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Urbashi Mitra Presents “TeleHealth” Research at NAE National Meeting

The electrical engineering professor spoke as part of the NAE's Gilbreth Lectures, which recognize outstanding young engineers.

March 09, 2012 —

On Feb. 9, 2012, USC Viterbi Professor Urbashi Mitra spoke at the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) National Meeting in Irvine, California.

 Professor Urbashi Mitra with NAE President Charles M. Vest.

To an audience that included distinguished engineers from across the nation, as well as 100 middle and high school students with expressed interests in engineering, Mitra presented her work on The KNOWME Network: an initiative project that uses mobile phone technology to monitor the health of participating individuals and potentially help improve their health. Part of the larger new field of “telehealth,” Mitra calls this work the “next generation of wireless communications.”

During the program, moderated by NAE President Dr. Charles M. Vest, Mitra detailed how wireless communications serves as the glue between on-body biometric sensors and mobile phones in KNOWME, creating wireless body area sensing networks tracking the health state of each participants’ health. Bluetooth capable sensors capture everything from the participant’s physical activity, to their emotional data, and even collect user-input voice and video tags. Mitra also detailed challenges to achieving ubiquitous telehealth, including energy constraints and the seamless merging of health application software with the wireless communications infrastructure.

Featuring NAE Chair Irwin Jacobs, Director and Co-Founder of Qualcomm, the day’s program highlighted presenters from the NAE Frontiers of Engineering Symposia, all recipients of the Gilbreth Lectureships. Established by the Council of the NAE in 2001, the Gilbreth Lectures recognize outstanding young engineers.

Along with Mitra, other speakers included Google Distinguished Engineer Dr. Luiz Barroso, who received his Ph.D in Computer Engineering from USC Viterbi; Dr. David Tse, a Professor of Electrical Engineering at the UC Berkeley; and Bradley Jaeger, Vice President of Engineering and Operations for Edison2, inventors of the “Very Light Car” and recipient of the 2010 Progressive Automotive X Prize.