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Two African-American women exercising together wearing fitness tracker.

According to a 2019 Pew Research Study, about one in five U.S. adults regularly wears a smart watch or wearable fitness tracker. This trend is producing a wealth of health data that can be leveraged to improve medial practice and scientific research.

The Building and InteGrating Digital heAlth Technology and Analytics (BIGDATA) Core Center for Clinical Research (CCRCR) at UAB is an NIH-funded center that aims to harness these technologies—and the data they generate—and make them available to support a broad base of investigations. The Center is composed of three distinct cores, each of which brings innovative tools, expertise and methods to the research community to effectively advance rheumatologic, musculoskeletal, and skin diseases research.

Professor Jeffrey Curtis, MD, MS, MPH, is the principal investigator of this four-year, $3 million grant.

BIGDATA: 3 Synergistic Cores

Aim 1: Promote outstanding, innovative, and synergistic disease-focused research and expedite clinical, translational and informatics-related projects through the utilization of our Methodologic Core composed of a diverse team with expertise in biostatistics, bioinformatics, clinical informatics, statistical genetics, epidemiology, computer science, health economics, and implementation science. David Redden, PhD, directs the Methodologic Core with Associate Director Lloyd Edwards, PhD.  

Aim 2: Foster the development, refinement, and application of existing and de novo digital technology data capture and analysis tools integrated with traditional data sources to advance research in rheumatologic and musculoskeletal diseases through our Data Capture and Integration Core. James Willig, MD, MSPH directs the DCI Core with Associate Director Maria Danila, MD.

Aim 3: Promote the training of both junior and established clinical and translational investigators in the current methods of clinical informatics and digital health tools through diverse enrichment activities overseen by our Administrative Core. Jeff Curtis, MD, MS, MPH, directs the Administrative Core with Associate Director Huifeng Yun, PhD.

BIGDATA CCCR is funded by a P30 grant from NIAMS.