NEWS | April 28, 2015

UC Davis nursing professor awarded seed grant for developing social-mobile platform


Katherine Kim, assistant professor at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis, was selected for one year of seed funding from the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) as part of the 2015 CITRIS Seed Fund Awards.

Katherine Kim Katherine Kim

CITRIS is a collaboration among the University of California campuses at Berkeley, Davis (including its health system campus in Sacramento), Merced and Santa Cruz. CITRIS is a multidisciplinary institute with engineers working with researchers from a wide range of disciplines, including medicine, public health, law, art, economics and social science.

Kim received about $60,000 for her study,“Social-Mobile Platform for Optimizing Health Services for Complex Chronic Care Management,” which was among 11 proposals that divided $600,000 in interdisciplinary research funds. For the project, Kim will develop a working prototype of a social-mobile platform for care coordination for complex health conditions. This prototype will incorporate the input of clinicians, individuals, caregivers and health workers in order to share information and understand interactions between all members of the care team.

In the current environment of health care reform, a national concern exists about the cost, quality and access to care, especially for people battling chronic diseases. Care involves diverse practitioners and multiple transitions between medical centers, provider practices, clinics, community resources and individual’s homes.

“Using participatory and user-centered design methodology, we will develop a working prototype of a social and mobile platform for care coordination for complex health conditions that can incorporate the necessary data and communications among the various people involved in care,” Kim said. “We will focus on heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States, but the platform may be applicable to a number of conditions.”

Kim currently works on an interdisciplinary research initiative with the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, whereby a team led by nursing researchers investigates how tablet computers and reimagined social-networking software can improve the experience and outcome for those undergoing chemotherapy. She is also an investigator with pSCANNER: Patient-centered Scalable National Network for Effectiveness Research, a clinical data research network funded by Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) which encompasses five University of California schools, including UC Davis, and the national Veteran’s Administration.

“This CITRIS award further advances the innovative mobile technology work being undertaken in the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing,” added Jill Joseph, associate dean for research. “Our faculty are investigating ways that such technology can optimize person-centered care for those with chronic conditions, address the needs of their family caretakers and support the health care team.”

Kim, who is not a nurse, has spent two decades on information technology to improve community health, care coordination and clinical research, and weaving her technology perspective into curriculum at the School of Nursing. In March, Kim presented at an Institute of Medicine roundtable on health literacy workshop on adapting technology for use by Native American populations is among topics examining how technology is used to make health decisions. Kim argues participatory design, the technique being used in this project and the Native American study, aligns exactly what patient centeredness is in health care.

CITRIS was established to address the most pressing social and environmental issues facing California. To meet this goal, the society focuses research on four core initiatives: energy, health care, intelligent infrastructure and data and democracy.

You can learn about Kim and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis by visiting