Biomedical REAl-Time Health Evaluation (BREATHE): Toward an mHealth informatics platform

Alex A.T. Bui, Anahita Hosseini, Rose Rocchio, Nate Jacobs, Mindy K. Ross, Sande Okelo, Fred Lurmann, Sandrah Eckel, Eldin Dzubur, Genevieve Dunton, Frank Gilliland, Majid Sarrafzadeh, Rima Habre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe a configurable mobile health (mHealth) framework for integration of physiologic and environmental sensors to be used in studies focusing on the domain of pediatric asthma. Materials and Methods: The Biomedical REAl-Time Health Evaluation (BREATHE) platform connects different sensors and data streams, contextualizing an individual's symptoms and daily activities over time to understand pediatric asthma's presentation and its management. A smartwatch/smartphone combination serves as a hub for personal/wearable sensing devices collecting data on health (eg, heart rate, spirometry, medications), motion, and personal exposures (eg, particulate matter, ozone); securely transmitting information to BREATHE's servers; and interacting with the user (eg, ecological momentary assessments). Server-side integration of electronic health record data and spatiotemporally correlated information (eg, weather, traffic) elaborates on these observations. An initial panel study involving pediatric asthma patients was conducted to assess BREATHE. Results: Twenty subjects were enrolled, during which BREATHE accrued seven consecutive days of continuous data per individual. The data were used to confirm knowledge about asthma (use of controller inhalers, time-activity behaviors, personal air pollution exposure), and additional analyses provided insights into within-day associations of environmental triggers and asthma exacerbations. Exit surveys focusing on mHealth usability, while positive, noted several translational challenges. Discussion: Based on these promising results, a longitudinal panel study to evaluate individual microenvironments and exposures is ongoing. Lessons learned thus far reflect the need to address various usability aspects, including convenience and ongoing engagement. Conclusion: BREATHE enables multi-sensor mHealth studies, capturing new types of information alongside an evolving understanding of personal exposomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-200
Number of pages11
JournalJAMIA Open
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • Asthma
  • Environmental health
  • MHealth/telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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