The Institute for Public Health has awarded Public Health-Cubed (PH3) grants of $15,000 to three projects this spring. PH3 teams is a rapid seed funding mechanism to support cross-disciplinary projects from the Institute’s Scholars. Funding for spring 2016 projects were awarded to:
Developing a Suite of Technology-Based Tools for Chronic Disease Case Management
Team: David Patterson, PhD, MSW; Alex Ramsey, PhD; and Bridgeway Behavioral Health
This project will address the major, complex problem of chronic disease case management for individuals suffering from substance use disorder. Effective chronic disease case management involves longitudinal, integrated, and coordinated primary medical and specialty expert care that is constantly monitored using real-time data. Traditional approaches to such care can be expensive, time-consuming and labor-intensive. Our new prototype aims to provide better care at a lower cost, specifically via a real-time dashboard integrated with the care provider’s electronic health record and client interaction via mobile devices. Pilot funds will be used to integrate a suite of clinical tools: 1) an electronic health record supported dashboard; 2) an ecological momentary assessment tool; and 3) geofencing prompts into one application.
Evaluating Ancestral and Geographical Disparities in Cancer Incidence and Mortality in Trinidad and Tobago
Team: Adetunji Toriola, MD, PhD, MPH: Jingqin (Rosy) Lou, PhD; and Augustus Long Hospital in Trinidad and Tobago
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the Caribbean and has created tremendous challenges to healthcare services and expenditures throughout the region, including the twin island nation of Trinidad and Tobago (TT). This developing country is home to 1.3 million people of diverse ancestral (African, Indian, Caucasian, Mixed, and Chinese) and socioeconomic backgrounds. Cancer survival in TT lags behind countries of similar economic status. TT has the third highest breast cancer mortality rates in the Americas and the highest prostate cancer mortality rate globally. Additionally, the breast and prostate cancer mortality rates are increasing. Given these realities, it is plausible that a similar burden exists for other cancers in TT and underlying racial and geographical distributions may be exacerbating this burden. Nevertheless, a detailed analyses of global cancer incidence and mortality rates, and the impact of racial and geographical disparities, has not been studied. Our findings can provide essential data for more in-depth epidemiological studies into genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors driving the unequal cancer burden leading to more targeted cancer prevention and control strategies. This study will provide the first comprehensive analyses of cancer disparities in TT, serving as a blueprint for similar studies in other Caribbean islands and in parts of the US with populations of similar demographics.
Using Bluetooth Technology to Measure Workplace Physical Activity
Team: Amy Eyler, PhD; Bradley Evanoff, MD, MPH; and the Institute’s Public Health Data and Training Center
In 2015, Hillman Hall opened as the third building that houses the Brown School at Washington University. Dr. Eyler is leading a study that began to evaluate aspects of this new building on physical activity, collaboration, and sustainability. The research team is currently using Wireless Access Points (WAP) technology to measure of movement throughout the buildings per day. The team would like to explore the use of Bluetooth LE beacon technology in this study to complement this method, in order to address some of the technological limitations of WAP. This project will develop reproducible methodology for collecting and analyzing physical movement using novel Bluetooth technology, create pilot data on the usefulness and reliability of using this method for assessing physical activity and movement among building occupants, validate beacon movement data using accelerometers with a sub-sample of the population, and provide information to develop a larger, campus-wide study.