Written by Taylor Zhao
Edited by Dr. Alex Bui and Eileen Chiao
The LA PRISMS (Los Angeles Pediatric Research Integrating Sensor Monitoring Systems) Center has brought together researchers from University of California, Los Angeles and University of Southern California to develop a mobile health (mHealth) system catered to children with asthma. This 6-million-dollar project collects environmental and physiological data from sensors, combines it with a patient’s medical health record, and streams it in real-time to a smartwatch/smartphone. This allows for a deeper understanding of when an asthma attack is most likely to occur for a specific patient and will tailor to their individual needs over time.
Dr. Alex Bui, a Professor of Radiological Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine and Director of UCLA Medical Imaging Informatics (MII), is the principal investigator for this platform, called BREATHE (Biomedical REAl-Time Health Evaluation). In addition to overseeing BREATHE, Dr. Bui leads of one of three projects focusing on combining the sensor data with a range of information, including the child’s medical history as well as factors unique to their environment, like air quality, weather, and pollen count, leading to predictive models based on what has been collected.
As the platform’s focus is on children with asthma, there are some challenges that arise with pulling data from such a heterogeneous group. With the wide range of activities that children participate in, creating a unified model is problematic; and the large amount of data gathered from the sensors makes computation extremely difficult. Because of these challenges, developing new techniques in computing to work with this data is a primary focus. Additionally, privacy and security issues call for building secure methods of extracting and using data.
Other key researchers and project leaders from the BREATHE platform include: Drs. Frank Gilliland and Rima Habre from the University of Southern California Environmental Health Sciences Center, Dr. Majid Sarrafzadeh, a professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at UCLA, and Rose Rocchio, Director of Mobile & Web Strategy, Education & Research for the Office of Information Technology (OIT) at UCLA.
For more information, visit the LA PRISMS website.