Projects

Family Caregiver

A home-based, culturally and language specific intervention for dementia family caregivers: stress reduction and education with wearable technology for health

A home-based, culturally and language specific intervention for dementia family caregivers: stress reduction and education with wearable technology for health

The $3.7M NIH R01 project entitled “A home-based, culturally and language specific intervention for dementia family caregivers: stress reduction and education with wearable technology for health” received funding from the National Institute of Aging (NIA). Jung-Ah Lee and Amir Rahmani are the PIs, and Lisa Gibbs, Adey Nyamathy, and Sanghyuk Shin are Co-Is of this project. The program aims to build caregiving and stress-management skills in family caregivers of persons with dementia or mild cognitive impairment. The study involves remote monitoring using wearable sensors, home visits, and follow-ups. This research is conducted in collaboration with Dr. Jung-Ah Lee’s group at UCI (https://faculty.sites.uci.edu/caregiverstudy/).


Publications:

– Jung-Ah Lee, Anthony Park, and Amir M. Rahmani, “Sleep Duration and Quality in Dementia Caregivers: Wearable Iot Technology,” Western Institute of Nursing’s 52nd Annual Communicating Nursing Research Conference (WINURSING’20), 2020, USA.
– Jung-Ah Lee, Sina Labbaf, Amir M. Rahmani, Priscilla Kehoe, and Nikil Dutt, “Wearable Internet-of-Things Technology: An Immigrant Dementia Caregivers Pilot Intervention,” The Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC’19), 2019, USA.
– Jung-Ah Lee, Kajung Hong, Jessica Borelli, and Amir M. Rahmani, “A Culturally Sensitive Dementia Family Caregiver Pilot Study,” Western Institute of Nursing’s 52nd Annual Communicating Nursing Research Conference (WINURSING’19), 2019, USA.


Research Partners:

Alzheimer’s Association Orange County Chapter,
Alzheimer’s Orange County,
Family Caregiver Resource Center,
Council of Aging,
Korean Community Services Health Center,
Southland Integrated Services, Inc


FoodLogging Platform

FoodLogging Platform

Models are built using data. Most successful search, social media, and recommendation systems are built using personal models to provide people the right information, at the right time, in the right context, usually even before a user articulates his need. Food recommendation systems need to be built using the same approach. A personal food model is essential for recommending the right food item at the right time. It is also essential to predict the effect of food so the right suggestions can be made to avoid unpleasant situations. We need to build such models using food logs collected for the person. Many applications for foodlogging are being developed based on detecting the dish or item being consumed and finding nutritional elements based on ingredients in these items. Detecting items and the volumes consumed requires a multimodal platform and nutritional data sources for items prepared using specific ingredients and recipes. To see more information please watch this YouTube demo.

Digital Health for Future of Community-Centered Care (D-CCC)

Digital Health for Future of Community-Centered Care (D-CCC)

This project funded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) focuses on the future of work in the context of community-centered care. The adhoc nature of the healthcare system in the USA necessitates an organized and affordable platform to increase the reach and services to the majority of the population. Currently, caregivers provide critical medical assistance in a community setting, particularly for elderly, disabled and vulnerable populations. Several states including California employ a community healthcare worker (CHW) initiative as an alternative to registered health care professionals to extend the reach of home-delivered services. While there is a critical need to scale and personalize these services, it faces significant challenges in the face of the increasing number of elderly, disabled and vulnerable communities requiring medical assistance, coupled with low wages for caregivers and rapidly increasing demands for skilled labor. The existing community-centered care (CCC) model is led by registered nurses (RNs) who train and supervise the CHWs, who in turn provide the necessary care for the community. This CCC model suffers from an inability to scale in a cost-effective manner while providing personalized and quality care for the community. The project proposes the digital health enabled community-centered care (D-CCC) model to transform the manual, restricted, and unstructured state of the current community healthcare landscape into a scalable, digital, and automated space. See more information here.

