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Caldwell Rinnert and Hughes Awarded Grant to Build iPad-based Intervention for CF Patients

Posted Dec. 18, 2012

Assistant Professor of Visual Communication Design Gretchen Caldwell Rinnert and Associate Professor of Psychology Joel Hughes, Ph.D. received a grant from the Division of Research and Sponsored Programs to develop, implement and test an iPad-based system called the Advocate for Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patients.

The project, a tablet-based self-management and health education intervention, will combine online health-related information and self-management tools for chronic illness with social networking and is geared to 13-21 year old CF patients. The “Web MD meets Facebook,” tool will be customizable and offer digital health monitoring devices for weight and activity, prescription reminders and interaction with other patients.

Because CF patients cannot risk sharing bacteria, they cannot meet in person to discuss their disease, support one another emotionally or share information. Caldwell Rinnert and Hughes hope the program will assist adolescents living with CF, who tend to be poor self-managers and are a large audience of social networking and mobile applications.

Caldwell Rinnert and Hughes will test their product on 20-25 CF patients at Akron General Hospital using a group video chat and providing a survey to evaluate Medicine Adherence.

Caldwell Rinnert (Visual Communication Design) is currently pilot testing a visual prototype mock-up of The Patient Advocate in a study being conducted with children and young adults living with CF in partnership with Akron Children’s Hosptial and Dr. Kraynack (Director, Cystic Fibrosis Center, CHMCA ). Dr. Hughes (Psychology) is currently conducting several NIH funded projects related to chronic disease self-management.