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Press Release:

MEDIA CONTACT: Cheryl Halle
561-297-1399, challe@fau.edu

FAU Developing Innovative Technologies to Address Challenges of Telemedicine and Home-Healthcare

BOCA RATON, FL (November 6, 2012) – Florida Atlantic University’s department of computer and electrical engineering and computer science associate professor Ankur Agarwal, Ph.D.,  has received a one-year National Science Foundation (NSF) Collaborative Research: Data Correlation and Fusion for Medical Monitoring grant of $200,000 through the NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC), Center for Advanced Knowledge Enablement (CAKE) in conjunction with Florida International University (FIU) and a matching grant from Soren Technology of an additional $200,000 to address the challenges of telemedicine and home healthcare. This research is in response to the rising healthcare costs in the United States associated with hospitalization.

“We are very pleased to be a part of this unique interdisciplinary project linking the field of computer science with the field of medicine,” said Borko Furht, Ph.D., professor and director of the I/UCRC, CAKE FAU site. “This research will help improve patient healthcare options and provide innovative tools to help physicians manage patient care.”

The project will cover three main areas of research ─ testing Soren Technology’s decision support system to avoid readmission, a protocol for interoperability of healthcare devices and a multimedia algorithm to optimize data streams for telemedicine.

The decision support system work will include the testing of a patient prognosis system to assess a patient’s readmission risk based on specific serious health conditions such as pneumonia or a heart condition. Once a high-risk patient has been identified Soren Technology’s existing, patented software technology will help to provide coordinated care for the patient in order to avoid readmission.

Current healthcare devices are not set up to share data. The partnership will explore a new protocol compatible with IEEE 11073 Personal Health Data Standards to allow devices to communicate and transfer information through the use of smart phones.

The team will also enhance Soren Technology’s multimedia algorithm to optimize data streams for telemedicine purposes, utilizing voice, video and physiological data. Telemedicine services include specialist referrals which involves a patient seeing a specialist over a live, remote consultation or a physician’s office sending diagnostic images and/or video along with a patient’s data to a specialist for diagnosis; patient consultations; remote patient monitoring which can include audio, live or still images; and access to medical and consumer health information using a direct link to a physician’s office or over the Web.

“This will be a revolutionary technology which has the potential to help consumers and businesses reduce their healthcare costs by deploying these cutting edge concepts into their processes,” said Agarwal.

Napthali Rishe, Ph.D., professor of computer science and director of the I/UCRC, CAKE FIU site serves as the principal investigator for the FIU portion of the project. The co-principal investigators of the study include Ravi Behara, Ph.D., associate professor of information technology and operations management at FAU; Furht; and Hari Kalva, Ph.D., associate professor of computer science at FAU. 

Faiz Fatteh, M.D., president and CEO of Soren Technology, provided matching funds to the FAU portion of the project. Soren Technology provides electronic health records systems specifically designed to develop, test, deploy and adapt new and existing methodologies to improve collaboration between healthcare providers and patients.

-FAU-


About FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science:
Florida Atlantic University's College of Engineering and Computer Science is committed to providing accessible and responsive programs of education and research recognized nationally for their high quality. Course offerings are presented on-campus, off-campus, and through distance learning in bioengineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, geomatics engineering, mechanical engineering and ocean engineering.  For more information about the college, please visit www.eng.fau.edu

About Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.

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