DISCO: Detroit  Data Infrastructure  for  Smart  and  Connected Communities

No communities are same, but every community is facing the same key challenges, such as reducing traffic congestion, fighting crime, fostering economic growth, managing the effects of a changing climate, and improving the delivery of city services. As mentioned in the “Smart Cities” Initiatives of the Administration, advanced science and technology have the potential to empower the communities in building an infrastructure that improve the quality of life by leveraging growing data. On one hand, the low cost sensors and ubiquitous internet connection make massive amount of data available for researchers, and on the other hand, the communities are eager to engage for tackling those key challenges. However, current information infrastructure, which focuses more on intra-domain services, is notable to serve the community well due to poor collaboration between multiple stakeholders on the community- or city-wide. To empower smart and connected communities in Detroit-Windsor cross border area, we propose DISCO to build a common data infrastructure that provides interfaces for real-time as well as historical data collection, storage, and analytics. Moreover, DISCO also open application interfaces to employ communities’ data.

VacTrack: A Palm Vein-based Mobile Immunization Tracking and Information System


vac1                            IMG_20150126_095233

v1.0                                                                                                                  v2.0

PIs: Weisong Shi and Paul Kilgore

Mobile and wireless health technologies are undergoing rapid development for a wide range of health programs and conditions. Such technologies have potential to improve new and existing clinical and public health programs by improving ease of information collection and management. Globally, in both developing and developed countries, immunizations remain a challenging intervention to deploy in a sustained fashion despite their known effectiveness and safety. For this reason, adapting and developing new technologies represent a viable avenue for improve the efficiency and effectiveness of immunization service delivery.

We have developed a mobile immunization tracking and information system that is designed for deployment on tablet computers with wireless connectivity. Our system is composed of several components including hardware (i.e., palm vein scanner technology and touch screen computer) and software (i.e., applications that enable palm vein digital image capture and transfer to a secure server and a user interface in a mobile software application that allows end-user entry of patient demographic and immunization information). Our system has been developed in the WSU Mobile Internet System Laboratory and has undergone desktop testing and preliminary evaluation for accuracy of palm vein identification and authentication.

StressBar: A System for Stress Information Collection and Personalized Recommendation


PIs: Weisong Shi and Bengt Arnetz

Agency: Wayne State OVPR and Swedish Research Council for Life and Social Works

Stress is an increasing challenge to the health, well-being, and productivity of the urban dwellers. World Health Organization, as well as numerous other organizations and researchers have pointed out that stress-related disorders are on the rise and will be one of the most challenging public health threats in the decades to follow. Although the awareness of stress and its negative impact on health and productivity is growing, there is a lack of cost-efficient and easily assessable tools for the public to deal with stress. Medical and psychological approaches available are costly, lack sustained s or are hampered due to limited availability of trained professionals to deliver the stress treatments.

In order to fundamentally change the way we assess and manage stress, we have launched the StressBar project. StressBar will dramatically improve the assessment of stress in people’s daily life as well as offering cost-efficient and easy-to-use ive treatment. Furthermore, the StressBar project will provide stress researchers with an entire new and rapid way to study stress as well as assess the impact from various stress interventions. We believe that participatory sensing is an important method to the research. StressBar will allow us to collect information about individuals and in the future make personalized recommendations. The collective data also allow us to analyze the stress status of a region, such as Metro-Detroit. This will help the government to make more accurate decisions. For example, in more stressed areas, there should be more medical services.

HONEY: A Multimodality Fall Detection and Telecare System

PIs: Weisong Shi

Agency: Department of Computer Science, WSU and Department of Computer Science, Tongji Univ.

Due to the growing ratio of elder people, most of elderly people live on their own in a home-dwelling environment. In China, the population over 60 is about 167 million by 2010, 13.2 % of all. By 2050, the ratio will be over 30 %. The persons aged over 80 will be more than 90 million by 2050 . The trends are also found in Australia and other developed countries. An emerging method is the use of wireless sensors to detect problems as early as possible and to prevent incidents. Among these incidents, falling is the leading cause of nonfatal or fatal injuries for elderly group. Fifty-five percent of falling injuries happen inside the home, and an additional 23 % is near the home. Fall often causes many physiological and psychological problems, such as restricted activity, fear of falling, fear of living alone and even death. To avoid the situation that many individuals are forced to leave the comfort and privacy of their home to live in a nursing home. Furthermore , the increasing cost of finance and healthcare resources is driving healthcare providers to provide home-based telecare instead of institutionalized healthcare.

