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DIGIMED17 conference set for October at STSI

A two-day conference that will explore the clinical evidence necessary to drive the widespread uptake of digital health solutions is being hosted by the Scripps Translational Science Institute in partnership with NatureResearch. DIGIMED17: Transforming Healthcare Through Evidence-Driven Digital Medicine is scheduled for October 5-7 at the STSI in La Jolla, California. 

"Currently, there is a shortage of clinical trial data investigating the role of digital medicine, although this evidence is critically necessary if it is to achieve its potential to transform care. There is a clear need for a forum to present, discuss and debate existing evidence and how to best obtain it in order to accelerate change," according to an overview on the conference website. "This one-of-its-kind, interactive conference will be led by a faculty composed of leaders in this burgeoning field, with a mix of developers, investigators and providers. The principal goal of the conference is to jumpstart efforts to drive the widespread incorporation of evidence-based digital medicine solutions for more-personalized, individual-centric care to improve outcomes, advance satisfaction and decrease costs."

mHealth textbook edited by MD2K researchers aims to offer a holistic view to newcomers

Three members of the research team at the Center of Excellence for Mobile Sensor Data-to-Knowledge (MD2K) are editors of a new mHealth textbook released recently by Springer.

Mobile Health: Sensors Analytic Methods and Applications, provides a comprehensive look at the current state-of-the-art in mHealth technology that is accessible to technology-oriented researchers and practitioners who have backgrounds in computer science, engineering, statistics and applied mathematics.

“The authors of this book, led by the editors James Rehg, Susan Murphy, and Santosh Kumar, represent many of the most respected and accomplished leaders in this rapidly growing field. They together represent the diversity of disciplines that make up mHealth, Deborah Estrin, the Robert V. Tishman Founder’s Chair in the Department of Computer Science at Cornell Tech, said in her forward. “I expect this book to become an indispensable resource for community members as they address new research problems, prepare publications and grant applications, plan courses, and act as consultants to other practitioners or researchers.”

Memphis-led team awarded $13.8 million to develop mPerf mobile sensor technology for workplace assessment

Many of us use mobile sensors to monitor our health and wellness. These sensors can now also be used to help us improve our work performance and productivity.

Toward that end, a University of Memphis-led, six-university team will develop and test a system of mobile sensors and software, called mPerf, that can be used to objectively assess everyday job performance. The mPerf project is sponsored by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA)’s Multimodal Objective Sensing to Assess Individuals with Context (MOSAIC) program.

Tips on applying to be an AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow

A series of videos posted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science aims to help potential fellows prepare the best possible application. AAAS accepts applications for the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships (STPF) through November 1. 

According to the AAAS website, the fellowships "provide opportunities to outstanding scientists and engineers to learn first-hand about policy making while contributing their knowledge and analytical skills to the federal policymaking process. Fellows serve yearlong assignments in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal government in Washington."

The video series features fellows discussing why they applied, how to draft a stand-out application, tips for interviewing, what the fellowship is like and how it transformed their careers.

MD2K Webinar: Marta Jankowska of UCSD on spatial technologies

Submissions sought for 'Proposed Study Design' session at MobiSys Workshop

The organizers of the 1st ACM MobiSys Workshop on Digital Biomarkers are looking for participants for a session on "Proposed Study Design. The session is not about experimental results. Rather, it will focus on user study design of the small to large-scale research projects/other practical explorations of various digital biomarkers. The organizers hope to bring together researchers from academia, industry and medical sciences to facilitate a lively and stimulating discussion about various digital biomarker related user study design challenges and solutions.

Those interested should submit a one-page writeup with a title and the presenter's name for the session. The write-ups will not be published as part of the ACM proceedings, but each submission will get a slot to be presented in the "Proposed Study Design" session of the workshop.

American College of Cardiology honors MD2K's Abraham

Dr. William T. Abraham, who leads the MD2K investigation on novel mobile sensor-based approaches to reducing readmission among congestive heart failure patients, is the 2017 Distinguished Scientist Award-Clinical Domain by the American College of Cardiology. The award recognizes Dr. Abraham’s contributions to the cardiovascular profession.

