The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is looking to partner with the private sector to enhance its cloud-based app to monitor physical markers – such as heart rate and heart rate variability – using smartphone technology.

In a request for information (RFI), NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) said it is looking to develop enhancements to the current mobile application – Track-It Mobile App –  that will allow for the acquisition of new forms of patient data to be integrated with current app functions, including a mobile game aiming to measure behavioral response inhibition and patient-rated assessments to measure clinical symptoms. The goal of the app is to help the Neuroscience and Novel Therapeutics Unit (NNT) identify treatment targets and mechanisms to develop brain-based treatments for children with serious psychiatric disorders.

The RFI said the proposed enhancements will “ameliorate the shortcomings of prior technologies” and will help researchers generate physiological data with “greater relevance to the types of environmental demands patients encounter both in the clinic and daily life.” The eventual vendor will be tasked with updating the current mobile app to integrate already existing heart-monitoring capabilities.

The vendor also will oversee data collection and management, develop and automate analytics models, and troubleshoot any issues that arise within the scope of the mobile app interface and data collection processes. All data collected will be required to be stored in a secure database that adheres to the NIMH Division of Intramural Research Programs’ security specifications.

When developing the software that will interface between research participants and the database, the vendor will work with NIMH’s Emotion and Development Branch (EDB) to collaborate to analyze, design, and enhance the cloud-based app. The RFI explains that through a cloud portal – managed by the contractor – EDB must be able to manage app users, as well as view and analyze research participants’ data.

NIH said the anticipated period of performance is one year from the award of the contract.

Read More About
More Topics
Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.