The Amulet project launched in late 2013 with the vision of “bridging the gap between the type of pervasive computing possible with a mobile phone and that enabled by wearable computing.” Now, almost 10 years, 51 publications, and 29 core members (along with many collaborators) later, Amulet is coming to a close.
Amulet was featured in Forbes magazine, has been presented to audiences at many conferences and at an mHealth summit near Washington DC, was evaluated on usability in a study amongst rural older adults with obesity, and is impacting continued health research!
Many of our students have gone on to roles in industry and academia after graduation, and Ryan Halter, the Dartmouth co-PI on the project, co-founded a startup company, SynchroHealth, with technology originating in the Amulet project.
The Amulet prototype remains available (open source, open hardware) on GitHub, and our papers are available through our Zotero library.
We thank the countless number of people who have supported the project — from advisors, to NSF program officers, to graduate and undergraduate students, to study participants, to project leads, and to you all who have kept up with the project for its 10-year run.
SynchroHealth, a startup company launched with technology originating in the Amulet project, recently received a grant of almost $225,000 from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). SynchroHealth aims to develop hardware and software solutions for non-invasive detection and acquisition of remote healthcare data.
Amulet’s Ryan Halter, co-founder of SynchroHealth, says “there’s a huge disparity in what clinicians and physical therapists think goes on in at-home rehabilitation programs and what actually happens. This disconnect […] could ultimately lead to unnecessary interventions that increase costs and potential risks to the patient. We’re aiming to close that gap.”
SynchroHealth is continuing the development of their ‘BandPass’ technology for the treatment of sarcopenia – loss of muscle mass and strength due to aging. BandPassis capable of monitoring, evaluating, and guiding patients in upper-body strength training in real-time. It includes sensors equipped to an exercise band with custom-designed electronics for the wireless transmission of patient data. It is unique in that the data collected could be monitored by a physician to aid in proper interventions.
Along with continuing the development of the BandPass, the team will develop a mobile application and cloud-based service for data transmission, processing, and storage. Later this year, the team will test their device on a cohort of 16 patients to obtain feedback.
This work is being supported under Award Number R41AG071290 by the National Institute On Aging of the National Institutes of Health. To learn more about BandPass and SynchroHealth, check out their website here. The Dartmouth Engineering article on this work can be found here.
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.
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.
David Kotz recently presented an invited webinar lecture in the Mobile Data to Knowledge (MD2K) program. The first half of that lecture provides an overview of the Amulet project and our research using the Amulet. (The second half describes the Auracle project – also worth checking out!)
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!
Parts being placed on 6 Amulet Kite.d boards
A technician tests assembled boards for electrical soundness
Amulet team member Taylor Hardin tests functional capabilities of a new unit
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.
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)
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 – watch a video of the talk. We also 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!