Dr. Abraham is director of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. The award was announced during the convocation ceremony at ACC’s 66th Annual Scientific Session & Expo held March 17-19 in Washington, D.C.

mHealth Connect 2017 includes public event

mHealth Connect 2017, scheduled for April 18-19 at Stanford University, will feature a public event on April 18, where participants can hear how organizations utilize consumer wearable devices to change how they operate, what challenges they face and their vision of the future. Attendees will be able to connect with device and app developers, clinicians and researchers. 

mHealth Connect, inaugurated in 2016, aims to improve the use of physical activity wearables and apps for clinical purposes. 

Attendance to the April 18 event is free, but you must register. The public event will be 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. in Paul Brest Hall in the Munger Conference Center at Stanford. 

Call for Papers: 1st Workshop on Digital Biomarkers

Papers are now being accepted for the 1st Workshop on Digital Biomarkers, collocated with MobiSys 2017 in Niagara Falls, New York. The workshop offers a unified forum that brings academics, industry researchers and medical practitioners together and seeks novel, innovative and exciting submissions broadly related to the modeling, testing, and validation of new digital biomarkers for predicting incidence of diseases, health conditions, effects of treatments, and interventions. It also aims to start a systematic discussion among experts from different knowledge domains including mobile sensing, systems, machine learning, medicine and health sciences in order to:

Call for papers: Symposium on Big Data Analytics for IoT Healthcare

Researchers are invited to submit papers for the Symposium on Big Data Analytics for IoT Healthcare, planned as part of the 5th IEEE Global Conference on Signal & Information Processing. The conference is planned for November 14-16, 2017 in Montreal.

From the announcement: "The rapid growth of Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data, as well as the public embracement of miniature wearable biosensors have generated new opportunities for personalized eHealth and mHealth services. The advantages of these services include the availability and accessibility, ability to personalize and tailor content, and cost-effective delivery. Still, many challenges need to be addressed in order to develop consistent, suitable, safe, flexible and power-efficient systems fit for medical needs. To enable this transformation, it requires multidisciplinary research, as well as close collaboration between academia and industries.

Applications open March 1 for Graduate Student Mentoring and Travel Support for ICAMPAM 2017

The deadline is March 15 to apply for support to attend the 5th International Conference on Ambulatory Monitoring of Physical Activity and Movement (ICAMPAM).

The National Science Foundation’s Smart and Connected Health Program is supporting 10 graduate students from campuses across the United States to attend ICAMPAM.

The International Society for the Measurement of Physical Behavior is partnering with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to organize the ICAMPAM 2017. The ICAMPAM 2017 will be held from June 21-23, 2017 at the NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA. The conference is planning to address multiple areas of ambulatory monitoring of physical activity and movement research. The ICAMPAM 2017 conference brings together leaders from the fields of ambulatory monitoring, wearable monitors, physical activity, sedentary, movement behavior, and advanced analytics.

WearSys seeks papers, posters/demos

The 3rd ACM Workshop on Wearable Systems and Applications (WearSys), held June 19 in conjunction with the ACM International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications and Services (MobiSys2017) has issued a call for submissions for papers or posters/demos.

WearSys is focused on wearable technologies that can shape mobile computing, systems and applications research. WearSys will provide a venue for presenting current research and technology trends, and debating future research agendas of wearable technology. It will provide a forum for discussing innovative and/or ideas that have potential for significant impact. WearSys is soliciting papers of six or fewer pages that present preliminary research in prototyping a wearable system, experience in designing a novel wearable technology, or survey of useful tools for designing inter-disciplinary wearable systems and applications. The worshop encourages position papers that propose new directions for research or advocate disruptive design ideas and project applications. Also encouraged are submissions that can help bootstrap exploration of the wearable design space by the broader mobile systems community. The deadline for submissions is March 21.

Article details CORE intiative on ethics in the digital age

An article published February 8 in the Journal of Medical Internet Research discusses the Connected and Open Research Ethics (CORE) initiative, a tool for researchers and Institutional Review Boards to help them share resources.

CORE, housed at the University of California-San Diego, is working to develop dynamic and relevant ethical practices to guide mHealth and digital medicine research. The paper, co-authored by John Torous, M.D., of Harvard Medical School and Camille Nebeker, M.S., Ed.D. of the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, Division of Behavioral Medicine at UCSD, encourages readers to join the CORE Network in order to contribute to the "bigger conversation" on ethics in the digital age. 

Dr. Nebeker gave a recent webinar on Research Ethics in the Digital Age as part of the MD2K Center's webinar series. 

