Enabling spatio-temporal precision medicine via mHealth biomarker technology

mHealth Biomarker & Technology Resource Center

The number of sensors carried or worn by individuals has been rapidly growing, and the number of novel biomarkers discovered by the technology community is advancing quickly. Digital biomarkers obtained from mobile sensors provide unprecedented opportunities to effect a new paradigm for maintaining health and managing disease: the delivery of behavioral and other digital therapeutic interventions  anytime, anywhere at the optimal time and place for each individual. But their adoption in health research still requires deep technological expertise until they are integrated in commercial devices. This is an inherently slow process due to large investment needed by vendors to integrate any new biomarkers in their commercial devices.

jitai graphicsThe proposed mHealth Biomarker and Technology Resource Center (mBTRC) will build upon the solid scientific and technological foundation provided by the MD2K Center of Excellence to develop the necessary technological resources for realizing the vision of spatio-temporally precise medicine using mobile sensors that reduce the health burden of all the major chronic diseases. Organized in three technology research & development projects (TR&Ds), mBTRC will develop computationally, data-, and battery-efficient implementations of emerging biomarkers that are embedded in devices and easily accessible on a smartphone (in TR&D1); develop latent state models from multimodal time-series data of temporally-dense biomarkers to obtain mHealth indicators of risk, receptivity, and engagement (in TR&D2); and develop an active learning and reinforcement learning framework for continuously learning and refining detection/prediction models and dynamically personalizing core intervention system components to each user for maximum long-term efficacy (in TR&D3). It will work with nine collaborative projects (CPs) and six service projects (SPs) to ensure that the biomarker and analytics technology developed by our TR&Ds can solve real problems facing the health research community and ensure the usability of these technologies by investigators who are external to the mBTRC investigating team, representing the broader health research community.

mBTRC will undertake training and dissemination activities to maximize the societal impact of the mBTRC’s technologies by promoting broad uptake of the mBTRC’s biomarker and analytics technologies and the resulting software beyond mBTRC and its affiliates. mBTRC will develop efficient administrative structure and operating procedures to facilitate interactions among the TR&D researchers and their associated CPs and SPs; coordinate the activities of the TR&D Core to enable both targeted and broad-based training and dissemination of methods, tools, and research findings developed through mBTRC activities; assess the productivity and impact of Center activities; and provide ongoing management, oversight, and planning related to Center funds, resources, and operations.

Public Health Relevance

The technological resources created by mBTRC will effect a new paradigm of spatio-temporally precise medicine using mobile sensors that reduce the health burden of major chronic diseases. By increasing the capability to measure a rich variety of physical, biological, behavioral, social, and environmental factors in real-time via sensors and using them to deliver personalized interventions anytime anywhere at the optimal time and place for each individual, the potential scope and impact of mBTRC will extend broadly across many clinical domains.

The mHealth Biomarker & Technology Resource Center (mBTRC) is one of a network of Biomedical Technology Resource Centers, is funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Biomedical Engineering.