The research of Melissa (Missy) M. Morrow, Ph.D., is focused on:
- Developing and using technology to improve and prevent physical disability
- Understanding how patients and providers function in their daily lives and occupations
Using advanced techniques in lmotion analysis, field-based activity monitoring and imaging, Dr. Morrow examines shoulder pathology and dysfunction, secondary complications of spinal cord injury, and applications of mobile health (mHealth) and remote monitoring with a special emphasis on sex and gender differences.
- mHealth technology development for pressure ulcer prevention. The goals of these projects, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Department of Defense (DoD), are to develop mHealth technology to implement a remote monitoring care model for patients with spinal cord injury to prevent and treat seating pressure ulcers, curbing the associated $6 billion yearly treatment costs of this condition.
- Spinal cord injury (SCI). Dr. Morrow's team has designed a smart system using a mobile application in a user-centered design process to determine the preferences, needs and values of the patients with SCI. The team aims to put this system into the hands of the patients and integrate this system into the standard of practice to more efficiently engage patients in prevention, the monitoring of pressure ulcer development, and the management of treatment.
- Remote monitoring of ergonomics and functional outcomes using wearable sensors for surgical staff wellness. Through the use of advanced wearable sensors, Dr. Morrow's team is studying the physical workload of surgeons and allied health staff and the associated musculoskeletal disease risk. The assessments made during the surgical procedures help define current surgical ergonomic risks and aid in the design of preventive methods.
- Shoulder function and disease severity in manual wheelchair users. The goal of Dr. Morrow's NIH/NICHD R01-funded project on shoulder health is to define the natural history of shoulder disease from overuse strain injury to impact standard of care in the treatment of shoulder pathology, a condition affecting millions of adults in the U.S. Her team studies manual wheelchair users with a spinal cord injury as a model to examine the impact of the extreme increases in upper extremity demand from the necessity to use their arms for all aspects of mobility subsequent to paralysis.
- Sex as a biological variable. Across the spectrum of research and clinical interests, Dr. Morrow is focused on incorporating sex as a biological variable to better understand disease etiologies, treatments and outcomes.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Morrow's research is aimed at improving patient care and patient outcomes through the use of advanced technologies for identifying and reducing risk factors for disabilities and disease, and improving treatment through comprehensive outcomes studies.