Call for papers: Workshop on Digital Biomarkers to be co-located with MobiSys

A call for papers has been announced for the first Workshop on Digital Biomarkers, which will be co-located with MobiSys 2017. The workshop offers a unified forum designed to bring academics, industry researchers and medical practitioners together. The organizers seek novel, innovative and exciting submissions that are broadly related to the modeling, testing, and validation of new digital biomarkers for predicting incidence of diseases, health conditions, effects of treatments, and interventions.

The workshop aims to facilitate a systematic discussion among experts from different knowledge domains including mobile sensing, systems, machine learning, medicine and health sciences in order to:

  • Identify new digital biomarkers capturing behavioral health, chronic and degenerative diseases
  • Identify the key shortcomings of the existing mobile and wearable sensor systems, and research study software platforms (e.g., ResearchKit and ResearchStack) for digital biomarker inference in terms of scalability, customizability, and sensing affordances

Women in Data Science 2017 is Feb. 3

The second Women in Data Science (WiDS) Conference is scheduled to be held Feb. 3 at Stanford University is sold out, but there are several regional events being held and thje conference will be live-streamed. 

According to its website, the conference "aims to inspire and educate data scientists, regardless of gender, and support women in the field. It is a one-day technical conference that will feature the latest research in a number of domains as well as provide information on how companies are using data science to their advantage. 

In addition to the Stanford conference, WiDS events are being held at 46 other locations. A list can be found here. It will also be broadcast live.  


A look ahead and a look back

The new year promises to be an exciting one for mHealth. We thought we'd share some of the articles that look forward to 2017 (and a few that look back at 2016):

Applications due January 29 for the 2017 mHealth Training Institute

Applications are now being accepted for the 2017 mHealth Training Institute (mHTI), which will be held August 6-11, 2017 at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The application deadline is January 29. A total of 35 scholars will be selected to attend the institute.

The goal of the NIH-funded mHTI is to develop the next generation of academic mHealth researchers. The unique transdisciplinary incubator brings together researchers from disparate backgrounds for a week-long, immersive “bootcamp” in all things related to mHealth. In addition to providing the participants with a core educational grounding in transdisciplinary perspectives and methodologies essential to mHealth innovation, the mHTI seeks to instill in participants the intrapersonal and interpersonal skills and connections necessary for cross-cutting research.

BD2K Open Data Science Symposium Set for Dec. 1

The day-long 2016 BD2K Open Data Science Symposium: How Open Data and Open Science are Transforming Biomedical Research, will be held Dec. 1 in Bethesda, MD and webcast by the National Institutes of Health. 

The symposium, which will run 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET, will feature discussions with the leaders in big data, open science and biomedical research. It will also showcase the finalists of the Open Data Science Prize, an international competition that sought prototypes on how to best unlneash the power of open content and data to advance biomedical research and its application for health benefit.

Kumar to present OBSSR Director's Seminar

Santosh Kumar, director of the MD2K Center of Excellence, will present a seminar  on "Biobank for mHealth: Collecting High-frequency Mobile Sensor Data for Long-lasting Research Utility" as part of a Director's Seminar series sponsored by the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research at the National Institutes of Health.

The seminar will be at 1 p.m. CT on November 15.

Dr. Kumar's talk will discuss the adopting an approach to collecting digital mobile sensor data in a way that allows it to be reprocessed for future research use, much in the same way biomedical studies archive specimens in biobanks for future use.  The talk will also discuss current MD2K research and the software to support mHealth research studies.

To sign up for the webinar, go here.

FDA Grand Rounds: Dr. Richard Beger on biomarker discovery and validation in toxicity studies

A webcast on "Metabolomics and Proteomics Biomarkers Discovery and Validation in Toxicity Studies" will be presented by Richard Beger, M.S., Ph.D., Research Chemist with the FDA's National Center for Toxicological Research.

About the Presentation
Metabolomics and proteomics technologies are being used in nonclinical and clinical studies to discover translational biomarkers in biofluids that would enable us to diagnose toxicity and predict toxicity before it occurs. This presentation will discuss the discovery of metabolomics and proteomics biomarkers following administration of acetaminophen in mice, rats, and children. Another study will explore biomarkers of doxorubicin cardiotoxicity.

Introducing Discuss@MD2K

As part of our goal of fostering discusssion among mHealth researchers, the mHealthHUB and MD2K have created a page for those interested in discussing or asking questions about MD2K software and also mHealth topics in general. Discuss@MD2K presently has categories for questions relating to the MD2K software (mCerebrum, Cerebral Cortex). The site allows users to sign in using their Facebook, Google or Github logins.

