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Computational Jewelry for Mobile Health (Amulet)

Funding Source

National Science Foundation (NSF)

Project Period

10/1/16 - 9/30/19

Principal Investigator

David Kotz, PhD (PI, Dartmouth College); Ryan Halter, PhD (Dartmouth College); Sarah Lord (Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College); Andres Molina-Markham, PhD (MITRE Corporation)(Co-PIs)

Project Summary

The advent of mobile health (mHealth) technology brings great opportunity to improve quality of life, improve individual and public health, and reduce healthcare costs. Although mHealth devices and applications are proliferating, many challenges remain to provide the necessary usability, manageability, interoperability, availability, security, and privacy. The goal of this project is to engineer the tools for, and lay the scientific foundation of, secure wearable mHealth. In the process, the investigators are developing a general framework for body-area pervasive computing, centered around health-monitoring and health-management applications. The vision is that computational jewelry, in a form like a bracelet or pendant, will provide the properties essential for successful body-area mHealth networks. These devices coordinate the activity of the body-area network and provide a discreet means for communicating with their wearer. Such devices complement the capabilities of a smartphone, bridging the gap between the type of pervasive computing possible with a mobile phone and that enabled by wearable computing. The interdisciplinary team of investigators is designing and developing ‘Amulet’, an electronic bracelet and a software framework that enables developers to create (and users to easily use) safe, secure, and efficient mHealth applications that fit seamlessly into everyday life. The research is determining the degree to which computational jewelry offers advantages in availability, reliability, security, privacy, and usability, and is developing techniques that provide these properties in spite of the severely-constrained power resources of wearable jewelry.

Public Health Relevance

The success of wearable mHealth applications for health care will depend on overcoming perceived barriers to use and promotion of comfort, accessibility, clear usability, and privacy and security in these applications. This project, led by an interdisciplinary team of engineers, computer scientists and behavioral health experts, will focus on strategies to overcome these barriers in the development of wearable jewelry, with an ultimate goal of promoting potential uptake of mHealth applications for improving health care delivery.