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Ertin speaks to presidential workgroup on tech healthcare

Ohio State ECE research associate professor Emre Ertin was among a group of national experts asked to advise a workgroup initiative created by president Barack Obama.

The president’s $215 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) aims to gather and analyze vast amounts of genetic and other patient data to develop more targeted, personalized therapies for treating diseases in the future.

In March, NIH announced the formation of the Precision Medicine Initiative Working Group of the Advisory Committee to the (NIH) Director. The working group is developing a vision for how to harness the advances in technology, scientific understanding, and participant engagement to create a platform for precision medicine research and move precision medicine into every day clinical practice.

The PMI panel, composed of medicine, technology and policy leaders, guides the NIH in building a group of at least 1 million American volunteer research participants who have agreed to share their genetic, environmental, lifestyle and behavioral information with other qualified researchers.

Ertin traveled to Santa Clara, California over July 27 and 28 to speak at the Mobile and Personal Technologies in Precision Medicine Workshop, held at the Intel Corporation. Specifically, he discussed wearable physiological sensors in a presentation related to measurable behavioral variables in the field.

Ertin's work focuses on statistical signal processing, distributed and sequential detection and estimation with applications to mobile health and radar systems. He recieved his PhD from The Ohio State University in 1999. 

To gather constant data about patients’ lives, researchers needed to develop health sensors that could track physical activity, stress levels, heart function and other behaviors in real-time - Ertin's specialty. 

His work was featured in the Columbus Dispatch last year after he helped develop health sensors that use radar to track anything from fluid buildup in the lungs, to body temperature, movement and other data.

Precision medicine is an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person. While significant advances in precision medicine have been made for select cancers, the practice is not currently in use for most diseases. Many efforts are underway to help make precision medicine the norm rather than the exception. To accelerate the pace, Obama unveiled the PMI to help revolutionize medicine and generate the scientific evidence needed to move the concept of precision medicine into every day clinical practice.


Emre Ertin, Ph.D., is a Research Associate Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The Ohio State University. He received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and Physics from Bogazici University in Turkey in 1992, the M.Sc. degree in Telecommunication and Signal Processing from Imperial College, U.K. in 1993, and the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Ohio State in 1999. From 1999 to 2002 he was with the Core Technology Group at Battelle Memorial Institute. His current research interests are biomedical sensor design and statistical signal processing with application to sensor networks and mobile health.