BU researchers receive grant to explore ways of capturing health data using mobile devices

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) are the recipients of a three-year, $446,999 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to explore different approaches to capturing health data using mobile devices such as smartphones.

The project, "Studying mHealth technologies to help people improve their health and share their health information in real time with health care providers," will test various approaches to getting people to use these technologies over long periods of time. The project will also compare the mobile health data collected in the research center. An app for iPhones has been developed with a project goal to expand to an app for Android users and eventually both versions of the app will be available for use by other investigators.

Led by BUSM researchers and longtime collaborators on the Framingham Heart Study, Joanne Murabito, MD, and Emelia Benjamin, MD, this work will expand upon their previous research in cardiovascular disease.

Murabito is an associate professor of Medicine at BUSM and a practicing physician at Boston Medical Center (BMC) who understands the challenges of motivating patients from diverse backgrounds to develop and maintain healthy habits. She conducts both traditional and genetic epidemiology in the areas of longevity, healthy aging, and reproductive aging. Her recent work focuses on engaging participants in the use of mobile technologies to track health.

Benjamin is a professor of medicine and epidemiology at BUSM and has been part of the FHS since 1988. She is a clinical cardiologist at BMC with a passion for educating patients on the importance of cardiovascular disease risk reduction. Her work focuses on the genetics, epidemiology, and prognosis of atrial fibrillation, cardiac risk factors for stroke, echocardiography and vascular function.

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