A symposium to consider how to measure functioning as a marker of benefit in clinical trials is scheduled for June 23-24 at the Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel in Arlington, Virginia.

The Measuring What Matters Symposium is being hosted by the International Society for Quality of Life Research (ISOQOL). The program's goals are to discuss definitions and concepts of functioning; identify fit-for-purpose approaches to measurement, including mobile devices and wearable technologies, and identify evidence needs for different stakeholders, including regulators, payers, clinicians and patients. 

The speakers for the 2018 mHealth Technology Showcase, slated for June 4 at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), include several thought leaders in the field of mobile health (mHealth) research.

The day will begin with a keynote address by William (Bill) Riley, Ph.D., Director of the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), followed by presentations by:

Santosh Kumar, Ph.D., director of the Center of Excellence for Mobile Sensor Data-to-Knowledge (MD2K) at the University of Memphis;
Gregory Marcus, MD, MAS, Director of Clinical Research, Division of Cardiology, University of California, San Francisco; 

Showcase replay now available

To view a replay of the mHealth Technology Showcase, go here

Links to speaker slides, descriptions of the technology that was demonstrated and posters that were presented go here

 

Mobile health (mHealth) provides unprecedented opportunities to measure dynamic changes in health state and the key physical, biological, behavioral, social, and environmental factors that contribute to health and disease risk. In the last decade, a significant number of mHealth technologies have been developed and applied to advance health research. They include wearable and mobile sensors for data collection; discovery and validation of novel mHealth biomarkers; software platforms for large-scale participant enrollment and data collection; big data software for data analysis, visualization, and discovery, and mobile apps for self-monitoring and intervention.

The mHealth Technology Showcase will bring together technology developers, health researchers, and federal program staff on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

William (Bill) Riley, Ph.D., Director of the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), will be the keynote speaker for the 2018 mHealth Technology Showcase, which will bring together technology developers, health researchers, and federal program staff on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus in Bethesda, Maryland. The meeting will be held 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. June 4 in the Natcher Auditorium at NIH, with a grant-writing workshop from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

The goal for the meeting is to discuss how the mobile health (mHealth) research community can work together to improve the specificity, reliability, and validity of health indicators extracted from data collected from wearable and mobile sensors, in the context of rapidly evolving and increasingly complex and diverse technologies. 

Registration is open for "Challenges and Solutions for Involving the Aging Population in Smart and Connected Communities," a workshop to be held April 19-20, at the Hilton Garden Inn at Stony Brook (New York) University.

The workshop is funded by the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Smart and Connected Communities (S&CC) program, Stony Brook University’s Department of Civil Engineering and School of Social Welfare and will focus on the potential of S&CC to benefit the aging population and anticipated challenges. The goal of the S&CC program is “to accelerate the creation of the scientific and engineering foundations that will enable smart and connected communities to bring about new levels of economic opportunity and growth, safety and security, health and wellness, and overall quality of life."

Applications for the 2018 mHealth Training Institute or mHTI (July 29 – August 3, 2018) at the University of California, Los Angeles) are now being accepted. Building on the success of past mHTIs, the week-long immersion program uses a blended learning environment to provide selected scholars with a core grounding in latest mHealth methodologies and develops their capacity to successfully contribute to team science. Through reflective and active learning guided by faculty mentors, scholars will apply the gained knowledge to developing transdisciplinary mHealth solutions for real-world health problems, while building an interdisciplinary learning community and a dense scientific network.

NIH has announced 12 awards totaling $9 million in Fiscal Year 2017 to launch a National Institutes of Health Data Commons Pilot Phase that will seek best practices for developing and managing a data commons. 

According to an NIH release, "a data commons is a shared virtual space where scientists can work with the digital objects of biomedical research, such as data and analytical tools. The NIH Data Commons will be implemented in a four-year pilot phase to explore the feasibility and best practices for making digital objects available through collaborative platforms.

Four papers co-authored by researchers at the Center of Excellence for Mobile Sensor Data-to-Knowledge (MD2K) were presented last month at the International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2017). held in Maui, Hawaii.

Each of the papers dealt with a different aspect of mobile health (mHealth) research: user engagement, visual analytics, eating detection, and detection of fatigue using computational eyeglasses. In its fourth year of NIH-funded research, MD2K researchers have had more than 200 papers and articles accepted for publication.

Dr. Wendy Nilsen will give a webinar on "Smarter Health and Our Future" as part of the Data Science Roundtable Series presented by the South Big Data Hub.

Dr. Nilsen is Program Director for Smart & Connected Health at the National Science Foundation, The webinar will be moderated by Lea Shanley, Co-Executive Director of South Big Data Hub. 

Abstract: Science is changing rapidly and new transdisciplinary approaches are resulting in transformative change across domains. Health and medicine have begun to embrace convergent approaches that involve expertise from non-traditional biomedical disciplines, such as computing and engineering. Informatics and analytics are especially poised to contribute to these changes by bringing sophisticated techniques to partnerships in the biomedical realm. This talk will cover some current advances and a vision for a future of smart health. 

A Career Day featuring panelists from a variety of disciplines will be held Oct. 25, in conjunction with MD2K's 2017 Annual Meeting. 

Career options for those earning doctoral degrees are varied and extend far beyond traditional academic trajectories. A recent graduate can find themselves with options in several tracks, ranging from academia to industry to government. 

MD2K is holding this career day to help recent and future graduates to make informed decisions and to strengthen their applications. Two panels will be discuss the various career paths, their prospects and tradeoffs, and the future directions these choices could lead to. 

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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, 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. 

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:

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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

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.  

 

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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. 

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.   

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.”

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.

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."

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.

(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.”

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. 

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.

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.

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."

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.

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 www.techsagecompetition.com by January 15, 2016.

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.

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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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."

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 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.

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.

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.

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:

This article was originally posted at md2k.org

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).

This article was originally posted at md2k.org

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.