October 16, 2014

According to the Columbia Daily Herald, The National Institutes of Health announced a $10.8million federal research grant to The University of Memphis to put them at the center of a national experiment to collect medical data relayed from mobile sensors to be worn.

The university’s research center is part of NIH’s larger $656 million campaign to make “wider use of technology” in healthcare. Memphis researchers win about $100 million per year in NIH grants, but few businesses and tech jobs have been created in the city. NIH is the government’s largest source of grants for basic scientific research and distributed $30.1billion last year.

U of M received more than $50 million from combined sources last year; $3.6 million was from NIH. This is very small in comparison to other school such as University of Michigan who received $412 million last year from NIH alone. This grant will attract top faculty, graduate students, corporations and entrepreneurs to U of M, and they are already in early conversations with Samsung.

The $10.8 million award will be dispersed over four years and link Kumar, who has a national reputation for mobile health research and is one of the nation’s most brilliant scientists, and the Mobile Sensor Data to Knowledge Center of Excellence (MD2K) in Memphis with a team of scientists from 11 universities. MD2K center is in the FedEx Institute for Technology with a core staff of five, though about 50 people will be part of the center, including 22 scientists, students, and researchers.

At least once a year, Memphis will host scientists from top universities and Open mHealth to pave the way for sharing data between doctors and patients.

“The development of smart software that can be used by biomedical researchers, and eventually by health care providers and consumers, will be based on two studies producing data from mobile sensors. Early detection and prevention are goals of learning how to crunch mobile sensor big data. We don’t have that capability today, but perhaps we can” said Kumar.


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