Data Driven and Optimization Techniques for Mobile Health Systems

Tammara Massey, JHU Applied Physics Laboratory

A new research paradigm in healthcare applications investigates how to improve a patient’s quality of care with wearable embedded systems that continuously monitor a patient’s vital signs as he/she ubiquitously moves about the environment. While previous medical examinations could only extract localized symptoms through snap shots, now continuous monitoring can discretely analyze how a patient’s lifestyle may affect his/her physiological conditions and whether additional symptoms occur under various stimuli.

My research used participatory design methods to develop an electronic triage system that replaced the paper triage system and changed how emergency personnel interact, collect, and process data at mass casualty incidents. My research investigated the design of an infrastructure that provided efficient resource allocation by continuously monitoring the vital signs and locations of patients. This real world deployment uncovered numerous research challenges that arose from the complex interactions of the embedded systems with the dynamic environment that they were deployed in. I address the challenge of body attenuation by constructing a model of attenuation in body sensor networks from experimental data. I also use data driven methods to address the challenge of limited storage capacity in mobile embedded systems during network partitions. An optimization algorithm models inter-arrival time, intra-arrival time, and body attenuation to achieve efficiency in storage capacity. My approach mitigates data loss and provides continuous data collection through a combination of continuous optimization, statistical variance, and data driven modeling techniques.

A data driven approach that uses quantitative information from experimental deployments is necessary when building realistic systems for medical applications where failure can result in the loss of a life. My research leverages mobile health systems to improve health outcomes by defining risk factors for diseases within communities, improving the ability to track and diagnose diseases, and identifying patterns for behavior analysis and modification. My research contributes to the foundation of computer integrated medicine research by creating a class of systems and a collection of techniques for informatics-based preventive interventions.

Speaker Biography

Dr. Tammara Massey holds a joint appointment as an Assistant Research Professor in the Computer Science Department at Johns Hopkins University and a Systems Engineer at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. She is also a member of the Johns Hopkins Systems Institute. Dr. Massey earned her Masters in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology and her PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a subject matter expert in computer integrated medicine, health informatics, preventive interventions, and sensor enabled embedded systems. Her research explores a data driven approach to developing reconfiguration techniques in embedded systems for medical applications, explores modeling of attenuation in body sensor networks, and leverages statistical power optimization techniques to detect the physical tampering of portable devices. Tammara has published over 20 journal and conference papers, co-authored 2 book chapters, and is a named inventor on a provisional patent.