Physical activity and exercise are key aspects of a cardiac rehabilitation program. Exercise keeps the heart pumping and helps the cardiovascular system functioning fully. To ensure full recovery from a post-heart disease, cardiac rehabilitation programs always stress the importance of exercise, stress reduction & healthy living. After rehabilitation, it is still important to continue as well as increase physical activity as it can help patients reduce their future health risks and improve their future living.
HeartSteps is a research project funded by the National Institutes of Health that explores new ways that mobile technology –smartphones and wearable sensors—can be used to help patients to continue their physical activity and/or increase it after the rehabilitation program. We have developed a mobile app that uses a person's current context—location, weather, time of day, etc.—to provide relevant, timely, and actionable suggestions for physical activity, and we are developing ways to adapt the working of the app over time for each person to maximize its effectiveness and minimize user burden. Our ultimate goal is to develop technology that effectively supports physical activity over the long-term, enabling people to become and remain active, even as they go through the many inevitable life transitions such as illness, moves, changes in jobs, and so on.
HeartSteps is a collaboration of researchers with many different types of expertise. Our team of investigators consists of the following:
Predrag "Pedja" Klasnja, PhD, Assistant Professor of Information, University of Michigan Dr. Klasnja's background is in human-computer interaction and health informatics, and his research focuses on the design of mobile health (mHealth) tools that help individuals manage their health in their everyday lives.
Susan A. Murphy, PhD, H. E. Robbins Distinguished Professor of Statistics, University of Michigan Dr. Murphy designs clinical trials and develops ways to analyze data from people in clinical trials. Her work helps us discover when and where it is best for a smartphone to contact you to provide ideas for how you can improve your health (e.g. quit smoking, be more active, recover from substance abuse).
Ambuj Tewari, PhD. Assistant Professor of Statistics and Computer Science, University of Michigan Dr. Tewari is a computer scientist who specializes in algorithms that enable systems to adapt their functioning over time to maximize certain outcomes, such as health outcomes in the case of mHealth systems.
Eric Hekler, PhD. Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Arizona State University Dr. Hekler is a psychologist who conducts research on health behavior change. He is particularly interested in physical activity, and has developed a number of interventions to help individuals to walk more in their daily lives.
Elizabeth Jackson, MD. Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Michigan Dr. Jackson is a cardiologist with a strong interest in women's health and cardiovascular prevention. She is particularly interested in helping patients with heart disease to better manage their health by increasing physical activity.