Author Archives: UBICOMP Lab Administrator

Published in Nature Science Reports: An mCARE study on patterns of risk and resilience for children with ASD in Bangladesh

Dr. Ahamed and members of the Ubicomp lab published a report in Nature Scientific Reports on An mCARE study on patterns of risk and resilience for children with ASD in Bangladesh in the November issue. Community-wide lockdowns in response to COVID-19 infuenced many families, but the developmental cascade for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may be especially detrimental. Our objective was to evaluate behavioral patterns of risk and resilience for children with ASD across parent-report assessments before (from November 2019 to February 2020), during (March 2020 to May 2020), and after (June 2020 to November 2020) an extended COVID-19 lockdown. In 2020, our study Mobile-based care for children with ASD using remote experience sampling method (mCARE) was inactive data collection before COVID-19 emerged as a health crisis in Bangladesh. Here we deployed “Cohort Studies”, where we had in total 300 children with ASD (150 test group and 150 control group) to collect behavioral data. Our data collection continued through an extended COVID19 lockdown and captured parent reports of 30 diferent behavioral parameters (e.g., self-injurious behaviors, aggression, sleep problems, daily living skills, and communication) across 150 children with ASD (test group). Based on the children’s condition, 4–6 behavioral parameters were assessed through the study. A total of 56,290 behavioral data points was collected (an average of 152.19 per week) from parent cell phones using the mCARE platform. Children and their families were exposed to an extended COVID-19 lockdown. The main outcomes used for this study were generated from parent reports child behaviors within the mCARE platform. Behaviors included of child social skills, communication use, problematic behaviors, sensory sensitivities, daily living, and play. COVID-19 lockdowns for children with autism and their families are not universally negative but supports in the areas of “Problematic Behavior” could serve to mitigate future risk.

Pilot study protocol of a mHealth self-management intervention for family members of pediatric transplant recipients

Sheikh Iqbal Ahamed and co-authors from the Medical College of Wisconsin, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have published a pilot study protocol with the Research in Nursing & Health Journal. The myFaMI mHealth intervention focuses on family self-management of pediatric transplant recipients at home. Full Article

AIoT in Sports Science – Computer Magazine

Sheikh Iqbal Ahamed, with co-authors William Cheng-Chung Chu (Tunghai University, Taiwan), Chihhsiong Shih (Tunghai University, Tiawan), Wen-Yi Chou (Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taiwan), and Pao-Ann Hsiung (National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan) have published a paper on Artificial Intelligence of Things in Sports Science in the November 2019 edition of Computer Magazine. This article shows the interdisciplinary nature of sports science and introduces challenges such as multifaceted data collection, accuracy in knowledge formation, and equipment usability. The authors show that Artificial intelligence of things (AIoT) technology presents a feasible solution adaptable to different sports. The article demonstrates this feasibility with weight training.

Fogerty International Center Award: Mobile-based Care for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder using Remote Experience Sampling Method (mCARE)

