With a new grant from the National Science Foundation’s Computer Systems Research program, our group at Dartmouth and Clemson are launching the Amulet project to study the potential for computational jewelry to support mobile-health applications.
The advent of mobile health (mHealth) technology brings great opportunity to improve quality of life, improve individual and public health, and reduce healthcare costs. Although mHealth devices and applications are proliferating, many challenges remain to provide the necessary usability, manageability, interoperability, availability, security, and privacy. The goal of this project is to engineer the tools for, and lay the scientific foundation of, secure wearable mHealth. In the process, we are developing a general framework for body-area pervasive computing, centered around health-monitoring and health-management applications.
Our vision is that computational jewelry, in a form like a bracelet or pendant, will provide the properties essential for successful body-area mHealth networks. These devices coordinate the activity of the body-area network and provide a discreet means for communicating with their wearer. Such devices complement the capabilities of a smartphone, bridging the gap between the type of pervasive computing possible with a mobile phone and that enabled by wearable computing.
Our interdisciplinary team of investigators is designing and developing ‘Amulet’, an electronic bracelet and a software framework that enables developers to create (and users to easily use) safe, secure, and efficient mHealth applications that fit seamlessly into everyday life. The research is determining the degree to which computational jewelry offers advantages in availability, reliability, security, privacy, and usability, and developing techniques that provide these properties in spite of the severely-constrained power resources of wearable jewelry.
We described our vision for this concept in a 2012 HotMobile paper. Subscribe to this blog to hear more about it as our research evolves!