Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Heart Disease, Technology / 17.03.2022 Interview with: Ali Torkamani, Ph.D. Director of Genomics and Genome Informatics Scripps Research Translational Institute Professor, Integrative Structural and Computational Biology Scripps Research La Jolla, CA 92037  What is the background for this study?  Response: Prior research has shown that people with higher polygenic risk for coronary artery disease achieve greater risk reduction with statin or other lipid lowering therapy. In general, adherence to standard guidelines for lipid lowering therapy is low - about 30% of people who should be on lipid lowering therapy are, with no correlation to their genetic risk. We set out to see whether communicating personalized risk, including polygenic risk, for coronary artery disease would drive the adoption of lipid lowering therapy. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Technology / 03.02.2022 Interview with: Michael J. Mahan Ph.D Professor Dept of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9625  What is the background for this study?  Response: A critical need exists in resource-poor settings for low-cost, low-tech, yet highly reliable and scalable testing for SARS-CoV-2 virus that is robust against circulating variants.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Technology, UCSF / 12.03.2019 Interview with: Robert Avram MD MSc Division of Cardiology University of California, San Francisco What is the background for this study? Would you briefly describe what is meant by Photoplethysmography? While analyzing the heart rate data as collected using smartphones apps in the Health-eHeart study, we noticed that diabetic patients had, on average, a higher ‘free-living’ heart rate than non-diabetic patients when adjusted from multiple factors. This pushed us to analyze the signal to see if there were other features that would help differentiate diabetes patients from non-diabetes patients. By identifying these features, we saw a huge opportunity to develop a screening tool for diabetes using deep learning and a smartphone camera and flash, in order to classify patients as having prevalent diabetes/no-diabetes. Photoplethysmography is the technique of measuring the difference in light absorption by the skin in order to detect blood volume changes in the microvasculature. Most modern mobile devices, including smartphones and many fitness trackers (Apple Wathc, FitBit), have the ability to acquire PPG waveforms, providing a unique opportunity to detect diabetes-related vascular changes at population-scale.  (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Heart Disease, Technology / 15.10.2016 Interview with: Dr. Ngai-yin Chan Princess Margaret Hospital Lai Chi Kok, Hong Kong What is the background for this study? Response: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained heart rhythm disorder which can cause stroke, heart failure and an increased risk of death. The risk of stroke can be reduced substantially with drug treatment. However, a quarter of patients with AF causing stroke have silent and asymptomatic AF before stroke. The current guidelines recommend opportunistic screening for AF. Whether systematic community screening for AF with a convenient smartphone ECG can reduce the burden of AF remains unknown. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, PLoS, Technology / 15.05.2015

Michael Rebold, PhD, CSCS Assistant Professor Department of Exercise Science Bloomsburg University Bloomsburg, PA Interview with: Michael Rebold, PhD, CSCS Assistant Professor Department of Exercise Science Bloomsburg University Bloomsburg, PA 17815 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Rebold: We assessed how common smartphone uses (texting and talking) interfere with treadmill exercise. We found that when individuals use their smartphones during exercise for texting or talking, it causes a reduction in exercise intensity. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Technology / 09.02.2015 Interview with: Tassaneewan Laksanasopin PhD Candidate Molecular and Microscale Bioengineering Lab Columbia University Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We miniaturized and integrated all components needed for blood test (similar to ELISA) to be run on a smartphone accessory for point-of-care testing of infectious diseases.  The device simultaneously detects three infectious disease markers for HIV, treponemal syphilis and nontreponemal syphilis from a finger prick of blood in just 15 minutes.  In a blinded experiment in three health clinics in Rwanda, local health care workers obtained diagnostic results from 96 patients enrolled in prevention of mother-to-child transmission and voluntary counseling programs.  The test performance from our triplexed test was 92-100% sensitivity and 79-92% specificity compared to the gold standard of lab-based HIV ELISA, Treponema pallidum haemagglutination and rapid plasma reagin.  Importantly, patient preference for the dongle was 97% compared to lab-based tests, with most pointing to the convenience of obtaining quick results with a single finger prick.  This work suggests coupling microfluidics with recent advances in consumer electronics can make certain lab-based diagnostics accessible to almost any population with access to smartphones. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Heart Disease / 07.07.2014 Interview with: Dr Mohanraj K Karunanithi Research Team Leader | Integrated Mobile Health Systems The Australian e-Health Research Centre Digital Productivity and Services Flagship CSIRO Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Karunanithi:
  • 33% more clients completed the innovative home-based cardiac rehabilitation (CR) delivery using smartphone and the internet (Care Assessment Platform CR program) compared with the traditional centre-based cardiac rehabilitation program.
  • Care Assessment Platform-CR  was as effective as tradition CR program in improving physical activity, diet intake, and lowering depression
  • Care Assessment Platform -CR was also effective in reducing weight, and anxiety levels and more importantly, the overall health related quality of life.