Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Brown Professor Awarded $2.8 Million NIH Grant to Develop Mobile Health App

September 25, 2018

Adam Levine, Associate Professor at the Warren Alpert Medical School and Director of the Humanitarian Innovation Initiative at the Watson Institute at Brown University, has been awarded a $2.8 million, five year grant from the National Institutes of Health. With the grant, Levine will work to develop a new smartphone application to help clinicians in low-resource settings better manage patients with cholera and other epidemic diseases.

Diarrheal diseases lead to an estimated 2.4 billion episodes of illness and 1.3 million deaths each year, with the majority of those deaths occurring in adults, adolescents, and children over five years. Accurately assessing dehydration status remains the most crucial step in preventing morbidity and mortality, yet, while several tools have been validated for use in young children, no clinical diagnostic tool has ever been validated for the assessment of dehydration severity in adults, adolescents or children over five years of age with acute diarrhea.

“This new mobile health tool will help physicians, nurses, and other providers worldwide to determine the best management strategies for patients with acute diarrhea, potentially improving and rationalizing care for the hundreds of millions of patients each year,” said Levine. “This is a low-resource, high-impact solution to a critical global health problem.”

Testing of the application will occur in Dhaka, Bangladesh, enrolling a prospective cohort of adults and children over five years of age with acute diarrhea. Their data will form the training set for the application, which will then be tested on a novel group of participants. Once developed and properly validated, this novel mHealth tool has the potential to help physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers more accurately diagnose dehydration severity and better determine the optimal management strategy for patients with acute diarrhea.

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