Professor Receives NIH Grant to Leverage Smartphones in Fight Against Parkinson’s

Beom-Chan Lee, Ph.D.

The UH College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) is pleased to announce that Beom-Chan Lee, assistant professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance, has been awarded a $322,324, two-year exploratory/developmental research grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant will provide funding for the continued development of Lee’s smartphone-based biofeedback system for patients with Parkinson’s disease. The NIH’s R21 grants are intended to encourage new research activities by providing support for the early and conceptual stages of project development.

Lee’s wearable biofeedback technology is an advanced prototype known as Smarter Balance System (SBS). The SBS is designed to help Parkinson’s patients track their performance in static standing exercises, which physical therapists recommend to those seeking to develop and retain their body’s balance and stability. The NIH grant will evaluate improvements in balance performance, long-term retention, and carry-over effects in people with Parkinson's disease performing in-home balance training. 

Lee's work on balancing systems for patients with Parkinson's disease has been featured by Houston Public Media and the American Parkinson's Disease Association.