Research Team:
* Amir Rahmani
* Adey Nyamathi
* Nikil Dutt
* Pramod Khargonekar
* Pamela Austin
* Anil Kanduri
* Sara Rodrigues

DEPRESSION DETECTION AND HELP USING PERSONICLE

Holistic Stress Reduction in Adolescents through Multi-modal Personal Chronicles

Holistic Stress Reduction in Adolescents through Multi-modal Personal Chronicles

Emotional stress is a major factor contributing to the leading causes of death in the United States. Adolescence is a particularly risky period of development during which rates of mental disorders and mortality increase dramatically, changes which may in part be due to rapid shifts in physical and psychological development in the context of brain immaturing. Stress management and reduction are crucial capacities for adolescents since they often experience high-intensity negative emotions and lack the maturity required to exert top-down control over these intense emotional experiences. Effective stress management techniques for adolescents must meet them where they live — on their smartphones– and engage them as active participants in their health assessment/promotion. This proposal aims to develop a holistic stress reduction strategy combining emerging IoT technologies with a multi-modal lifelogging framework that enables psychologists and caregivers to identify the root causes of stress and build an evidence-based approach to monitoring stress and emotion in adolescents.

iHurt

Intelligent and Automatic Pain Assessment Tool Employing Behavioral and Physiologic Indicators

Intelligent and Automatic Pain Assessment Tool Employing Behavioral and Physiologic Indicators

Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage. It is a subjective sensation and patients self-report is considered the most reliable indicator of pain. However, assessment of pain is particularly difficult when the ability of the patient to communicate is limited or impossible e.g. during critical illness, under sedation and anesthesia or for infants.

The objective of this project is to benefit from the offered features of the IoT and sensor networks to provide an automatic tool which can detect and assess pain employing behavioral and physiologic indicators such as facial muscle activity, heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. The aim of this project is to develop a system based on Internet of Things to detect and assess pain in a reliable and objective way by enabling the pain diagnoses in the case when the patient is unable to communicate and express the pain sensations.


Research Partners:

School of Nursing, University of California, Irvine, USA
UCI Medical Center, University of California, Irvine, USA
Department of Computer Science, University of California, Irvine, USA
Department of Informatics, University of California, Irvine, USA
Department of Future Technologies, University of Turku, Finland
Department of Nursing Science, University of Turku, Finland
Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, University of Turku, Finland
Division of Perioperative Services, Intensive Care Medicine and Pain Management, Turku University Hospital, Finland
Center for Functional Materials (FUNMAT), Åbo Akademi University, Finland


IoCT-CARE

Internet of Cognitive Things for Personalized Healthcare

Internet of Cognitive Things for Personalized Healthcare

Quality of Experience (QoE) is a key metric for the successful delivery of end-user services for IoT-enabled applications. Achieving consistent end-user QoE poses tremendous challenges in the face of resource constraints and dynamic variations at multiple scales of the IoT system stack: at the application, network, resource, and device levels. This proposal outlines a self-aware cognitive architecture – the Internet of Cognitive Things (IoCT) – that delivers acceptable QoE by adapting to dynamic variations in infrastructural compute, communication and resource needs, while also synergistically learning and adapting to end user behavior. The approach leverages edge (i.e., Fog) computing architectures to introduce intelligence and adaptability in integrated multi-scale IoT systems. The objective is to efficiently manage information acquisition, communication and processing across different scales of the IoT systems, while synergistically coupling learning of end-user behaviors to deliver efficient and customized services. The proposed IoCT system is the first example of architecture where a network of algorithms communicates and collaborates synergistically to achieve a system-wide objective. Cognition and edge computing architectures are leveraged to introduce intelligence and adaptability in integrated multi-scale IoT systems, through a Personal Holistic Cognitive Optimization (PHCO) framework. To this aim, the IoCT will adopt recently proposed learning and control techniques (i.e. Deep Q-Networks), and exploit self-awareness principles to achieve effective system optimization. The project leverages on-going collaboration with the Turku University Hospital to demonstrate a personalized ubiquitous healthcare framework using the Early Warning Score (EWS) system for human health monitoring. Healthcare spending accounts for almost 17% of the GDP in the US. In healthcare, effective monitoring and observation of patients plays a key role in detecting a deteriorating patient. This project’s exemplar application on efficient early detection of these life-threatening signs can potentially save lives through better quality of care, and timely delivery of critical/urgent health indicators. The framework and services are also applicable to a broad range of other IoT application domains.


A joint project between the Academy of Finland and National Science Foundation (NSF), US.


