College of Nursing Establishes Center of Excellence in Exposure Health Informatics
Nov 6, 2019 11:30 AM
The Center of Excellence for Exposure Health Informatics (CEEHI) was formally established by the University of Utah in September 2019. Pronounced as "See High," it is a not so subtle reference to being able to see the lovely mountains, when air quality allows. CEEHI is a multi-disciplinary center co-led by Nursing Informatics and Biomedical Informatics faculty along with collaborators from across campus, with a mission to "foster and facilitate the next generation of exposure health research through use and development of novel informatics methods and solutions." Exposure health informatics (environmental health informatics) is the application of biomedical informatics (BMI) science and methods to provide insight into the complex interaction between environmental exposures and other factors, and their short- and long-term consequences on human health. The University of Utah has a growing body of researchers investigating environmental issues, and cross-department collaborations are increasingly needed to examine how environment and lifestyle influence health outcomes. CEEHI occupies a unique niche in providing novel informatics methods and solutions to support exposure health research.
CEEHI builds upon the work of the Utah PRISMS Center. The NIH Pediatric Research using Integrated Sensor Monitoring Systems (PRISMS) program was launched in 2015 to develop sensor-based, integrated health monitoring systems for measuring environmental, physiological, and behavioral factors in epidemiological studies of pediatric asthma and other chronic diseases. The University of Utah was funded by NIH/NIBIB to develop an informatics ecosystem under this initiative (1U54EB021973, $5.5 million, Katherine Sward CON and Julio Facelli SOM, MPIs). The University of Utah PRISMS informatics ecosystem is a Federated Integration Platform, helping researchers to bring together diverse data in flexible ways as needed for environmental health studies. This ecosystem facilitates sensor deployment and performance of sensor-based studies, and the integration, processing, visualization, and secure transmission of study data for the PRISMS program. The goal is to provide an effective, flexible and open access approach to collecting, managing and analyzing high-resolution data from sensors, generating and utilizing clinically relevant exposomes (descriptions of environmental exposures that have health impacts); and integrating these exposomes with clinical, self-report, behavioral, and other research data. The PRISMS informatics ecosystem provides key infrastructure that can accommodate diverse types of studies that include environmental exposure monitoring.
Through the Utah PRISMS Center, University of Utah teams developed a home sensor networking system (allowing data capture from multiple devices in a participant home), participant data visualization and annotation platforms, research study data management interfaces, computational modeling frameworks, and the core data integration platform. A pilot project in a small number of homes collected a unique longitudinal data set with more than 10 million home air quality sensor readings; that data set is being used to explore and develop novel data analytic methods for environmental research.
The CEEHI kickoff meeting was held on November 5, 2019 and leadership includes:
- Kathy Sward & Julio Facelli, Co-Directors
- Scott Collingwood: Associate Director for Outreach
- Ram Gouripeddi and Chris Reilly: Associate Directors for Research
- Kerry Kelly and Catherine Staes: Associate Directors for Student Involvement
- Mollie Cummins: Membership Committee Chair
You can learn more at http://ceehi.ccts.utah.edu/