Professor Beth Kolko Receives NSF Grant

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Beth KolkoThis fall, Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) Professor Beth Kolko and colleagues from the Department of Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) were awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant from the Smart Health and Wellness program. Their project, led by PI Gaetano Borriello with Kolko and CSE Professor Richard Anderson as Co-PIs, will create a set of software tools to help improve healthcare in low resource regions.

The project, called the Mobile Wellness Toolkit (MWT), is working on interventions in US-based as well as international communities. With a heavy involvement of undergraduate and graduate students from both departments, Kolko and her colleagues are hoping the MWT project will result in not just new tools, but a new mindset among those creating innovative health technologies. The goal of the MWT is to work in problems spaces as divergent as vaccine cold chain management, community-health worker data collection processes, and flash heating of HIV-infected breast milk to make it safe for infants in order to leverage existing and affordable technologies to improve the whole ecosystem of healthcare in poorer communities. They have also teamed up with the Seattle-based Global 2 Local initiative to make sure their research has an impact in the greater Seattle area.