The Institute for Future Health (IFH) aims to be at the forefront of defining next-generation healthcare, revolutionizing current approaches using technology. In particular, IFH is bringing together researchers and practitioners working on cybernetic health to disrupt the healthcare industry and provide a more effective and efficient approach to health management.

Our mission is help people better manage their health with personalized just-in-time advice and reminders. We’re developing a platform that can gather and analyze personal health information and environmental data using a real-time cybernetic system. This bottom-up approach to health is based on personal health models that exploit wearable sensors and other mobile technologies to integrate data from a variety of sources. The models can then act as a navigation system, directing users to improved health.

Ramesh Jain“Each individual is a unique product of their genome and lifestyle. Cybernetics principles can guide individuals toward a healthy life in real time. The Institute for Future Health aims to integrate lifestyle, environment and social factors in conjunction with clinical medicine to radically transform health systems away from hospitals and into the hands of each individual.”
– Ramesh Jain, UCI Bren Professor 

“Future health” will result from the metanexus of genetics, biology, sensing, data, and smartphones, facilitating the application of medical knowledge to guide people in adapting their lifestyle, environment, and socio-economic situation to better maintain their health and maximize their quality of life.

Revolutionizing Today’s Health Cycle

Every person is a unique, complex system that requires perpetual observation, input processing and fine-tuning. The health and well-being of a person or population is too important to be left to only occasional observations and treatment.

Howard Federoff“The next frontier in health lies at the nexus of individual inherited risk and environmental interaction. This meta-nexus will redefine human health, well being and when fully actionable prevent an array of complex human diseases.”
– Howard Federoff, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs; CEO, UC
Irvine Health System

Cybernetics principles establish a new health paradigm that we call P5: Personalized, Predictive, Precise, Persuasive and Preventive.

The P5 paradigm will transform the current healthcare system from a wait-and-see approach, with passive observation and treatment of disease states, to a more proactive methodology to generate perpetual prediction, prevention and treatment approaches for individuals. This paradigm will rely on continuous personalized education, real-time feedback of a variety of health-related choices and a collaborative exchange with the individual’s healthcare providers.

Exploiting Opportunities

Effectively, we have an opportunity to help individuals better manage their health while advancing our understanding of diseases and expediting research of potential cures. The availability of massive data by combining individual data is unprecedented. We need to build on it.

Marios Papaefthymiou“Decades of advances in sensing, processing and communication technologies have led to a data explosion in every human endeavor, from physical sciences and engineering to social sciences and the life sciences. Our ability to gain meaningful insights from vast and growing amounts of data is transforming our world. The impact will be unprecedented in the area of health.”
– Marios Papaefthymiou, Dean, Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences 

IFH recognizes this opportunity and is bringing together a variety of researchers and practitioners to address cybernetic health. The leaders at UCI have the vision and courage to take a transdisciplinary approach, encouraging experts in many different disciplines to collaborate to address problems that are far bigger and more important than any found in one isolated field.

At IFH, we have already started creating a framework to explore cybernetic health, using dementia and diabetes as two specific health situations to avoid or delay. We’re working to build personal models that we can then apply to estimate health states and to guide and influence users. We expect to have the first demonstration of a personal health navigation system in mid 2018.