Technology to Assess Cardiovascular and Cerebral Health

Project Title: Technology to Assess Cardiovascular and Cerebral Health

Long Title (if desired): Non-Invasive Technology to Assess Cardiovascular and Cerebral Health and Function

Project Lead's Name: Kevin Ballard

Project Lead's Email:

Project Lead's Phone: 513-529-9247

Project Lead's Division: EHS

Primary Department: KNH

Other Team Members and their emails:

  • Randy Claytor (
  • Eric Slattery (

List Departments Benefiting or Affected by this proposal: KNH, PSY

Estimated Number of Under-Graduate students affected per year (should be number who will actually use solution, not just who is it available to): 500

Estimated Number of Graduate students affected per year (should be number who will actually use solution, not just who is it available to): 80

Describe the problem you are attempting to solve and your approach for solving that problem: Current Problem: Traditional methods of teaching cardiovascular clinical assessment and training at Miami University have relied on history taking, diet analysis, blood pressure measurement, auscultation, and treadmill exercise testing to determine parameters such as heart rate recovery. While these manual techniques should continue and will not be replaced in the near future, our students must keep pace with other health science programs that currently use technology described in this proposal to non-invasively record measures of cardiovascular and cerebral health and function.

Our approach to solving the problem: The project team believes the technology described in our proposal will integrate various health disciplines. For example, a sedentary subject with cardiovascular risk factors (e.g., obesity, high blood pressure) is likely to exhibit impaired cardiovascular function at rest and during exercise compared to a physically active subject. Lifestyle interventions, including nutrition counseling and exercise, could be utilized to determine if improvements in cardiovascular function occur over time. Additionally, as the cardiovascular system is regulated by the autonomic nervous system (i.e., balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems), the technology described in our proposal could be used to examine the impact of various “stressors” on cardiovascular and mental health, a topic of interest to both physiologists and psychologists. Thus, a team approach to cardiovascular and cerebral assessment will be encouraged.

The major goal of our proposal is to enhance experiential learning by allowing students to utilize state-of-the-art technology to assess cardiovascular and cerebral health and function. Miami University has been very proactive in keeping pace with new technology, the future direction of health data management, and provides students with unique opportunities for experiential learning. It is envisioned that Miami students will integrate their traditional classroom and laboratory experience with the introduction of additional clinically-relevant measures, such as non-invasive technology to assess cardiovascular and cerebral health. As we shift to a world where data is increasingly important in the field of health sciences, acquisition of this technology will put Miami students in a prime position to utilize and interpret data relevant to their future careers.

How would you describe the innovation and/or the significance of your project: A significant portion of KNH majors will find careers in the clinical health professions and allied health activities including health research, clinical drug trials, nursing, and patient screening. Acquisition of the technology described in our proposal will provide Miami students an opportunity to remain current with the types of progressive technology and health-screening tools they are likely to use when in post-graduate and professional programs in health and medicine. As large-scale data interpretation and analysis is essential in ours and many other fields, this technology will prepare our students well beyond most other universities, strengthening our presence and prestige to bring in more students.

How will you assess the success of the project:

Expected Project Outcome: Students will demonstrate competence in professionally placing the equipment on a subject, recording the cardiovascular and cerebral variables under different conditions (e.g. rest, exercise, recovery), and analyzing the data and interpreting the results between and within individuals differing in sex, age, body size, and health status.

Assessment of Project Outcome: Evaluations of student outcomes (e.g., understanding cardiovascular and cerebral function concepts, healthcare applications, interpreting results, and evaluation of treatment modalities) will be implemented by the course instructors. Laboratory instructors will play a large role in the practical skills assessment, as the laboratory will be the venue for equipment demonstration, subject interaction, data collection, data transfer, and identification of relevant cardiovascular and cerebral variables.

Total Amount Requested: $84,577

Is this a multi-year request: No