UTMB Research Project Results in an APP

Feb 15, 2024, 10:35 AM by Cassi Boatwright

Recently, UTMB released a smartphone app called “utmbHealthyBrain” to the Apple and Google Play App Stores and it is also listed by the Moody Library as one of useful apps: https://guides.utmb.edu/apps. This app provides an important function – mindfulness – as a result of combining both Eastern and Western cultures. Such an app with wisdom may delay the progress of aging by its three activities: (1) fingertip writing, (2) Tai-Chi and meditation, and (3) prayer reading. Integrating the studies done by the University of Texas Medical Branch and the wisdom words made by Venerable Master Hsing Yun (1927-2023), we are very pleased to offer this app to the public.

utmbHealthyBrain App

App Store Button

The research team behind this project includes UTMB’s Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and School of Nursing. The project lead, Dr. Wei-Chen “Miso” Lee  (Assistant Professor at Family Medicine) received a pilot grant from the UTMB’s Institute for Translational Sciences ([ITS], National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences #UL1TR001439 Clinical and Translational Science Award) to implement this project called “Development of A Smartphone Application to Enhance Cognitive Functions and Social Connections of Aging Population” in 2022-2023. Dr. Lee collaborated with Dr. Mukaila Raji (Internal Medicine-Geriatrics), Dr. Hani Serag (Internal Medicine-Endocrinology), and Dr. Huey-Ming Tzeng (School of Nursing) to outreach community participants, host study groups to review and revise the content, conduct surveys to identify community-dwelling populations’ preferences on using technology, and publish three papers: 37927752,37680399,37575767 - Search Results - PubMed (nih.gov)


This kind of community-based participatory research (CBPR) began the involvement of the community members and combined knowledge with actions to improve the content and operation of the utmbHealthyBrain app. The CBPR also accelerated the translation of research findings to a culturally tailored smartphone app that could be used in daily life. The key person of the technical team is Ven. Dr. Miaolung Shih who is affiliated with Fo Gang Shan International Buddhist Order. In addition to Fo Guang Shan, we deeply thank other community partners including Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (UTMB-OLLI), Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Galveston County (UUFGC), Libbie’s Place, Rotary Club of Galveston, IBPS Dallas, Chung Mei Temple in Houston, and Galveston Aging Network (GAN) that provided us with friendly environments to conduct research with their members. Finally, we would like to thank all UTMB’s departments for their administrative, financial, and legal services including ITS, Office of Technology Transfer, Office of the Provost, and many others.