Saturday, March 24, 2012

Preventing and treating drug with smartphones

Preventing and treating drug with smartphones - Clinical researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical college (UMMS) are combining an innovative constellation of technologies like artificial intelligence, smartphone programming, biosensors and wireless connectivity to develop a tool designed to detect physiological stressors related to drug cravings and respond with user-tailored behavioral interventions that forestall substance use.

Preliminary information concerning the multi-media device, referred to as iHeal, was printed on-line 1st within the Journal of Medical Toxicology.

According to the study’s authors, several behavioral interventions used to treat patients are ineffective outside of the controlled clinical settings where they're taught. This failure may be attributed to many factors, together with a patient’s inability to acknowledge biological changes that indicate increased risk of relapse and an inability to alter their behaviors to scale back health risk.

Edward Boyer, MD, PhD, professor of emergency drugs at UMass Medical college and lead author of the study, worked with colleagues at UMMS and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to style a mobile device using so-called “enabling technologies” that might be used to create behavioral interventions for substance abusers more practical outside the clinic or workplace environments. The results of their work, iHeal, combines sensors to live physiological changes and detect trigger points for risky health behaviors, like substance use, with smartphone software tailored to reply with patient-specific interventions.
Individuals with a history of substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder were asked to wear an iHeal sensor band around their wrist that measures the electrical activity of the skin, body motion, skin temperature and heart rate – all indicators of stress. The band wirelessly transmits data to a smartphone, where software applications monitor and method the user’s physiological information. When the software detects an increased stress level, it asks the user to annotate events by inputting data concerning their perceived level of stress, drug cravings, and current activities. This data is then used to spot, in real-time, drug cravings and deliver customized, multimedia drug prevention interventions exactly at the instant of greatest physiological want.

Boyer and his groups examined the iHeal system design, further as preliminary feedback from initial users, to spot key attributes and assess the device’s viability. Their analyses counsel variety of technical problems associated with information security, further because the want for a a lot of strong and fewer stigmatizing version before the device may well be worn in public.


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