Biomarkers that capture dynamical system processes may be especially valuable and informative in the investigation of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies, particularly, multi-component mind-body interventions, that simultaneously target several physiological systems. The overall goal of this Phase I SBIR application is to develop a user-friendly software platform that will enable the quantification of system dynamics as well as nonlinear interactions among multiple organ systems that will be particularly suited for the study of complex CAM interventions. To this end, the proposed project assembles a cross-disciplinary team with expertise bridging CAM research, complex system analysis, physiology, and software engineering. The proposed project will focus on the following two specific aims: 1) to develop a user-friendly software platform containing a toolbox of system dynamics analyses with applications suitable for mind-body and CAM therapies. 2) To determine the usability and reliability of the software platform to analyze physiological data from investigations of CAM interventions. The long-term goal of this project is to build an innovative analysis platform that is robust, powerful and easy to use. This new analysis environment will enable CAM and mind-body researchers to apply state-of-the-art quantitative tools for system level dynamical analysis. These new analysis tools will provide objective measurements that are particularly useful for CAM therapies, and thus accelerate translational CAM research.
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and mind-body research often deal with the most complex interventions that are better understood from a system perspective. However, CAM researchers lack necessary analysis tools that can provide objective, quantitative measurements about the system as a whole. We propose to develop a new class of computer tools to provide user-friendly and powerful methods to monitor and evaluate the efficacy of CAM interventions.
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