New NIH grant will answer whether wearables can improve health in LGBTQ + individuals

Did you know that 🏳️‍🌈 sexual and gender minorities (sometimes denoted LGBTQ+) have disproportionately high rates of depression, suicidal ideation, substance use, and physical health problems? Our new NIH grant will answer whether wearables can improve health disparities in LGBTQ + individuals during real-time social safety experiences in public settings by reducing their chronic threat-vigilance stress!

New grant from the American Cancer Society

Non-melanoma skin cancers are the most common cancers in the U.S. and their incidence is increasing. Electrical impedance dermography (EID) is a newer non-invasive, quantitative and objective tool sensitive to detect alterations in the electrical properties of skin cancers. The overarching hypothesis of this proposal is that EID can be used to distinguish cancer subtypes that cannot be appreciated clinically.

New R21 grant

Radiation-associated dysphagia (RAD) is a leading driver of quality of lige and a potentially life-threatening survivorship issue, afflicting more than half of patients treated with curative radiotherapy for head and neck cancers. In collaboration with MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, we will examine feasibility and criterion validity of surface electromyography as a rapid, non-invasive quantitative surveillance method for lingual denervation.

New NSF grant

I am thrilled to lead an #NSF grant focused on #wearable #bioimpedance #devices for #cuffless #bloodpressure. A novel aspect of our approach is the integration of #physiological, #computational, and #machinelearning models to establish the biological sources relating #fluiddynamics and #electricity.

Stress monitoring using an Internet of Medical Things device in a virtual reality environment and at home

Modern lifestyles are triggering stress at a disproportionate rate for longer periods of time. Chronic or long-lasting stress can pose a risk to our health. However, despite advances in physiological recording methods, stress remains challenging to quantify and monitor accurately. We have developed and tested an Internet of Medical Things device with electrocardiogram (ECG) recording features. The IoMT records and processes ECG signal on-the-fly to calculate, in real time, heart rate, heart rate variability, energy expenditure and stress. Data can be sent to an online platform using a standard Internet of Things publish-subscribe messaging transport protocol for continuous monitoring. We monitored induced stress by recording ECG in subjects using state-of-the-art liquid metal electrodes performing a plank walking task in a virtual reality (VR) environment with high heights exposure and at-home. The results demonstrate our IoMT technology ability to provide accurate ECG metrics using novel liquid metal electrodes by detecting continuously increased stress values in a VR setting and at-home. Our work sets the stage for future research on psychological stress and emotion regulation within daily life and the physiological mechanisms through which it influences the health of both children and adults.

The study is now accepted in IEEE Internet of Things Journal, with an impact factor of  10.238 and among the top 10 journals in Telecommunications by Journal impact factor.

Safety evaluation of smart scales, smart watches, and smart rings with bioimpedance technology shows evidence of potential interference in cardiac implantable electronic devices

Using wearable smartwatches, smartrings, and smartscales could be life-threatening to patients with cardiac implantable electronic devices. In our Featured publication at Heart Rhythm journal (impact factor 6.343), we performed a safety evaluation of wearable smartwatches, smartrings, and at-home smartscales with bioimpedance sensing technology following Food and Drug Administration guidelines, in terms of their ability to interfere with the correct functioning of cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs).

These devices apply an electrical current to the body, which is imperceptible to the patient, but it has the potential to confuse CIEDs. The translation of these findings could have disastrous consequences to patients with pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) if these devices stopped working or delivered unnecessary electrical shocks to the heart.

Stay tuned. The media coverage from Heart Rhythm, press release from the University of Utah College of Engineering, full Article and accompanying Editorial article will be soon published.