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Charles Drew University, UC Irvine awarded $480,000 grant for research low birth weight infants
Date:3/3/2010

Los Angeles, CA Researchers at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science and UC Irvine will monitor the day-to-day health of low-birth-weight babies and their parents as part of a comprehensive initiative designed to combat chronic illnesses associated with low-weight births.

Karen Cheng, CDU psychiatry and human behavior professor, and Gillian Hayes, UCI informatics professor, were awarded a $480,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to explore how recorded observations of daily living (ODLs) can be used to improve clinical care for low-weight babies.

Cheng and Hayes were among five research teams in the nation selected by RWJF through its Project HealthDesign: Rethinking the Power and Potential of Personal Health Records. They will receive a two-year grant to measure how health information can help people become more informed patients and better healthcare consumers. The grantees will explore how day-to-day information such as stress levels of parents of premature infantscan be collected, interpreted and acted upon in real-world clinical settings.

For their project, Cheng and Hayes will use mobile technology to collect and report daily observations that can enable changes in clinical practices and alert healthcare providers earlier to potential problems. The team will develop a mobile application for parents of preterm infants, called FitBaby, which builds on Hayes' past work with Dr. Dan Cooper, a UCI professor of pediatrics. The system enables parents to easily record daily observations on smartphones, including feeding times, weight measurements, baby's activity and how parents deal with the stress of caring for an at-risk infant. The system also automatically tracks some observations through sensors in the environment.

"This work is particularly innovative in that we make it convenient for parents to record daily information about their babies by automatically sensing a number of
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Contact: Elia Esparza
eliaesparza@cdrewu.edu
323-563-5822
Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science
Source:Eurekalert  

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Charles Drew University, UC Irvine awarded $480,000 grant for research low birth weight infants
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