June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Health care cost has skyrocketed to 17% of the US GDP. Americans are not living longer and happier as a consequence of this stepped up cost. The US government has launched several initiatives to improve health care. This paper addresses a missing link, viz., building an infrastructure to record patient’s health in their homes, where most time is spent. Medical professionals can then track this data to improve patients’ health. This will reduce the number of patients’ visits to hospitals, length of hospital stay, and the stress of a hospital visit. We have developed such mobile health care apps with a cross-disciplinary collaboration that involves students and faculty members in engineering, nursing, and multimedia. This course involved 3 faculty members, one each from engineering, nursing, and multi-media, who taught their concurrent courses in the three disciplines, to a total of 50 students. Eleven students teams were formed with participants from all the three areas. App topics ranged from ‘Motivational Phrasing for Depressive Symptoms’ to ‘Healthy Heart’ to ‘Caring For Others’. During the first half of the semester, we covered material that is team-project relevant, but discipline-specific. Student teams then focused on developing their app. Engineering students focused on functional development and on one of the three healthcare related additions (hardware interfacing via e-health shield to biosensors, augmented reality as an educational tool, or cloud interfacing to electronic medical records). Nursing students provided content and ensured that the app was relevant and useful to the health concern chosen. Arts students ensured that the app was user friendly and pleasing. Faculty members brought together these students for initial introductions, team formation, progress reports, and finall app presentation at semester end. The faculty members scored the teams with a rubric for nine app attributes. Pre-course and post-course surveys were conducted which included 20 questions with focus on multiple learning outcomes. Knowledge gains were assessed on a Likert scale from 1 to 5 where 5 indicated the highest level of self-reported improvement. We found statistically significant knowledge gains in all outcomes that were emphasized in the course set. This project brought together STEM and non-STEM students of both genders in teams, thus reaching a large and diverse community. All our apps are published for free access as Github repositories. The app development process would also be useful to faculty members elsewhere. Such Apps can become the conduit to recruit patients for faculty initiated research studies. Data collected then will be available and current, and bound only by privacy concerns as postulated in the institutional research protocol and as consented to by the patients. This research avenue is all the more important given the rapid advances in epigenetics and their positive impact on personalized medicine. Our approach is derived from two theoretical models with strong emphasis on student involvement in the learning process: active student engagement and project-based learning. Both approaches assume active student participation in learning practices where exchange of ideas, extensive interdisciplinary collaboration, and synergies are essential.
Shankar, R. T., & Sakraida, T. J., & McAfee, F. X. (2017, June), Smart and Connected Health Apps: A Cross-Disciplinary Effort Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28828
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