NSF-funded project looks to mHealth to improve perioperative services

The National Science Foundation has awarded $797,066 to three Clemson University professors to research how mobile technology can improve coordination in perioperative services. The project, detailed in an Oct. 9 Clemson announcement, will include the development of a smart app to assist data gathering and create artificial intelligence that runs mobile applications in hospitals.

Artificial intelligence and big data are two of six big health tech ideas that will change medicine, according to a TechCrunch article. Nevertheless, although artificial intelligence and big data are promising developments in computing, its uses in healthcare to date have been limited, according to Larry Fredendall, a co-investigator and professor of management in the College of Business and Behavioral Science at Clemson.

An aim of the NSF-funded project at Clemson is to help develop a more effective and efficient healthcare environment for perioperative services administered before, during and after surgery. Clemson researchers will use artificial intelligence and data analytics to improve coordination in perioperative services at three South Carolina hospitals: Greenville Memorial Hospital, Palmetto Health Richland, and the Medical University of South Carolina.

In order to enhance cooperation and coordination between staff within and across perioperative departments, the project seeks to create a framework using a combination of mobile technology, learning systems, data analytics, education and training. One of the challenges researchers face, argued Joel Greenstein, a co-investigator and professor in Clemson's industrial engineering department, is to deliver these technologies in a form that is accepted by medical staff in their daily work and does not distract them from their focus on patient care.

A key focus area of the research is to ensure that care quality remains high while providing efficient patient workflow. The smart app and simulation model will provide the research team with teaching and training tools that can be used in classrooms at Clemson to teach students information and workflow management techniques across a variety of fields, including business, engineering, science and health care.

The three Clemson professors are part of a statewide team that includes two faculty members at the University of South Carolina. In total, NSF has awarded $1.4 million to the two universities.

Earlier this year, NSF published a long list of solicitations for different big data projects that support its overall objectives, including ensuring a full complement of health and medical information is available at the point of care for clinical decision-making.

To learn more:
- here's the Clemson announcement
- check out this TechCrunch article

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