Dr. Armen Arevian is Assistant Professor-in-Residence in the Department of Psychiatry at UCLA; Director of the Innovation Lab at the Semel Institute at UCLA; Director of the Translational Technology and Communications Core at the California Center of Excellence in Behavioral Health; and Director of the Consultation-Liason and Telepsychiatry at the UCLA Santa Monica Hospital. He received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh/Carnegie Mellon University through the Medical Scientist Training Program and his PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Arevian’s research can be broadly described as “participatory informatics” – the intersection of neuroscience, information technology, psychiatry, and community-partnered participatory techniques. This is a combination of community-based participatory research techniques (CBPR), translational neuroscience, and predictive analytics. His PhD work focused on understanding of higher-level network functions of neurons and information processing in the brain using a mix of electrophysiological as well as computational neuroscience techniques. Since joining the faculty at UCLA, Dr. Arevian has focused his work on translational research efforts. Over the last several years, he has worked to create “Chorus Participatory Mobile Framework” – a web application to help bring down the technical and financial barriers of mobile health technology development and to engage broad stakeholders in health intervention creation and dissemination. With Chorus, non-techy people can create their own mobile health apps themselves in a matter of minutes. This dramatically increases the amount of creativity and types of individuals in creating health technologies than would be possible using traditional development methods.
Dr. Arevian also integrates his neuroscience background to work towards identifying novel, “behavioral biomarkers” (defined as objective measures of underlying mental or physical states derived from behavioral measurements) through analysis of voice and speech patterns to predict wellness in patients with severe mental illness. The goal is to develop novel, objective methods of characterizing wellness and symptoms on an individual basis that can lead to more proactive and personalized care as well as enable new translational studies to understand the underlying neurobiological mechanisms of mental health. His clinical duties include directing the psychiatric consolation-liaison service at UCLA Santa Monica Hospital which he has worked to transform into a telepsyhciatry service over the past year.
Chorus is a participatory mobile health framework and web application that I developed to empower patients, providers, researchers, and community leaders to create their own personalized mobile health interventions and share them with each other. The framework allows users to rapidly create, in as little as a few minutes, a broad range of automated text messaging (SMS) and interactive voice (IVR) applications using a simple and accessible visual interface. It lowers the financial, technical and time constraints of traditional mobile health application development and the accessible visual interface enables engagement of a broad group of people.
MY COACH CONNECT
Patients with persistent mental illness often have chronic and relapsing symptoms, with varying clinical course. My Coach Connect is a pilot of a novel, automated telephone tool to help assess patients in between office visits in order to help understand how they are doing and to intervene when needed to improve outcomes. Using this tool, we are developing personalized analytical methods that take into account a person’s individual history, illness, and markers. The goal is to combine this and other techniques to develop a more personalized, quantified, and patient-centered approach to mental health care.
APA Research Colloquium for Junior Investigators Award
Arevian AC, Patel H, Chen ST. Personalized audio assessment and temporal patterns of dementia-related behavioral disturbances. J Alzheimers Dis Parkinsonism. In press
Urban NN, Arevian AC. Computing with dendrodendritic synapses in the olfactory bulb. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Jul;1170:264.
Arevian AC, Kapoor V, Urban NN. (2008) Activity-dependent gating of lateral inhibition in the mouse olfactory bulb. Nature Neuroscience. Jan;11(1):80-7.