Award Announcement

Project Information

PROJECT SUMMARY/ABSTRACT: In Bangladesh, social-cultural-financial constraints and a scarcity of mental health care practitioners has deprived families raising children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) from regular monitoring, care, and support. However, the overwhelming adoption (~80%) of mobile phones in Bangladesh in recent years has created an opportunity to improve the existing practice of care using affordable mobile applications. We propose to design, build, deploy, and study the impact of mCARE, a mobile application that will introduce Experience Sampling Method (ESM) (an established and effective method of monitoring the progress of mental health) to the existing practice by allowing the caregivers to routinely report the behavioral progress of children with ASD, and work as an evidence-based and data-driven remote behavioral monitoring platform for the care practitioners. The design of mCARE will follow Value Sensitive Design (VSD) approach to ensure a tight integration with the local economic, social, and cultural values in Bangladesh. The objectives of this proposal are as follows: a) design and build mCARE, that will allow caregivers to routinely report, and thus build the personal records of behavioral progress for each child with ASD, b) improve and expedite the decision making process of the physicians and therapists (referred as only practitioners hereafter) by building appropriate visualization tools to summarize this information, and c) assess the impact of mCARE on treatment and management practices around ASD care in Bangladesh. We propose mCARE to be tested with caregivers of 300 children with ASD in Bangladesh for one year. The children will be selected from four reputed ASD care institutions in Bangladesh – two government and two privately owned, situated in two different districts. They are – the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the Institute of Pediatric Neuro-disorder & Autism (IPNA), Autism Welfare Foundation (AWF), and “Nishpap”. The participants will cover a wide range of socio-economic and cultural diversity in Bangladesh. A positive outcome of using mCARE will promote scaling up this service to all of Bangladesh. This study will introduce a novel digital platform for behavioral research for both public and private mental health institutions in Bangladesh. Furthermore, the administrative (public-private collaboration) and technical (mCARE tools) infrastructures developed through this project can later be utilized and/or replicated for long-term monitoring of other chronic diseases including diabetes and AIDS both in Bangladesh and other LMICs around the world. The proposed ESM application and corresponding practitioner-centered data platform can be adapted to improve practitioner-family communications and treatment management for children with ASD in the U.S. (especially for rural and remote locations) and abroad. In the U.S. especially, long-term behavioral data are not readily available for practitioners and could be a useful tool in pharmaceutical trials and this proposal can serve as the proof of concept.

Sheikh Iqbal Ahamed and Richard Love Publish Book Chapter, The Marquette Palliative Care System

Link to Open Access: The Marquette Palliative Care System

Abstract: Worldwide, major clinical barriers to effective palliative care are the absence of a. current data on symptom type and intensity; b. immediately accessible information on practical, affordable, and effective interventions; and c. self-sustaining systems to facilitate physician engagement in continuing palliative care. Our adaptable system, developed for Bangladesh and Nepal, addresses these barriers. A tele-home palliative care program facilitates home care, minimizes expense, and encourages efficient professional practitioner involvement employing two information technology tools: a patient cell-phone “app” on the Android platform with a 15-item symptom questionnaire and an Internet website with health information sections for patients/families and for clinicians. The physician section contains a guide for patient symptom review, clinical practice palliative care guidelines, secured patient demographics, medical summaries, and current and past symptom reports along with prescription-writing capability. The system is managed by a local organization that registers patients and their physicians, instructs patients on the free downloadable application and completes their demographic and medical summaries, and arranges collection of a modest fee. The organization also ensures regular physician/clinic visits by the patient or by a family member with a patient phone check-in, at least every 2 weeks.

Nazmus Sakib and Devansh Saxena Publish Paper on “Confronting Autism in Bangladesh”

Nazmus Sakib and Devansh Saxena have recently published a peer-reviewed paper titled as “Confronting Autism in Urban Bangladesh: Unpacking Infrastructural and Cultural Challenges” in the EAI Endorsed Transactions on Pervasive Health and Technology. This research was a multidisciplinary collaboration between Georgia Institute of Technology, Marquette University, Purdue University, University of Toronto, Dhaka Medical College and Hospital, National Institute of Mental Health Bangladesh, Institute of Pediatric Neuro disorders and Autism Bangladesh. Following is the context of this paper in a nutshell.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a critical problem worldwide; however, low and middle-income countries (LMICs) often suffer more from it due to the lack of contextual research and effective care infrastructure. Moreover, ASD in LMICs offers unique challenges as cultural misperceptions and social practices often impede effective care there. However, the recent growth in mobile phone adoption in many LMICs has created a timely opportunity for improving ASD care practices through digital means. We present qualitative findings on the challenges of designing mobile assistive technologies for ASD in Bangladesh. Our data reveal a set of technical, social, and cultural challenges with caregivers and care professionals for designing a meaningful technology for them. We show how those challenges are deeply rooted in the broader infrastructural and cultural tensions of the country. We also present embedded design implications to overcome these challenges.
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