Once a user links or creates an account and sign in, he or she can comment on existing topics or create new ones. Questions regarding MD2K software will be responded to as soon as practical by a member of the MD2K staff. We do ask that, before commenting or creating topics, you read the Terms of Service, FAQ/Guidelines, and Privacy Policy.

Apply for a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship

The American Association for the Advancement of Science is accepting applications for its Science and Technology Policy Fellowship (STPF). The application deadline is Nov. 1. The fellowships provide outstanding scientists and engineers the opportunity to learn first-hand about policy-making and to contribute their knowledge and analytical skills to the federal policy-making process. Fellows serve a one-year assignment in a branch of the federal government and receive a stipend along with other support, including reimbursement for health insurance.

Those who are interested can participate in an online chat with current AAAS S&T fellows to learn about the fellowship at 2 p.m. on Oct. 11. Go here to register for the chat. To apply, go here.

FDA competition aims to reduce deaths from opioid overdose

The Food and Drug Administration has announced a competition to develop an app that connects opioid users who are overdosing with people nearby that have naloxone, a medication that reverses the effects of an overdose.

The 2016 FDA Naloxone App Competition offers a $40,000 prize. The goal is to spur the development of "a low-cost, scalable, crowd-sourced mobile phone application that helps increase the likelihood that opioid users, their immediate personal networks, and first respondsers are able to identify and react to an overdose by administering naloxone," according to the FDA announcement. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 2 million Americans aged 12 or older either abused or were dependent on opioid pain killers in 2014. Also in 2014, 61 percent of drug overdose deaths involved either an opioid painkiller or heroin, and between 2013 and 2014, deaths from any opioid increased 14 percent. 

NSF awards $4 million to create a provenance cyberinfrastructure to enable sharing of high-frequency mobile sensor data

A team of researchers from four universities - UCLA, UC San Francisco, University of Memphis and University of Pennsylvania - have been awarded a new data cyberinfrastructure grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The team will develop a new cyberinfrastructure called mProv to annotate high-frequency mobile sensor data with data source, quality, validity, and semantics to facilitate sharing of such data with the wider research community.

The project, mProv: Provenance-based Data Analytics Cyberinfrastructure for High-frequency Mobile Sensor Data, will be led by Dr. Santosh Kumar, a professor and Moss Chair of Excellence in Computer Science. Dr. Zachary Ives, another computer scientist, will lead the University of Pennsylvania team, Dr. Ida Sim, a professor of Medicine and medical informaticist, will lead the UCSF site, and Dr. Mani Srivastava, an electrical engineer and computer scientist, will lead the UCLA team. Other collaborators on the project include Open mHealth, Open Humans, and Quantified Self.

BD2K Webinars focus on basics of data science in biomedical research

The Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Initiative will be presenting a seminar series, "The BD2K Guide to the Fundamentals of Data Science," at 9-10 a.m. PT every Friday beginning September 9. The virtual lecture series will focus ont he data science underlying modern biomedical research.

The seminar series is being jointly produced by the BD2K Centers-Coordination Center, the NIH Office of Data Science and the BD2K Training Coordinating Center. The regularly scheduled weekly webinar presentations will cover the basics of data management, representation, computation, statistical inference, data modeling and other topics relevant to "big data" biomedicine. 

Wireless Health 2016 issues Call for Late-Breaking Research Abstracts and Demonstrations

The Wireless Health Technical Program Committee has invited authors to submit late-breaking research for consideration as a demo or poster presentation at the 2016 annual scientific meeting, scheduled for October 25-27, 2016 at the National Institutes of Health Conference Center. 

In making the call, the committee is recognizing that "the most exciting and rapidly advancing investigations may include results that were not available at the time of the abstract submission deadline." However, this category is not intended to offer a second deadline for regular abstract submissions. 

NIH Awards $$55 million for precision medicine study

The National Institutes of Health today announced $55 million in awards in fiscal year 2016 to build the foundational partnerships and infrastructure needed to launch the Cohort Program of President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI). The PMI Cohort Program is a landmark longitudinal research effort that aims to engage 1 million or more U.S. participants to improve our ability to prevent and treat disease based on individual differences in lifestyle, environment and genetics.

The awards will support a Data and Research Support Center, Participant Technologies Center and a network of Healthcare Provider Organizations (HPO). An award to Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, to build the biobank, another essential component, was announced earlier this year. All awards are for five years, pending progress reviews and availability of funds. With these awards, NIH is on course to begin initial enrollment into the PMI Cohort Program in 2016, with the aim of meeting its enrollment goal by 2020.