Link to Academy of Finland press release (available only in Finnish)
http://www.aka.fi/fi/akatemia/media/Tiedotteet1/2017/suomen-akatemia-ja-yhdysvaltojen-kansallinen-tiedesaatio-nsf-rahoittavat-yhdessa-langattoman-tietoliikenteen-tutkimushankkeita/

PREVENT

Preterm Birth Prevention in Everyday Settings

Preterm Birth Prevention in Everyday Settings

Preterm birth (PTB) is the most common cause of neonatal deaths. Due to the high rate of PTBs (15M/y), it is extremely beneficial to identify the women at risk at an early stage and prevent PTB. Physiological parameters could help us to uncover and model multifactorial processes that lead to PTB. Continuous monitoring of such parameters holds significant promise to successful prevention. Internet of Things (IoT) technologies can be leveraged to create the ability to perform such monitoring throughout pregnancy. In this project, we tackle PTB issues by proposing an IoT platform tailored for PTB prevention for everyday settings. Our core contributions are 1) a customized architecture including a set of wearable electronic devices that are feasible for 7-9 months of continuous monitoring, 2) a personalized PTB prevention solution using artificial intelligence methods, and 3) a comprehensive performance assessment via the implementation of this monitoring in clinical trials.

Funded by Academy of Finland

SLIM

Supporting Lifestyle Change in Obese Pregnant Mothers through Wearable Internet-of-Things

Supporting Lifestyle Change in Obese Pregnant Mothers through Wearable Internet-of-Things

Pregnant women with obesity have indisputably increased risk for gestational diabetes mellitus, depression, miscarriage, and preterm birth, just to mention few. These pregnancy complications clearly have negative effects on their unborn children. Due to the magnitude of this global challenge it calls for immediate action. During the course of this project, an Internet-of-Things-based intelligent monitoring system will be developed to detect and predict obesity-related pregnancy complications as early as possible. Cybernetic health concept will be utilized by intertwining lifestyle and environmental data together with bio-signals associated with medical knowledge to develop a closed-loop system to make maternity care more effective, dynamic and end-user driven. This is done via a platform that leverages portable devices and inexpensive wearable sensors, coupled with a multimodal event modeling, activity recognition, and life-logging engine. This research will deliver a ubiquitous pregnancy monitoring service to end-users, mothers, and healthcare providers, enabling pregnancy events detection, prediction, assessment, and prevention.

Funded by Academy of Finland

Objective Stress Monitoring

Objective Stress Monitoring based on Wearable Sensors in Everyday Settings

Objective Stress Monitoring based on Wearable Sensors in Everyday Settings

Monitoring people’s stress has become an essential part of behavioral studies for physical and mental illnesses conducted within the biopsychosocial framework. There have been several stress assessment studies in laboratory-based controlled settings. However, the results of these studies do not always translate effectively into an everyday context. The current state of wearable sensor technology allows us to develop systems measuring the physiological signals reflecting stress 24/7 while capturing the context. In this project, we develop a stress monitoring system that provides objective daily stress measurements in everyday settings based on wearable sensors. This research is conducted in collaboration with the UCI THRIVE LAB at the Department of Psychological Science.

UNITE

Smart, Connected, and Coordinated Maternal Care for Underserved Communities

Smart, Connected, and Coordinated Maternal Care for Underserved Communities

UNITE (UNderserved communITiEs) presents a community engagement model that is smart, deploying ubiquitous monitoring and lifelogging; connected, bringing together a diverse cast of community members including mothers, families, care providers, and outreach resources; and coordinated, using technology to proactively reach out to the community and use personalized intervention and education for improved self-management by the women. The UNITE project champions a model that is scalable in size, portable across different ethnic communities, and promises improved outcomes through better self-management and community enhanced motivational factors. The UNITE project performs a controlled study using a community of underserved Orange County mothers together with non-profit agencies, hospitals, and local support organizations to evaluate the efficacy of this new community-enhanced self-management approach, and its impact on community building. The project builds larger communities of healthcare providers, insurance providers, and governmental agencies that can work in concert to enhance the well-being and lifestyles of mothers and families across a diverse spectrum of socio-economically disadvantaged groups. The UNITE project also trains the next generation of healthcare providers to deploy socio-economically relevant Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology in a cost-effective and user-friendly manner.

UNITE is funded through the National Science Foundation grant CNS-1831918 within the NSF Smart and Connected Communities (S&CC) program.


Research Partners:

MOMS Orange County
School of Nursing, University of California, Irvine, USA
School of Information and Computer Sciences, University of California, Irvine, USA
School of Education, University of California, Irvine, USA
School of Social Ecology, University of California, Irvine, USA
UCI Medical Center, Orange, CA, USA
St. Joseph’s Hospital of Orange, CA, USA
Children & Families Commission of Orange County, CA, USA
Community Health Initiative of Orange County, CA, USA
Department of Future Technologies, University of Turku, Finland
Department of Nursing Science, University of Turku, Finland
Turku University Hospital, Finland