The transatlantic flight of Project HoneyBee

November 21, 2014

Another transformative collaboration has emerged from the Transatlantic Higher Education Partnership between Arizona State University and Dublin City University – the launch of Project HoneyBee.

In conjunction with its successful MedEx Wellness Program, Dublin City University (DCU) has signed on to launch a Project HoneyBee observational clinical trial. MedEx is a chronic illness rehabilitation program that offers medically designed and supervised exercise classes to patients with diverse chronic illnesses. honey bee Download Full Image

As part of the HoneyBee collaboration, medical director, Noel McCaffrey, will incorporate methods from Mayo Clinic physician and ASU professor James Levine’s feasibility study for physical monitoring of diabetes patients into MedEx’s Diabetes Health Steps program.

“We’re excited to test the HoneyBee approach with our MedEx participants. We believe by leveraging technology, we can improve their health outcomes dramatically,” said Christine Loscher, director of health technologies at DCU.

Inspired by the honeybee, nature’s best collector and communicator of information, Project HoneyBee seeks to validate wearable sensor data in order to improve patient outcomes. Since its inception, the initiative has partnered with the health systems in Maricopa County, creating a living laboratory for evaluating the clinical utility of wearable devices to improve health outcomes.

HoneyBee’s eight ongoing observational clinical trials currently test 10 different devices for particular physiological parameters. Each trial has 25 to 50 patients. The overarching goal is to help shift health practitioners’ focus to cost-effective and outcome-effective prevention and early intervention strategies. A critical element of these studies is validating data from low-cost consumer wearable technologies for applications in clinical settings.

Lee Hartwell, HoneyBee’s chief scientist at the ASU Biodesign Institute’s Center for Sustainable Health, said, “We’re very interested in how Project HoneyBee will work in DCU’s context. We hope to learn from and collaborate with each other in our quest for efficient, effective solutions that deliver better health outcomes.”

One of the key differences between HoneyBee observational clinical trials in Arizona versus the trial in Dublin will be the context within which the devices are being tested, as well as the health care providers engaged in the study. In Dublin, third-year lifestyle intervention students will be embedded in the trial; in Arizona, doctoral nurse practitioners serve as research fellows.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to see how the Project HoneyBee model can be replicated in Europe, along with similar efforts underway in Asia,” said Michael Birt, director of HoneyBee.

This latest announcement is another major collaboration between the two universities, and came during the recent DCU visit to ASU. The other major initiatives include establishing the world’s first International School of Biomedical Diagnostics, creating a Biodesign Europe (modeled on ASU’s Biodesign Institute and delivering a combined effort toward 21st-century health care solutions) and the development of a joint program in student entrepreneurship that will inspire a global perspective.

Joe Caspermeyer

Manager (natural sciences), Media Relations & Strategic Communications


Renewable energy law expert appointed director at ASU

November 21, 2014

Troy Rule, associate professor of law in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and senior sustainability scholar in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University, has been appointed the faculty director of the law school’s Program on Law and Sustainability.

Rule will follow Kris Mayes, professor of utility law in ASU’s College of Law and senior sustainability scholar at the ASU Wrigley Institute, who served as the director of the program from January 2011 through November 2014. Mayes will continue on at ASU as a professor, as well as the director of the Utility of the Future Center and the Energy Policy Innovation Council. Troy Rule Download Full Image

“I am very pleased that Troy is leading the Law and Sustainability program,” said Christopher Boone, dean of ASU’s School of Sustainability. “Under Troy’s leadership, with a fantastic group of environmental law faculty in the Sandra Day O’Connor College, ASU is poised to become the top law and sustainability program in the country. He brings an abundance of energy and enthusiasm to this position, plus is a renowned expert in the emerging field of renewable energy law. I look forward to working with Troy and his colleagues to advance the sustainability goals of the university."

Added Douglas Sylvester, dean of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, “Troy joined the College of Law just this year, but he already has proven to be a valuable addition to our Law and Sustainability program, which is developing initiatives to solve the most pressing legal questions of sustainability. Troy is taking over a program started and taken to a level of prominence by Kris Mayes – Kris was an incredible director, and we are all exceedingly pleased she will continue on at ASU and work with our program.”

Rule worked as an associate attorney at K&L Gates LLP in Seattle, before joining the University of Missouri School of Law, where he served as an associate professor of law from 2009-2014 and faculty adviser for the Journal of Environmental and Sustainability Law.

“Policy and law need to keep up with the rapid pace of innovation in sustainability-related fields,” said Rule. “Regardless of how interesting and useful a sustainability technology is, it cannot serve any social purpose until a legal structure facilitates its implementation. That increasingly requires innovative policymaking and lawmaking. Our goal is to fill this gap by providing additional policy guidance and legal expertise to stakeholders in the sustainability movement.”

A specialist in renewable energy law, Rule has also published numerous journal articles on solar energy, international law, wind power and other modern energy issues. He is also the author of a new book on these topics, titled “Solar, Wind and Land: Conflicts in Renewable Energy Development.” He has also presented at several renewable energy and policy conferences.

Rule has taught a breadth of courses, including energy law and policy; land use controls; secured transactions; and property law. The University of Missouri School of Law and the American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law have recognized Rule for his teaching and writing.

Rule received his juris doctor with honors from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was a John M. Olin fellow in Law and Economics and served as a staff editor for the Chicago Journal of International Law. He also graduated summa cum laude from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in economics.