Amulet: Design, Development and Evaluation of a Wearable Device for mHealth Applications

Today we presented an “Experience” paper at ACM MobiCom, summarizing the technology, the studies, and the challenges and lessons learned over seven years of research.

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George Boateng, Vivian Genaro Motti, Varun Mishra, John A. Batsis, Josiah Hester, and David Kotz. Experience: Design, Development and Evaluation of a Wearable Device for mHealth Applications. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MobiCom), October 2019. DOI 10.1145/3300061.3345432.

Abstract: Wrist-worn devices hold great potential as a platform for mobile health (mHealth) applications because they comprise a familiar, convenient form factor and can embed sensors in proximity to the human body. Despite this potential, however, they are severely limited in battery life, storage, bandwidth, computing power, and screen size. In this paper, we describe the experience of the research and development team designing, implementing and evaluating Amulet? an open-hardware, open-software wrist-worn computing device? and its experience using Amulet to deploy mHealth apps in the field. In the past five years the team conducted 11 studies in the lab and in the field, involving 204 participants and collecting over 77,780 hours of sensor data. We describe the technical issues the team encountered and the lessons they learned, and conclude with a set of recommendations. We anticipate the experience described herein will be useful for the development of other research-oriented computing platforms. It should also be useful for researchers interested in developing and deploying mHealth applications, whether with the Amulet system or with other wearable platforms.

Assembly of New Amulet “Kite.d” Boards Moves Forward

This spring, with a stabilized design code-named “Kite.d”, the Amulet team specified a new board and case design for the latest Amulet revision. Team members Ron Peterson and Taylor Hardin delivered the designs to New Hampshire’s DataEd, and with their assistance facilitated the fabrication of 150 Amulet Kite.d main- and daughter-boards. DataEd facilitated basic electrical testing of the design before delivery, and now that we’ve received them, the team is busy assembling the latest round of Amulets for upcoming studies. Check out some on-site pictures below!

DSCN0791Parts being placed on 6 Amulet Kite.d boards

DSCN0802A technician tests assembled boards for electrical soundness

DSCN0801Amulet team member Taylor Hardin tests functional capabilities of a new unit

Amulet Team Brings Paper to USENIX

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Last month in Boston at the annual USENIX conference, the Amulet team’s most recent paper was selected for presentation. Entitled “Application Memory Isolation on Ultra-Low-Power MCUs”, the paper explores increasing the security level of the Amulet platform, through novel uses of memory protection and isolation. To read more, click through to the PDF below.

PDF: Application Memory Isolation on Ultra-Low-Power MCUs

Annual Amulet Retreat 2017

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This past week, some members of the Amulet team gathered at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH for the annual Amulet retreat. Activities included brainstorming new Amulet applications, prioritizing tasks for the coming year, and finalizing the latest Amulet hardware revision. (From left: Gunnar Pope, Byron Lowens, Ryan Halter, Vivian Motti, Ryan Scott, Dave Kotz, Taylor Harding, George Boateng, Varun Mishra, John Batsis, Ron Peterson, Jacob Sorber, Patrick Proctor)

Amulet 1.1

We’ve just released a version 1.1 of the hardware, with many fixes and improvements; see our GitHub site.

  • Changed from spring terminals to SPI-BI-WIRE POGO pin connector for programming both the MSP430 and nRF51822
  • Repositioned the LCD screen to provide more room for the programmer ports and LEDs
  • Broke out UART TX/RX lines for debugging the nRF51822
  • Complete case redesign to better fit the mother-daughter boards, buttons, and LCD screen
  • Replaced the 4 pin charging connector with a more sturdy USB charging port

 

Amulet released at SenSys’16

Today at the ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (SenSys 2016) the Amulet team presented a paper about the design and evaluation of the Amulet platform – and unveiled a video overview of the platform and its capabilities. Check out the specs below the photo.

Indeed, we are pleased to share the Amulet hardware and software, open-source on GitHub, under a generous license that allows free use by the research community. We encourage you to download the details, fabricate your own Amulet wearable, and let us know what you think!

Amulets on table - slant.JPG Continue reading

New grant to apply Amulet to study obesity in elderly people

Dr. John Batsis, DHMCThe Amulet team is collaborating with geriatrician Dr. John Batsis of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center to explore the use of the Amulet in developing intervension methods to help obese elderly people maintain function while they remain living at home.  This “grant … from the National Institute on Aging will allow Dr. John A. Batsis to focus on strategies for improving health care delivery and wellness in older adults with obesity by using video conferencing, personal monitoring devices and frequent coaching by healthcare providers.” [press release]

Check out the video interview with Dr. Batsis on WCAX television.

This research is supported by the National Institute On Aging of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number K23AG051681.