To facilitate a reliable, safe and real-time home-based healthcare environment, we propose the HONEY system to detect falls for elderly people in the home telecare environment. The basic idea of HONEY is a three-step detection scheme which consists of multimodality signal sources, including an accelerometer sensor, audio, images and video clips via speech recognition and on-demand video techniques. The magnitude acceleration, corresponding to a user’s movements, triggers fall detection combining speech recognition and on-demand video. If a fall occurs, an alarm email is delivered to a medical staff or caregivers at once, containing the fall information so that caregivers could make a primary diagnosis based on it. Due to the fact that HONEY is used in a home environment and related to human beings, HONEY also provides a robust protection on privacy protection and data security.

SPARTAN: A framework for Smart Phone Assisted Real-Time Health care Network design

PIs: Weisong Shi and Bengt Arnetz

Agency: Wayne State OVPR and Swedish Research Council for Life and Social Works

Leveraging body area sensor network (BASN) for health care is a very promising application domain for wireless sensor networks. In a typical BASN health care application, usually, bio-sensors and environmental-sensors connect to a local Preprocessing Unit (PU) first, e.g., a smartphone or a laptop, which in turn extracts the meaningful data and performs necessary processing before the PU transmits the data to a Central Server (CS). In this procedure, we realized the system designers have to work on many repeated jobs in different BASN systems. Even worse, changing one component of the system usually requires designers to rewrite a large portion of code. In this paper, we present a Smart Phone Assisted Real-Time heAlth care Network framework (SPARTAN), to simplify the development procedure and extend the flexibility of BASN systems. In order to demonstrate the iveness and efficiency of SPARTAN, we implement a smartphone assisted stressor examination and warning system. The experimental results show that the SPARTAN framework can reduce the workload with low overhead and simplify several procedures such as replacing the sensor or changing the sensor configuration.

H4H (Health For Heros)

PIs: Kai Yang, Weisong Shi, Darin Ellis

Agency: Department of Veteran Affairs

In this project, we are developing an iOS application for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch that will help Veterans integrate their healthcare information, take an active role in their healthcare, and support their healthcare goals.

The application would allow Veterans to:
1. Manage and track their PACT teamlet information (including contact information).

2. Prepare for appointments with providers by guiding them through sets of questions designed to generate questions the Veteran would want to ask providers, as well as information to share with providers.

3. Provide a place to track information and questions the Veterans would want to take to their appointment.

4. Provide a health goal module that will help Veterans set and track their health goals and personal motivators.

5. Access links to appropriate VA resources.

The application could be used by Veteran caregivers and family members, working with Veterans on their healthcare goals. It would be particularly appealing to the younger Veterans, who are accustomed to using applications in their daily lives.

Text Messaging to Improve Hypertension Medication Adherence in African Americans

PIs: Lorraine Buis
Agency: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Durations: 9/30/2010 – 9/29/2012

Uncontrolled high blood pressure (HBP) is a major public health concern and leading cause of cardiovascular disease worldwide. The HBP crisis is particularly onerous to African Americans as they are disproportionately more susceptible to HBP than non-Hispanic White Americans. Poor adherence to prescribed medication regimens is a major problem, as only about half of patients who have been diagnosed with hypertension adhere to prescribed medications. Mobile phones and text messages are becoming widely integrated into routine daily life and may offer a simple and non-labor intensive strategy for improving the quality of medication management through enhancing medication adherence. This proposed research will be conducted in two distinct phases addressing three specific aims. For Specific Aim 1 (Phase I), we propose to conduct focus groups with participants from our target population in order to obtain feedback to guide the development of a mobile phone text message system that seeks to improve adherence to antihypertensive medications. For Specific Aim 2 (Phase II), we propose to pilot test the newly developed text message intervention with a randomized controlled trial. For Specific Aim 3 (Phase II), we propose to ascertain participant perceptions of intervention iveness and satisfaction in order to guide further system refinement. In Phase I, African Americans with uncontrolled hypertension (n=24-32) will be recruited to take part in one of four focus groups that will help guide the development of the text message intervention. In Phase II, African Americans with uncontrolled hypertension will be randomized to receive usual care (n=30) vs. the text message intervention (n=30). The primary outcome in this pilot will be change in medication adherence at one month follow-up; secondary outcomes include change in medication self-efficacy and systolic and diastolic blood pressure at one month follow-up, as well as participant satisfaction with the text message intervention. The proposed research will utilize the Wayne State University (WSU) Center for Urban Studies to conduct high quality and professionally run focus groups, the WSU Division of Computing and Information Technology’s Broadcast Message Service infrastructure for the delivery of text messages, the WSU Center for Health Research for statistical analysis and grant management assistance, and a diverse study team from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds at WSU. As a result, the proposed research leverages the considerable local resources to investigate an innovative and much needed intervention for this high-risk population.

