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NIH Seeks Feedback on Using mHealth for the Precision Medicine Cohort

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking feedback from the scientific community regarding using mobile Health (mHealth) technologies for the Precision Medicine Cohort.  The agency points out that the collection of health and lifestyle data on “participant volunteers” have generally come from medical records and extensive phone or paper surveys.

For the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI), the agency is considering using smart phone and wireless technologies to collect some of this information (See Update, June 15, 2015).  The use of these devices, however, generates a number of considerations for which NIH is seeking feedback:

  1. Willingness of participants to carry their smartphone and wear wireless sensor devices sufficiently throughout the day so researchers can assess their health and activities.
  2. Willingness of participants without smartphones to upgrade to a smartphone at no expense.
  3. How often people would be willing to let researchers collect data through devices without being an inconvenience.
  4. The kind of information participants might like to receive back from researchers, and how often.
  5. Other ways to conveniently collect information from participants apart from smart phones or wearable devices.

The agency will collect feedback on the topics through July 24, 2015 on the NIH’s website.

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Posted in Issue 13 (July 14), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

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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