UofM Receives $5.9 Million NIH Grant for a National Center in AI-based mHealth Research

mDOT: Transforming health and wellness via temporally precise mHealth interventions

July 16, 2020 - National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a new national biomedical technology resource center (BTRC), called the mHealth Center for Discovery, Optimization & Translation of Temporally-Precise Interventions (mDOT). mDOT will be headquartered at the MD2K Center of Excellence at the University of Memphis.

The multidisciplinary mDOT team consists of leading researchers in artificial intelligence (AI), mobile computing, wearable sensors, privacy and precision medicine from the University of Memphis (lead), Harvard University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Ohio State University, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF).

One of the biggest drivers of the nation’s rising health care spending is providing care for patients with chronic diseases, many of which are linked to daily behaviors and exposures such as dietary choices, sedentary behavior, stress and addiction. The mDOT Center will be a new national technology resource for improving people’s health and wellness. It will conduct cutting-edge AI research to produce easily deployable wearables, apps for wearables and smartphones and a companion cloud system. mDOT’s innovative technology will enable patients to initiate and sustain the healthy lifestyle choices necessary to prevent and/or successfully manage the growing burden of multiple chronic conditions.

“Researchers and industry innovators can leverage mDOT’s technological resources to create the next generation of mHealth technology that is highly personalized to each user, transforming people’s health and wellness,” said Santosh Kumar, PhD, the lead investigator of mDOT, who is the director of MD2K Center of Excellence and Lillian & Morrie Moss Chair of Excellence Professor in Computer Science at the University of Memphis.

To ensure mDOT’s innovative technology can be used by scientists to solve real-world problems, mDOT will be working closely with more than a dozen other federally funded projects to engage in joint technology development, testing and large-scale real-life deployment. To fuel mHealth technology innovation in the industry, mDOT will establish a new industry consortium to provide access to mDOT’s latest research and seek feedback to inform its ongoing research. 

The mDOT Center will be administered by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB).  

“The mDOT Center will be the first BTRC focused on developing innovative mHealth technologies,” said mDOT’s program officer, Tiffani Lash, PhD, director of the NIBIB program in Connected Health. “It is positioned to empower scientists to discover, personalize and deliver temporally precise mHealth interventions and treatments, ensuring that health and wellness tools are delivered at the right moment, via the right personal device and is optimized to have the most influence.”

“This latest award not only appropriately recognizes the expertise and impact of Dr. Kumar and his team, the importance of their life-changing work, but also the remarkable progress of the University of Memphis as a national research university,” said UofM President M. David Rudd.  

 For more information about the mDOT Center, please visit the mDOT website at http://mdot.md2k.org.

About MD2K: The Center of Excellence for Mobile Sensor Data-to-Knowledge (MD2K), headquartered in the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis, was established in 2014 by a grant from NIH under its Big-Data-To-Knowledge (BD2K) initiative. It has developed mobile sensor big data technologies to improve health and wellness. MD2K’s open-source software platforms for smartphones and the cloud are used across the nation to conduct scientific studies.