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Dr. Tracy Anne Hammond, a researcher with the Texas A&M Experiment Station (TEES), associate professor and Charles H. Barclay Jr. ’45 College of Engineering Faculty Fellow in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and director of the Sketch Recognition Lab in the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University and other university collaborators are establishing the Texas A&M University Coalition for Healthy Active Living (TAMU-CHAL).

The planned coalition has garnered support from clinical partners at Baylor Scott & White Health in Temple, and a seed grant from TEES.

“TAMU-CHAL will engineer technologies and techniques for data collection and analyses, facilitate new forms of health research and analyses, and enable novel lines of health interventions, monitoring and promotion for targeted populations of at-risk individuals," said Hammond.

TEES, the College of Engineering, the Texas A&M University Division of Research, the College of Geoscience and the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health have joined forces in this effort. Hammond said she envisions that TAMU-CHAL and the new coalition will provide the perfect opportunity to integrate multiple perspectives and disciplines to improve public and individual health, health care system and delivery, and the value of health care solutions.

Several pilot studies are currently in development, including testing the efficacy of health tools for assessing health behaviors, improving patient-physician interactions and enhancing healthy lifestyle behaviors. Another project attempts to automatically recognize a user’s exercise patterns and suggest specific changes to a person’s daily activity. A third study is examining innovative ways of testing environmental impacts on the spatial and temporal patterning of physical activity.

The multidisciplinary team includes Hammond; co-PI Dr. Marcia Ory, Dr. Yan Hong and Dr. Samuel Towne, School of Public Health; Dr. Daniel W. Goldberg, Department of Geography; and Dr. Samuel Forjuoh, director of research in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, Baylor Scott & White Health.