Graduate Alumni Research Award, Adam Labrie

On January 14, 2014 by Grad Forum

adam_labrie_thumbnailAdam Labrie, a master’s student in the Department of Computer Science, received the Graduate Alumni Research Award this year. He describes below how the award assisted him in his work on a computing device for mobile health applications.

With the increasing development of mobile health applications and prominence of wearable computing devices in recent years, health researchers and engineers are investing time and effort into monitoring body-worn, networked sensors to address problematic health conditions such as extreme stress and smoking addiction. Our group in Professor David Kotz’s lab has developed a prototype hardware and software system known as Amulet to tackle the challenge of monitoring these body-worn sensors. Amulet is a constantly present and secure mobile device that we envision will be worn on the wrist as a piece of computational jewelry.

The focus of my research during the summer and fall of 2013 was to develop mobile health applications that could run on Amulet. Developing comprehensive mobile health apps requires knowledge of computer networking protocols, secure coding, and an in-depth study of the two health issues for which our lab decided to create apps: smoking cessation and stress monitoring. It is our hope that Amulet and the apps that run on it will provide useful data such as measurements of electrical conductance of the skin, heart rate, and nicotine presence that are required by health researchers to diagnose and treat patients suffering from these conditions.

The Graduate Alumni Research Award enabled me to enroll in a networking course at a local college in the summer of 2013, and also purchase textbooks on networking, security and cryptography. The development of Amulet’s networking and security architectures has the potential to proactively guide efficient development of similar apps in the future, something I came to realize over the course of my summer 2013 studies. The culmination of the research group’s work over the summer and fall was the submission of a research paper to the 2014 MobiSys Conference.

Future apps that we anticipate could be useful include those that detect asthma attacks (this relates to Professor Kofi Odame’s research at Thayer School of Engineering) and also ones that help diabetes management through smart insulin pump actuation. My future work on the project will include development of these apps and also further research in securing the Amulet.

by Adam Labrie

photo from Amulet website


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