
Developing and Testing a Text Message Delivered Intervention for Smoking Cessation
Beth Bock
Brown University

There is growing interest in behavioral interventions delivered through mobile and computer platforms. However, using new platforms for treatment delivery requires developing new approaches and adapting older methods of providing treatment that are concordant with the ways in which technology is used, the preferences and use patterns of the target audience, and the limitations of the technology itself. TXT-2-Quit is an 8-week smoking cessation program designed for younger adult smokers who use text messaging. The experience of conducting TXT-2-Quit included qualitative formative work and a pilot randomized clinical trial. This presentation will highlight how methods of participant recruitment, our approach to providing counseling, and content and timing of the intervention were changed driven by the mobile platform.

October 25
Location: 30 BK
The “App Store” for Health
Ken Mandl
Director, Intelligent Health Laboratory
Boston Children’s Hospital Informatics Program
Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School

We use electronic health records at work, but iPhones at home. Which do we prefer? Mandl presents a new approach to health information technology whereby healthcare gets an “App Store” of its own.Despite the $48 billion dollar Federal investment in health information technology, doctors and hospitals have extraordinary difficulty implementing and using electronic health records (EHRs). How should Medicine construct an intelligent health system that facilitates rapid learning, innovation and transformation in wellness, health care, public health, and research?Mandl presents the SMART Platform (, which capacitates EHRs and consumer-facing systems to run substitutable apps. As Mandl described in the New England Journal of Medicine, this software architecture supports creation and sustainability of an extensible ecosystem of apps, and stimulates a market for competition on value and price. The design principle of substitutability produces systems where a physician or researcher or a patient who wishes to add new functionality can simply delete an existing app and download a better one.

Mandl discusses the rapidly approaching tipping point in Medicine’s strategy for managing data and information for health and discovery.

November 1
Location: 30 BK
The Communication Revolution and Health Inequalities in the 21st Century: Promises and Pitfalls
K. “Vish” Viswanath
Harvard School of Public Health

The radical and transformative developments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) offer unprecedented opportunities to enhance population and individual health. At the same time, given the current context in which these technologies are being deployed and used — inequities that characterize health AND communications across different social groups -race and ethnicity, social class, and nations raises important questions for public health research, policy and practice. This presentation will characterize communication inequalities, link them to health inequalities and offer exemplar solutions to address the inequalities.

November 8
Location: 30 BK
PHI Open House
Short presentations from PHI Faculty
Details and video

November 15
Location: 30 BK
Models of Behavior Change: Implications and Challenges
Wayne Velicer
University of Rhode Island

Models of Behavior Change are different from Models of Behavior in four fundamental ways. First, models of behavior change focus on dynamic variables rather than static variable. Dynamic variables like psychosocial and behavioral variables are open to change. Static variables like past history and demographic variables cannot be easily modified. Second, the focus is on the individual evolutionary process. Models of Behavior Change need to model change over time. The nature of the change process and the pattern of change over time are critical. Third, models of behavior change need to be generalizable across behaviors. Models specific to a single behavior do little to advance science. Variables (manifest variables) will change across behaviors but constructs (latent variables) will not. Fourth, constructs that are curvilinear over time should be common in behavior change models. Typically, a person makes no effort to change a behavior, and then makes increasing effort, and then decreases effort as change becomes stable. Linear models, applied to curvilinear models will greatly underestimate the relationship. Models of behavior change will also result in a shift in focus for model testing with more emphasis on: (a) effect sizes estimation rather than traditional Null Hypothesis Testing; (b) Using methods like mediation analysis to identifying the mechanisms of behavior change; (c) Focusing on multivariate models to capture all aspects of the change process; (d) Focusing on longitudinal methods to include the temporal dimension; and (e) Testing theories through intervention development.

November 22
Thanksgiving Holiday – No Seminar

November 29
Location: 30 BK
Wearable Systems to Monitor Responses to Rehabilitation Interventions
Paolo Bonato
Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School

The concept of monitoring individuals in the home and community settings was first proposed more than 50 years ago, when Holter monitoring was proposed (in the late 1940s) and later adopted (in the 1960s) as a clinical tool. However, technologies to fully enable such vision were lacking and only sporadic and rather obtrusive monitoring techniques were available for several decades. Over the past decade, we have witnessed a great deal of progress in the field of wearable sensors and systems. Advances in this field have finally provided the tools to implement and deploy technology with the capabilities required to achieve effective patients’ home monitoring. These technologies provide the tools to achieve early diagnosis of diseases such as congestive heart failure, prevention of chronic conditions such as diabetes, improved clinical management of neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, and the ability to promptly respond to emergency situations such as seizures in patients with epilepsy and cardiac arrest in subjects undergoing cardiovascular monitoring. Current research efforts are focused on the development of systems enabling clinical applications. The current focus on developing and deploying wearable systems targeting specific clinical applications has the potential of leading to clinical adoption within the next five to ten years. In this talk, we will specifically focus on recent developments that appear to make the adoption of wearable technology attractive in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation.

December 6
Location: 30 BK
A New Wave of Patient-Centered Care: Technology-Supported Apprenticeship in the Management of Chronic Disease
John Moore
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Chronic disease is the most important cause of morbidity and mortality in developed countries, and the cost of its management under the current standard of care is unsustainable. The thesis of this talk is that apprenticeship as a paradigm of healthcare delivery, when supported by technological scaffolding and advanced communication tools, can improve the experience, clinical outcomes, and cost-effectiveness of chronic disease management. A software platform to support apprenticeship in the management of chronic disease, called CollaboRhythm, has been developed over the past 5 years. This platform is dramatically different than typical health information technology tools because it was designed to embrace the contribution of the patient and to support learning rather than to serve as a documentation and billing tool for physicians. Informed by research in computer supported cooperative work, it aims to maximally support effective collaboration between clinician and patient while being minimally intrusive in their interactions. Informed by pedagogical research, it aims to support techniques that have been validated in apprenticeship-based learning models such as scaffolding, modeling, articulation, coaching, reflection, and exploration. Randomized-controlled trials of apprenticeship applied to diabetes and hypertension management are being conducted to validate this new paradigm of healthcare delivery as well as the supporting CollaboRhythm platform.