Posted on Feb 5, 2016

Nursing faculty’s heart failure smartphone app gets recognized by national science program

Nursing faculty’s heart failure smartphone app gets recognized by national science program

HeartMapp, a smartphone application for heart failure, created by Ponrathi Athilingam, PhD, assistant professor at USF College of Nursing, was accepted into the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program.

Dr. Athilingam’s app, created in collaboration with Miguel Labrador, PhD, professor at the USF Department of Computer Science and Engineering, was one of only a few USF innovative technologies to be accepted into the program.

This opportunity allows Dr. Athilingam and her research team to receive real-world, hands-on experience that could help transition the mobile app out of the laboratory and into a commercially feasible product.

HeartMapp is an Android-based app that helps older adults with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) improve their self-care and hopefully reduce costly hospital readmissions. The technology helps patients assess their heart condition on a daily basis, monitor their vital signs, perform breathing and walking exercises, and provide real-time and historical data and graphs on CHF.

HeartMapp, now copyrighted by USF, also provides patients with a web interface to access historical and real-time information about their condition – to help with early detection of potential problems and identify appropriate treatment.


“HeartMapp acts as a heart health coach for patients,” Dr. Athilingam said. “It allows them to engage in daily self-management and take action for their heart failure symptoms. These factors could potentially improve their overall health and well-being and reduce costly readmission rates.”

Dr. Athilingam and Dr. Labrador designed the app using the Information, Motivation, and Behavior (IMB) model. The researchers received funding from Florida High Tech Corridor and Draper Laboratory to develop the technology.

The team received $50,000 to participate in the I-Corps’ six-month long program. Other members of their team include USF Nursing PhD student, Bradlee Jenkins, and Heather Zumpano, project manager for USF master of science in health informatics. Dr. Athilingam will serve as the principal investigator, technical leader and project manager on the project. The team is expected to begin training this March in Arlington, Virginia.

Dr. Ponrathi Athilingam, PhD

Ponrathi Athilingam, PhD, assistant professor at USF College of Nursing

“I’m honored to represent USF Nursing in the I-Corps program with the HeartMapp,” Dr. Athilingam said. “My goal is to turn this technology into a game changer for patients with heart failure.”

I-Corps is a partnership program that helps scientists and engineers turn their research into entrepreneurial opportunities. USF is one of I-Corps sites.

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