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UNC-Chapel Hill and NCSU researchers, including Michelle Hernandez, MD, and Delesha Carpenter, PhD, MSPH, have been awarded an NSF grant to study early asthma exacerbation detection through wearables developed by NCSU.

Michelle Hernandez, MD, Associate Professor, Pediatric Allergy/Immunology and Rheumatology in the UNC School of Medicine, and Delesha Carpenter, PhD, MSPH, Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, were awarded a grant by The National Science Foundation in support of their project, “A Data-Driven Approach to Enhancing Wearable Device Performance – An Early Asthma Exacerbation Detection Study.”

Young adults often monitor their health with wearable devices, which could also be used to improve their ability to detect worsening asthma symptoms. Using mobile wearables developed by NCSU, Hernandez and Carpenter will analyze physiologic and behavioral data collected from wearable devices to determine whether an algorithm can be developed to predict an impending asthma exacerbation and loss of asthma control, and assess young adults preferences for using wearable devices to self-monitor their asthma in the long term in order to prevent exacerbations and, ultimately, improve their quality of life.

This project was awarded in collaboration with Edgar Lobaton, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University (NCSU). This project evolved from a collaboration between UNC and the Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies Center (ASSIST) at NCSU, leveraged from EPA and NIEHS supported research at the Center for Environmental Medicine, Asthma and Lung Biology. This original collaboration was brokered between NCSU and NC TraCS in 2012 with the goal to develop health-focused technology and tools to help asthma patients manage their care and reduce asthma exacerbations.