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Last fall, Fitbit and Fitabase for the second year invited researchers to apply for grants meant to further health equity across marginalized groups in the United States. The Health Equity Initiative was launched in 2021 and supports teams that are looking at new ways to use wearable devices to mitigate health disparities, scale existing health equity research methods with technology and apply data to accelerate health equity impact. 

The awardees of this year’s program are listed below, as well as on Google’s blog, The Keyword. We are so honored to offer Fitabase support to these groups as they work to impact LGBTQ+, Black, Latino and Alaskan Natives communities, as well as marginalized birthing parents and marginalized groups experiencing intimate partner violence.

Metabolic and cardiovascular disease

  • Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Medicine: Remote monitoring to improve equity in the care of Black patients with hypertensive heart failure
  • UC Irvine, Department of Health, Society, & Behavior: Change in type 2 diabetes medication and management among older Latino undocumented patients after full-scope Medi-Cal expansion
  • University of Utah, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine: Adapting a behavioral sleep extension intervention for Spanish-speaking participants

Pre and postnatal support

  • UCSD, Electrical and Computer Engineering & The Design Lab: Enabling equitable access to lactation support through AI
  • University of Washington, Human Centered Design and Engineering: Curating and maintaining non-hospital care networks for Black birthing people
  • California State University East Bay, Department of Public Health: Identifying factors of resilience among Latino and Asian mothers and birthing persons including the roles of physical activity and sleep

Mental health

  • Morehouse School of Medicine. Department of Family Medicine: The High School and Young Adult Community Health Workers (HSYCHW) project is aimed at building bridges between formal health systems and communities
  • Oregon State University-Psychology: Using Fitbit as a wearable wellness and peace technology tool to center restorative healing amongst BIPOC and Latino survivors of gender-based violence: potential challenges and solutions
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Using wearable technology to develop stress-reduction intervention for Black women experiencing intimate partner violence

Social determinants of health

  • Department of Biomedical Informatics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center: Reducing literacy-related health inequities by developing patient language models to improve comprehension of medical text
  • NYU Langone Health, Department of Population Health: Community-based resource mapping and referral initiative to address social risk factors in patients of a large New York hospital system
  • UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences: Healthcare for all using the whole PERSON health score
  • Sinai Chicago, Sinai Urban Health Institute: Leveraging health informatics and community health workers to mitigate health inequities
  • University of Washington, Information School: Co-designing with Alaska Native communities to communicate equitable health research results

Physical activity

  • Northeastern University, Departments of Health Sciences and Computer Sciences: Augmenting fitness tracking data with community storytelling to advance the impact of wearables in promoting health equity
  • Coalition for Food and Health Equity: Developing an integrated community wellness program for Black women
  • Louisiana State University, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Population and Public Health: Increasing physical activity in Black communities living in rural environments.
  • School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology: Understanding how personal tracking devices can promote physical activity in low-SES older adults
  • UCSD Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science: Co-designing a culturally and intersectionality adapted version of the YourMove digital physical activity intervention for Latino communities