Eating for Heart Health (E4H2) Feasibility Study

Investigative Team:

Julie Gleason-Comstock, PhD, Center for Urban Studies/Family Medicine

Nancy T. Artinian, PhD, RN, College of Nursing

Cathy Jen, PhD, Nutrition and Food Science

Alicia Streater, PhD, Center for Urban Studies


E4H2 is a community center-based project designed to evaluate the impact of a health and nutritional kiosk-delivered education program on nutrition knowledge and eating behavior among urban adults.  The specific aims are to:

  1. a) assess the feasibility of implementing the E4H2 intervention (by assessing number of contacted/recruited, number of dropouts, time for delivery of the intervention, and by conducting qualitative interviews about satisfaction with using the kiosk system); and
  2. b) generate pilot data on all outcome variables.

Participants will be randomized to the E4H2 intervention or to an attention control intervention and asked to log-in to the kiosk delivered intervention for 3 months.  Assessments will occur at baseline, at 3 months immediately following the intervention, and at 6-months follow-up.

Kiosk Description

We are using the Aviva 200 InLife XP Patient Monitor from American Telecare as our Internet-based kiosk. Participants log in to the system using the kiosk touch screen. A weight scale and blood pressure monitor are connected to the kiosk; participants have their weight and/or blood pressure measured. Data are transmitted to a data center for remote clinical review. Data are also presented to patients in the form of a graph on the kiosk screen so they are able to see patterns of change in weight and/or blood pressure. In addition participants receive educational information and respond to questions using the kiosk touch screen. There is an audio option (i.e., an individual narrates all the information provided) for those who prefer to not read or who are unable to read the information on the screen.

Acknowledgement: Funded by WSU Cardiovascular Research Institute

Related Publications

1.Artinian, N. T., Washington, O. G. M., Templin, T. N.  (2001).  Effects of home telemonitoring and community-based monitoring on BP Control in urban African   Americans: A pilot study.  Heart & Lung, 30, 191-199.

2.Artinian, N. T., Harden, J. K., Kronenberg, M. W., Vander Wal, J. S., Daher, E., Stephens,Q, & Bazzi, R. I.  (2003).  Pilot study of a web-based compliance monitoring system device for patients with congestive heart failure.  Heart & Lung, 32(2), 226-233.

3.Artinian, N. T., Washington, O. G. M., Klymko, K. W., Marburry, C. M., Miller, W.
M., & Powell, J. L. (October 2004). What you need to know about home blood  pressure telemonitoring but may not know to ask. Home Healthcare Nurse,  22(10), 680-686.

4.Artinian, N. T. (2007). Telehealth as a tool for enhancing care for patients with cardiovascular disease. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 22(1), 25-31.

5.Artinian, N. T., Flack, J. M., Nordstrom, C. K., Hockman, E. H. Washington, O. G. M.,  Jen, K-L, C, Fathy, M. (2007).Effects of nurse-managed telemonitoring on blood pressure at 12-months follow-up among African Americans. Nursing Research, 56(5):312-322.

Contact Information:

Nancy T. Artinian, PhD, RN, FAHA, FPCNA, FAAN

Professor and Associate Dean for Research

Wayne State University, College of Nursing, Room 319 Cohn Bldg.

5557 Cass Ave., Detroit, MI 48202

313-577-4135; 313-577-5777 (fax)