Population Health

Developing apps and mobile technologies

Image of a wearable sensor on a pair of eyeglassesThe University of Washington has a number of major groups and centers that are involved in developing applications and mobile technologies that improve population health.

A sampling of these groups and centers follow.

  • UbiCompLab – The Ubiquitous Computing Lab at the UW, led by Prof. Shwetak Patel, has developed numerous mobile, virtual reality and wearable interaction devices. They have also developed mobile apps for healthcare such as SpiroSmart, which performs spirometry from a mobile phone to test a patient’s lung function, BiliCam for monitoring jaundice in newborn infants, OsteoApp for screening for osteoporosis using a smartphone and many others.
  • BRiTE Center – Housed within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, the BRiTE Center is dedicated to improving behavioral health through technology. Projects include detecting emotional responses with software, technology assisted addiction treatment, mHealth in Ghana and others.
  • Engineering Innovation in Health – Any health care researcher seeking to address a population health challenge can submit their problem to the Engineering Innovation in Health program. Student teams work in partnership with clinicians in diverse specialties including medicine, nursing, physical therapy, dentistry and pharmacy to develop a working prototype of a solution to that problem, which could be a digital tool or app.
  • Data Analysis & Intelligent Systems – Located at UW Bothell, the UW-DAIS group collaborates with researchers on data analysis for smart health and next generation biomedicine.
  • mHealth for mental Health program – Part of the BRiTE Center, this program develops and tests mHealth approaches to solve mental health problems. Projects include prevention of relapses in schizophrenia, mobile sensing to understand auditory and verbal hallucinations, and mHealth in the Middle East.
  • Digital Future Lab – Housed at UW Bothell, this lab is an interactive media production studio that works on projects involving game design and mobile technologies.
  • Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering – Faculty research falls within six areas of study, most of which involve digital and mobile technologies.
  • mHealth Global – A variety of research projects related to mHealth in the global health space. Examples of current projects include mobile data collection of contraceptive use, enabling safer conception for HIV serodiscordant couples and mobile solutions for maternal and child health in Kenya.
  • Information and Communication Technology for Development Lab (ICTDLab) – An interdisciplinary group that explores how technology can improve the lives of underserved populations in low-income regions.