Adaptive Healthcare Technologies
Colleges: VCEA, CAS, CON
Adaptive healthcare technologies encompass a wide range of possible research areas. Three of the grand challenges defined by the National Academy of Engineers in the US are related to this topic: Engineering the Brain, Health Informatics, and Engineering better Medicine. Additionally, the American Academy of Nursing highlights ‘meaningful use’ of technology in the context of healthcare reform as a national priority. WSU has a multi-pronged focus that includes technologies for aging in place, lab-on-a-chip technologies, diagnostic capability for disease detection and monitoring, and point of care manufacturing for personalized healthcare. The Smart Environments Research Center (SERC) is composed of researchers who are mostly focused on computer science, data analytics, machine learning, and development and use of novel sensors. Investigators have developed novel machine learning methods to analyze sensor-based time series data. These methods automatically discover, recognize, and forecast behavior patterns from collected data and extract digital behavior markers from these data. Their machine learning algorithms map behavior markers onto predicted clinical scores, offering a basis for automating health assessment. Additionally, awareness of current and upcoming behavior has allowed them to design automated methods for creating and delivering activity prompts that help maintain functional performance and independence for older adults. Multidisciplinary research in this area integrates neuropsychology, nursing, and computer engineering to develop smart-home technology for seniors living with multiple chronic conditions or those experiencing cognitive decline. Sensor-based data derived from human movement informs understanding health states; sensor data that enhance ‘evidence-based practices;’ theoretical and methodological development of health-assistive artificial intelligence (AI); and cultural influences on older adults’ ideas about smart home technology.