Top minds in mHealth offer research agenda to address privacy, security issues

The adoption of mobile health technology has the potential to provide great benefits in terms of improved quality of healthcare, but is not without significant privacy and security challenges, according to a paper by four thought leaders in the field.

“Privacy and Security in Mobile Health: A Research Agenda,” featured in the June edition of Computer magazine, published by the IEEE Computer Society, examines the privacy and security challenges inherent in mobile health (mHealth) technology.

The paper was co-authored by David Kotz of Dartmouth College, Carl A. Gunter of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Santosh Kumar of the University of Memphis and Jonathan P. Weiner of the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and School of Medicine. The IEEE Computer Society, with more than 60,000 members, is the world's leading membership organization dedicated to computer science and technology.

MD2K, NIDA researchers develop method for mining sensor data to identify best time for mHealth intervention

One of the goals of mobile health, or mHealth, is to translate data from wearable sensors into useful information that can help people monitor and improve their health. One of the ways to do that is by providing a just-in-time intervention, such as a text message or prompt, that is issued based on sensor data collected in real time.

A major research challenge is determining when to intervene. Delivered too often or at the wrong times, an intervention might become ineffective or even counterproductive.

Papers by MD2K Researchers Accepted at ICSE, SIGMOD

MD2K researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, have had research papers accepted at two prestigious conferences. Dr. Tyson Condie and Matteo Interlandi, a postdoctoral scholar, were co-authors on both papers.

The research detailed in each of the papers focused on developing processes that help improve large-scale, or Big Data analytics using the Apache Spark cloud computing platform.

June 15 deadline to submit papers to HICSS

Papers are being sought for the mini-track “Social Media and Healthcare Technology” at the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), to be held January 4-7, 2017 at Hilton Waikoloa Village.

HICSS, which is associated with IEEE, is an international conference (50% of attendees are from outside the US) representing a broad array of systems sciences.

Precision Public Health Summit to focus on early childhood

A two-day meeting will focus on how big data can be used to help children during their first 1,000 days, which are an important developmental period in infants and children.

The Precision Public Health Summit: The First 1,000 Days, is being hosted June 6 and 7 by the University of California, San Francisco, and is jointly sponsored by the White House and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Funding Opportunity: Training in Biomedical Big Science Data

The National Institutes of Health has announced three Requests for Applications (RFA) for training in biomedical big data science.

According to an announcement, each of the opportunities has a goal of training more researchers who will use new Big Data technologies, methods and tools. Training is expected across three major scientific areas: computer science or informatics, statistics and mathematics, and biomedical science. 

BD2K is a trans-NIH initiative that aims to support advances in data science, other quantitative sciences, policy, and training that are needed for the effective use of big data in biomedical research.   

Deadline for Papers Extended to May 30: Wireless Health 2016

Wireless Health 2016 has extended the deadline for submission of papers  until 12:00 a.m.m PDT on May 30.

Wireless Health 2016 invites cutting edge wireless, connected and mobile health research from engineering, computer science, artificial intelligence, data analytics, biomedical and health disciplines. The unique mission of the Wireless Health conference, hosted again this year at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is to develop an international community to accelerate the development and adoption of new wireless, mobile and connected technologies designed to improve the quality and accessibility of health care interventions and promote public health.

Wireless Health 2016 will be held October 26-27 at NIH.

Precision medicine focus of healthcare industry event

Data analytics, precision medicine and the role they will play in healthcare in the future were the topics at an event hosted by Bloomberg Government and SAP Public Services on April 26. 

The event, held in Washington, D.C., featured leaders from the private and public sectors, to discuss genomics, bioinformatics data, synchronization of electronic health records and patients' privacy protection.

Patient engagement key to mHealth success

A study by a team of Army researchers found that the success of mHealth devices is dependent on the level of patient engagement. The study examined the effectiveness of an mHealth communications app called mCare. mCare is used to facilitate conversations between renabililtating soldiers and their care teams. 

Overall, the researchers found the mHealth tools helped to improve patient well-being but that the success of the app varied according to patient background and level of engagement.

Application deadline is April 18 for HDE Summer Institute

Applications are being sought for the first annual Health Data Exploration Project Summer Institutes scheduled for July 10-16 in San Diego, California.

