BME Seminar Series: Using Smartwatches to Assess the Temporal Relationship between Ecological Pain


3:00 pm-4:00 pm
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Mamoun Mardini, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Departments of Aging and Geriatric Research and Health Outcomes & Biomedical Informatics, University of Florida

Using Smartwatches to Assess the Temporal Relationship between Ecological Pain and Life-Space Mobility in Older Adults with Symptomatic Knee Osteoarthritis

Older adults who experience pain are more likely to reduce their community and life-space mobility (i.e. the usual range of places in an environment in which a person engages). However, there is significant day-to-day variability in pain experiences that offer unique insights into consequences on life-space mobility that are not well understood. This variability is complex and cannot be captured with traditional recall-based pain surveys. As a solution, ecological momentary assessments (EMA) record repeated pain experiences throughout the day in the natural environment.

In this talk, I will present our demonstration study that examined the temporal association between EMA of pain and metrics from Global Positioning System (GPS) in older adults with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis by using a smartwatch platform called Real-time Online Assessment and Mobility Monitor (ROAMM).

In this demonstration study, higher intensity of knee pain in older adults was associated with lower life-space mobility. Results demonstrate that a custom designed smartwatch platform is effective at simultaneously collecting rich information about ecological pain and life-space mobility. Such smart tools are expected to be important for remote health interventions that harness the variability in pain symptoms while understanding their impact on life-space mobility.


Dr. Mamoun Mardini is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Aging and Geriatric Research in the College of Medicine. He is also affiliated with the Department of Health Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics. Dr. Mardini is a computer scientist by training with research expertise in applied data science in healthcare and wearable technology. He finished his bachelor and master’s degrees in Computer Engineering from the Jordan University of Science and Technology and the American University of Sharjah, respectively. He finished his doctoral degree in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Dr. Mardini is currently involved in several interdisciplinary projects that combine biomedical science, data science, and wearable technology. He has recently received a scholarship from the National Institute on Aging Claude D. Pepper Older American Independence Center to develop an EHR-based frailty index using machine learning approaches. He has also received a seed funding from UF Informatics Institute to develop a smartwatch application to detect face touching and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.


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Dr. Christine Schmidt