The Massachusetts AI and Technology Center for Connected Care in Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease (MassAITC) spans five institutions within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts including the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst), Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brandeis University, and Northeastern University. Via its member institutions, the MAITC will bring to bear the combined resources of multiple existing centers and institutes and state-of-the-art research facilities.


Research Facilities

  • IALS Center for Human Health and Performance: Houses multiple lab facilities including:
    • The Human Motion Lab. Designed and equipped for assessment of human movement and the evaluation of wearable technologies for quantifying human motion. The lab is a 38’x20′ facility equipped with a Qualysys Oqus Infrared Motion Capture System, AMTI force platforms, and associated data processing software.
    • The Living Science Lab. A unique home-like setting where researchers are able to investigate human behavior for prolonged periods. Includes living room and kitchen areas as well as a suite of wearable sensors and a Noldus Viso observation system.
    • Exercise Intervention & Outcomes Lab. Houses a wide variety of equipment that to evaluate clinical markers of health including cardio-metabolic function and body composition. Includes a GE Lunar iDXA system.
  • IALS Sleep Monitoring Lab: The only sleep research facility in the region equipped for overnight sleep studies to assess sleep and sleep physiology. The center has three bedrooms that can be used for polysomnography, the gold standard for sleep measurement.
  • IALS Sensor Integration Facility: This facility has equipment for precise integration of optical and electronic components into compact systems. Available equipment includes a probe station with laser cutter, wafer saw, wire bonders, a flip chip bonder, via plating, and a laser PCB prototyping tool.
  • IALS mHealth Lab: The mHealth Lab supports performing mobile health experiments at scale and developing robust and personalized mHealth detectors. Services include the development of sensor-based mobile data collection platforms as well as data analytics.
  • Northeastern University NUHome: NUHome is a behavioral monitoring assessment and intervention laboratory. The 600 square foot space is architected as a one bedroom apartment with an adjacent computer control room. The lab is equipped with sensors including 2D and 3D cameras, passive infrared sensors, contact switches, and microphones.
  • Northeastern University NUCoach: NUCoach is a modular health coaching and research platform. It is a powerful yet flexible tool that allows health behavior researchers to gather participant data in real world contexts in near real time.
  • Northeastern University Goldstein Simulation Laboratory Suite: The Goldstein Simulation suite is comprised of four simulation labs, a control room, a viewing area, and debriefing rooms. The lab space can be configured as operating rooms, emergency departments, apartments, intensive care units, offices, exam rooms, etc. The facility is wired for high resolution video and audio recording.
  • Mass General Hospital: Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (MADRC) Longitudinal Cohort

Human and User-Centered Design Resources

Human-Centered Design

The resources below provide an overview of human-centered design, a high-level approach to putting end users at the center of the design process.

User-Centered Design

The resources below provide an overview of user-centered design and design thinking, which are iterative processes for including end user perspectives in design. These resources provide a more operational approach than human-centered design. The names of steps might vary between resources, but the processes are conceptually similar.

CareEvolution develops technology solutions for healthcare and research. Their focus on interoperability and data exchange enables collaboration and integration of various research data sources and modalities. CareEvolution’s MyDataHelps product may be useful to some MassAITC pilots. It offers a platform that enables researchers to securely collect, analyze, and manage personalized health data from participants. This may assist smaller research teams by providing them with tools to track participant progress, monitor health outcomes and perform data analysis. Use of this platform is free of charge for up to 100 participants.

Example mHealth Applications

The resources below describe example projects where the approaches described above have been applied to the design of mHealth devices and applications.

  • Marquard, J. (2021). Human Factors and Organizational Issues in Health Informatics: Innovations and Opportunities. Yearbook of Medical Informatics, 30(01), 091-099. Full-text article *See page 94 for a list of references to mHealth design. Not all of these studies were comprehensive in their methods, but they serve as exemplars of what other researchers have done*