The HDE Summer Institute is an intensive, 1-week training institute on personal health data research methods for doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars. Approximately 30 participants will be chosen by competitive application from a variety of relevant disciplines including public health, medicine, informatics, human-computer interaction, computer science, data science, and design. The application deadline is April 18.

Dishman named to direct PMI Cohort Program

The National Institutes of Health has selected Eric Dishman to head the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) Cohort Program. The PMI Cohort Program seeks to extend precision medicine to all diseases by building a national research cohort of at least 1 million U.S. participants. The cohort is a key element of President Obama's Precision Medicine Initiative, announced in January 2015. 

PMI takes into account individual variability in genes, environment and lifestyle when designing treatment for disease. By taking into account the biological, environmental and behavioral influences on on diseases, researchers hope to enable a new era of medicine in which researchers, providers and patients work together to develop individualized treatment plans.

Call for proposals: Mood Challenge for ResearchKit

The Mood Challenge, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is asking researchers, technologists and data scientists to submit proposals for ResearchKit Astudies to examine mood and its relationship to daily life, health and well-being.

Interested researchers can register for an April 19 informational webinar. Proposals are due May 22, and semifinalists will be announced in July. Finalists will be announced in October and the winner announced in May 2017.

WHO guidelines address reporting on mHealth interventions

The World Health Organization's mHealth Technical Evidence Review Group has developed a mHealth Evidence and Reporting Assessment (mERA) checklist.

According to a paper in The BMJ, "The mHealth Evidence and Reporting (mERA) checklist was developed as a checklist of items which could be applied by authors developing manuscripts that aim to report on the effectiveness of mHealth interventions and by peer reviewers and journal editors reviewing such evidence."

FTC online tool helps guides developers to mHealth rules

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has created an online tool that will help developers of health-related mobile apps to understand what federal laws and rules may apply to their apps.

“Mobile app developers need clear information about the laws that apply to their health-related products,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a press release. “By working with our partner agencies, we’re helping these businesses build apps that comply with the law and provide more protection for consumers.”

Vote in 2016 GIST Tech-I Global Pitch Competition

The U.S. Department of State and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) have announced the selection of 102 semifinalists in the 2016 Tech-I Global Pitch Competition. Until May 1, the semifinalists’ 90-second pitch videos will be put to a global online vote to help determine the thirty finalists who will pitch at the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES 2016), June 23-24 in Silicon Valley, CA.

According to a press release, the semifinalists represent 51 emerging economies, including 11 economies that are eligible for the first time in the U.S. Department of State's Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) Initiative.

SBP-BRiMs 2016 issues Grand Data Challenge

Researchers with an interest in using data to address a social or policy issue are invited to participate in a Grand Data Challenge posed by the 2016 International Conference on Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling, & Prediction and Behavior Representation in Modeling and Simulation.

 "Fundamental research problems exist in how to fuse data, how to identify the relevant portions of the data, how assess change in the data, how to sample the data, and how to visualize the data. These issues must be met to advance social theorizing and improve policy analysis," according to the challenge overview. "This year’s SBP-BRiMS challenge problem invites you to take part in addressing one or more of these challenges."

Call for Papers: Journal of Future Generation Computer Systems

The Elsevier Journal of Future Generation Computer Systems (Impact Factor: 2.8) has issued a call for papers for a special issue on Internet-of-Things and Big Data for Smarter Healthcare: From Device to Architecture, Applications and Analytics.

According to the announcement: 

The interaction between technology and healthcare has a long history. However, the rapid growth of Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data, as well as the public embracement of miniature wearable biosensors have generated new opportunities for personalized eHealth and mHealth services. The advantages of these services include the availability and accessibility, ability to personalize and tailor content, and cost-effective delivery.

Profile: The Health Data Exploration Project

(This article is one in a series of occasional profiles of mHealth-related research projects. If you would like to have your project featured on mHealthHUB, please contact us.)

The Health Data Exploration (HDE) Project is working to utilize personal health data (PHD) for the public good – that is, help people better understand their health by making better use of the information they already gather every day.

According to its mission statement, the project wants to make use of the individual’s “digital footprints,” data everyone collects actively and passively as they go about their day. This data can be aggregated, analyzed and used to “fill in gaps in more traditional clinical or public health data collection, giving us a more complete picture of health.”

Survey shows use of apps and wearables has increased

The use of wearables and mobile apps by U.S. consumers has doubled in the past 2 years, according to a survey by Accenture.

