What if you could predict, ahead of time, a child's asthma attack and prevent it?

The new Los Angeles PRISMS Center is an interdisciplinary effort that combines mobile health (mHealth) technologies and novel biomedical informatics software platforms to help children and their caregivers control asthma.



Research areas & highlights
Current funded research
Other ongoing projects
Past research
Student research

The Los Angeles PRISMS Center

Supported by NIH/NIBIB U54 EB022002 (PI: Alex Bui)

The Los Angeles (LA) PRISMS Center is fostering the development and application of mobile health (mHealth) technologies that deepen our scientific understanding and clinical management of pediatric conditions. Bringing together leading experts from UCLA and USC in biomedical informatics, computer science, wireless health, environmental science and health, and pediatrics, this Center focuses on the creation of innovative end-to-end software infrastructure for pediatric sensor-based health monitoring.

A part of the NIH's Pediatric Research Integrating Sensor Monitoring Systems (PRISMS) community, this collaborative effort focuses on pediatric asthma. Our Center’s vision and proposed research is motivated by the following question: what if you could predict ahead of time, for a specific asthma patient, the potential for exacerbation and thus mitigate – if not prevent – the event? Any system with this ability must integrate the growing array of available physiologic and environmental data from sensors, and place such data into context to elucidate the patient’s state and specific situation. The system must be able to act sufficiently quickly on sensed data to make timely recommendations, and end user compliance with system usage must be high to effect change. Our solution, the Biomedical REAl-Time Health Evaluation for Pediatric Asthma (BREATHE) platform, provides an extensible framework for the deployment of data collection protocols; secure data collection from sensors to a mobile device; integration of additional contextual information; and real-time analysis. To build and assess BREATHE, the Center comprises three closely coordinated Projects, described below.

Information from the NIH regarding the PRISMS effort can be found in a news release here and on the NIBIB website here.

ucla newsroom release about the LA PRISMS Center >
more information about the LA PRISMS Center is available on its website >


Project 1

Integrated Sensing from the Device to the Cloud

Project 1 establishes application program interfaces (APIs) for automatically gathering information from a device and local sensors, communicating with the PRISMS U01 sensors and U24 coordinating data center. Standard APIs enabling data exchange from sensors to a mobile device; and from the mobile device to cloud are explored, leveraging existing mHealth and communication protocols. Key aspects of this software infrastructure include securing all aspects of the data collection and transmission process, and algorithms for optimizing power usage on sensors and the mobile device.

Project Leader: Majid Sarrafzadeh
UCLA Computer Science Department

Project 2

Integrating & Visualizing Clinical, Environmental, and Sensor Data

Project 2 develops the informatics infrastructure to enable context around sensed data, to analyze the data, and to optimize the range of interactions and activities different users will have with BREATHE. It focuses on combining data acquired from the U24 data center with contextual information (e.g., regional air quality, clinical elements from the patient’s electronic health record, etc.) with real-time processing and analysis infrastructure. Key developments include creating a unified data model for the information; and interfaces for cohort discovery, protocol definition, monitoring/updating of active data collection experiments.

Project Leader: Alex Bui
UCLA Medical Imaging Informatics

Project 3

Real-time Asthma and Air Pollution Project (Asthma APP)

Project 3 develops testing protocols to assess the field performance of sensors employed as part of BREATHE in key microenvironments and the utility of highly resolved spatial and temporal data to inform such insights. A framework for evaluating system performance and real-world testing of the platform for self-management and early interventions is developed. The use of ecological momentary assessment (EMA) methods to understand the environment is employed. Working with Project 2, for each individual subject, tailored predictive models that employ real-time contextual data will be developed and tested for asthma risk assessment.

Project Leader: Frank Gilliland
USC Southern California Environmental Health Sciences Center