NIH: Mobilizing Research – A Research Resource to Enhance mHealth

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NBIB), and the National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) have released a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) designed to support the development of Mobilizing Research, a research resource that would allow researchers to more efficiently and rapidly evaluate mobile and wireless (mHealth) technologies.

Mobile and wireless health technologies offer the potential to transform and advance research, prevent disease, improve diagnosis, treatment, and adherence, reduce disparities, increase access to health services, and lower healthcare costs in ways previously thought to be unimaginable. Real-time, continuous biological, behavioral, and environmental data collected via mHealth technologies is expected to improve the understanding of the etiology of health and disease, particularly when it is integrated with other data such as genomics, biomarkers, electronic medical records and patient-reported outcomes. The data is important for answering questions surrounding gene-environment-behavior relationship in health and disease, understanding the developmental origins of disease, and providing data to inform the development of treatments and prevention programs that are preemptive, personalized, and adaptive over time.

The purpose of the FOA, “Mobilizing Research – A Research Resource to Enhance mHealth” (RFA-OD-15-003), is to create a research resource that utilizes mobile phone technology to create a registry of demographically and geographically diverse individuals interested in potential research projects. The resource will include but will not be limited to:

  • A secure website that is accessible for researchers and potential participants;
  • A cloud-based database system appropriate for health research;
  • A system of outreach in conjunction with telecommunications providers;
  • A consent and screening system for potential participants;
  • A backend data collection system for managing common data elements;
  • An appropriate privacy and ethics framework; and
  • A standard architecture to support integration with diverse research software and data systems.

Letters of intent are due April 8, 2015. Applications are due May 8, 2015. For more information see the FOA.

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Posted in Issue 5 (March 24), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

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