Accenture surveyed 8,000 consumers in 7 countries, including about 2,225 in the United States. Among the findings released last week were that  the number of consumers in the U.S. who use mobile health apps increased from 16% in 2004 to 33% in 2016. The number of consumers using health wearables rose from 9 percent to 21 percent during the same time. 

Grand Data Challenge at SBP-BRiMs 2016

A Grand Data Challenge will beheld in conjunction with the 2016 International Conference on Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling, & Prediction and Behavior.

SBP-BRiMS is a multidisciplinary conference with a selective single paper track and poster session. The conference also invites a small number of high quality tutorials and nationally recognized keynote speakers. The conference has grown out of two related meetings: SBP and BRiMS, which were co-located in previous years.

Exposome Summer Course offered at Emory

A week-long workshop designed to provide "a comprehensive and intensive overview of the emerging science of the exposome" will be held June 12-17 at Emory University in Atlanta. 

The Emory Exposome Summer Course will bring together exports from top institutions, including Johns Hopkins, Harvard, UCLA, Berkeley, NIEHS and NCATS to provide updates on scientific progress on the exposome and related areas. Interactive laboratory sessions will allow participants to use cloud-based programs to analyze exposome-related datasets.

HHS posts guidance for mHealth app developers

If you are developing mobile health applications, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has a mHealth Developer Portal that can help answer questions on how the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) may apply to mHealth apps.

Last week, the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) posted some new guidance on the portal. 

Hosts sought for community-based Precision Medicine events

The White House is looking for organizations interested in hosting Precision Medicine events in their communities, which will play a vital role in making President Obama's vision of Precision Medicine a reality.

According to a website soliciting participation the Precision Medicine Initiative "requires an all-hands-on-deck approach, so as we continue the Federal Government's Work, we know that the work you are doing is just as important."

Center to focus on sensor detection of pediatric asthma

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Southern California are teaming up to develop wireless sensors and other analytical devices that can predict and prevent the onset of pediatric asthma attacks.

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $6.1 million grant to the Center for Biomedical Real-Time Health Evaluation for Pediatric Asthma (BREATHE) to study and develop the technology with a goal of reducing the incidence of medical emergencies and allowing caregivers and people with chronic conditions to monitor their health in real time.

Transatlantic Data Science Workshop, March 1-2

Stanford University, in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Research Councils of the United Kingdom (RCUK) with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), is hosting a Transatlantic Data Science Workshop.

This two-day workshop will be held on March 1-2, 2016 at the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD.

TechSAge Design Competition 2016

Entries are being accepted for an international design competition on technologies to support successful aging with disability. The TechSAge Design Competition is a two-phase competition designed to foster highly creative and impactful concepts.

Those with technology-enabled solutions that will help and empower the aging population should enter online at by January 15, 2016.

Apply for NCSRR/OpenSim Visiting Scholars Program

Applications have opened for the National Center for Simulation in Rehabilitation Research (NCSRR)/OpenSim Visiting Scholars program to be held next summer at Stanford University. The program fosters expertise and collaborations in biomechanical simulations for rehabilitation research.

According to the announcement, up to four individuals will be chosen to visit the NCSRR at Stanford University for a 5-week period during the summer of 2016, from mid-June to mid-July.

Article explores how Open mHealth designs its schemas

The website EMR and EHR has published an informative 3-part series on Open mHealth’s schema modeling that does a great job explaining the common mobile health schemas and the design principles Open mHealth used in designing its schemas.

The series was written by Andy Oram, an editor at O’Reilly Media. Oram frequently writes on topics related to open source software, software engineering and health IT.

NIDA Challenge focuses on addiction research apps

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has announced a new challenge/prize competition, "Addiction Research: There's an App for that" which seeks novel mobile applications for future addition research. 

The NIDA challenge seeks apps created exclusively on Apple Inc.'s ResearchKit framework. Apple released ResearchKit as open-source software designed to make it easy for researchers and developers to create apps for specific biomedical research questions.

Precision medicine challenge announced

The National Health IT Collaborative (NHIT) has announced a challenge on “Advancing Health Equity through Precision Medicine Tools.”

According to its website, the challenge will award prizes of $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000 to teams that develop and demonstrate digital health tools that:

Webinar: Will the exposome contribute to risk assessment? Interactions with policy-making

The NIEHS Exposure Science and the Exposome Webinar Series has scheduled a special webinar with stakeholders in EXPOsOMICS & HELIX for Dec. 9. The webinar, titled, "Will the exposome contribute to risk assessment? Interactions with policy-making," will be held 11 a.m.-1 p.m. EST on Wednesday, December 9, 2015.

