Mobile health (mHealth) has tremendous potential to change the nature of health care worldwide, and different mHealth approaches are being explored for a wide variety of health conditions. Amanda Rabinowitz, PhD, is Director of the Brain Injury Neuropsychology Laboratory at Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute (MRRI), and her work has been examining how mHealth technology can be used to improve outcomes for people following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Dr. Rabinowitz served as a guest editor for the latest issue of The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, a leading peer-reviewed journal focused on the clinical management and rehabilitation of people with TBI. The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation is the official academic journal of the Brain Injury Association of America.
As guest editor of this issue, Dr. Rabinowitz and Shannon Juengst, PhD, of UT Southwestern Medical Center worked to assemble a collection of articles from top scientists examining important areas of research related to the use of mHealth for TBI rehabilitation. Dr. Rabinowitz is lead author on one of the featured articles in this issue, and she is a co-author on another article. In the first article, Dr. Rabinowitz and colleagues describe their work developing and testing a chatbot (called RehaBot) that can communicate with users with TBI to provide reminders, encouragement, and supportive feedback. RehaBot is being designed to augment face-to-face therapy to reduce depression and increase participation in people with moderate-to-severe TBI.
In the second article, Dr. Rabinowitz and colleagues investigated the feasibility of remote collection of data on neurobehavioral symptoms and heart rate variability via a commercially available wearable device. Their work suggests this method of data collection is feasible, and heart rate variability has potential to be used as a physiological biomarker or neurobehavioral symptoms.
Through opportunities such as serving as guest editors for academic journals, MRRI scientists are continuing to lead and guide research in their respective fields with the ultimate goal of advancing neurorehabilitation treatments to improve the lives of patients.