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NSF awards $1.5M for study of in-home health care via wireless networks
Date:4/24/2008

HOUSTON, April 24, 2008 -- Rice University, The Methodist Hospital Research Institute and Technology For All (TFA) have received a $1.5 million federal grant for research in east Houston that will examine ways to provide novel, low-cost, personalized health monitoring to people with chronic diseases living in working-class communities.

The researchers plan to examine how patients with chronic diseases use inexpensive handheld wireless monitoring devices called Blue Boxes, to participate actively in their own medical treatment. The National Science Foundation (NSF) grant will pay for the development and testing of the Blue Boxes and the wireless broadband network that will connect the devices to a central source for analysis.

The project brings together wireless researchers from Rice, chronic health care researchers and decision scientists at The Methodist Hospital Research Institutes and University of Houston's Abramson Center for the Future of Health, and experts from TFA, a Houston non-profit that operates the TFA-Wireless network in east Houston's Pecan Park.

The Abramson Center is a collaboration between The Methodist Hospital Research Institute and the University of Houston's College of Technology.

"Our development of a low-cost, easy to use, hand-held health monitoring device called the Blue Box makes personalized health care much more accessible to all patients with chronic illness, said Dr. Clifford Dacso, the John S. Dunn Sr. Research Chair in internal medicine at The Methodist Hospital and executive director of the Abramson Center, a co-principal investigator on the project. Combining the Blue Box technology with an existing wireless network is designed to allow people with chronic illnesses to fine-tune their health, thus avoiding preventable deterioration that may result in emergency care. Its much easier on the patient and provides them with higher quality, very personal care."

The NSF funding will ena
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Contact: Jade Boyd
jadeboyd@rice.edu
713-348-6778
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert

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