PMI Funding Opportunities

The Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) has announced several funding opportunities. 

The PMI is a $215 million initiative announced in January by President Obama. It is aimed at accelerating patient-oriented biomedical research to give doctors more ways to tailor treatment to individual patients’ genetic makeup.

MD2K research detects smoking via mobile sensor data

Anyone who’s tried to quit smoking knows that the path to success is fraught with challenges. Every day you get up with the best of intentions, but as the day progresses, there are tests.

Finding a way to keep that first lapse from happening would be a huge step towards helping people to remain tobacco-abstinent. And the importance of giving up tobacco cannot be underestimated. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

International Journal of Behavioral Medicine seeks papers for special issue

The International Journal of Behavioral Medicine plans to publish a special issue on e-health interventions for addictive behaviors.

According to the journal's website, "This special issue of the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine (IJBM)* will be devoted to papers on e-health interventions for addictive behaviors. Addictive behaviors involving alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, and behavioral addictions, trouble up to one-fifth of adult populations in different countries, with higher problem rates among younger persons."

Upcoming workshop: Data Science, Learning, and Applications to Biomedical & Health Sciences

A workshop on "Data Science, Learning, and Applications to Biomedical & Health Sciences (DSLA-BHS2016)” will be held on Jan. 7-8, 2016 at the NY Academy of Sciences

According to the workshop overview, "Most of the areas that encompass healthcare have undergone a decade of evolution in the expansion of available electronic data. Notable among these areas are the digitization of electronic health records, the aggregation of research and development data into databases by pharmaceutical companies and the release of decades of stored patient data by the federal government for research purposes (e.g., Human Connectome, Medicaid/Medicare claims, epidemiology, treatments, clinical trials, bio medical research), and the onset of patient-self tracking.

NIH Announces Plans for the ECHO Program

NIH has announced plans for the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program

According to the announcement, after the closure of the National Children’s Study in fiscal year (FY) 2015, Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, established a working group of NIH staff with expertise in the links between the environment and child health and development.

MD2K’s first year yields gains toward goal of precision medicine

As its first year wraps up, the Center of Excellence for Mobile Sensor Data-to-Knowledge (MD2K) has made significant progress towards its goal of using mobile sensor data to realize Precision Medicine.

The MD2K Center is tasked with developing the means to gather, analyze, visualize and interpret health-related mobile sensor data. This capability is critical to discovering new insights on the role of behavioral and environmental context in the onset and progression of disease. The ultimate goal is to develop timely and personalized mobile health interventions for early detection and prevention of adverse health events, which will help realize the vision of Precision Medicine articulated by President Obama in January.

Best Paper Honors

A paper co-authored by an MD2K investigator won Best Paper and Best Community Paper honors at the Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MobiCom 2015), currently underway in Paris, France.

CAreDroid: Adaptation Framework for Android ContextAware Applications, was  co-authored by Salma Elmalaki, Lucas Wanner and Mani Srivastava of UCLA. Dr. Srivastava is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Los Angeles and the lead of MD2K's computation thrust, which is tasked with designing and implementing the Big Data software platforms that support MD2K's research.

The award-winning paper can be accessed here. MobiCom 2015 continues through Sept. 11.

MD2K September Update

We are almost halfway through Year 2, and it’s very clear that the entire MD2K team has been busy! The first studies have been launched, and the center is approaching its first software release in December. Papers have been accepted and presented at multiple conferences as MD2K projects move forward. As we prepare for the MD2K Annual Meeting (Sept. 14-16), here is a rundown on the team’s accomplishments for the period between April 2015 and September 2015:

Widespread use of mobile tech is game-changer

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The ubiquitous nature of the mobile phone is a game-changer for researchers focused on mobile health, Dr. Bonnie Spring of Northwestern University told a group gathered to mark the 20th anniversary of the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR).

Using sensors to sort one gesture from another

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When researchers use sensor data to identify when a person is smoking, they face a conundrum: How to discern the act of taking a puff from the myriad gestures a person can make?

There are a variety of sensors at the researchers’ disposal, Dr. Santosh Kumar told attendees at a research symposium held in late June as part of events held to mark the 20th anniversary of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) at the National Institutes of Health.