HEAT Lab Research Mission

The Human Experience and Ambulatory Technologies (HEAT) Lab at Emory University School of Medicine is directed by Deanna Kaplan, PhD and is a collaboration between the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine and Emory Spiritual Health. We are an interdisciplinary team of scientists, scholars, and trainees who are passionate about using ambulatory assessment technologies to advance integrative medicine research and practice. How can data from daily life be used to tailor treatments that address patients’ medical and psychological care needs? What can we learn about the health of our communities and healthcare ecosystems from these methods? On the other hand, what risks of adverse outcomes do wearable health assessment technologies confer? How do we enter the era of the “quantified self” without compromising the qualities and values that make us human? These are the types of questions that motivate our work.

Our lab also designs and executes ambulatory assessment studies for collaborators pursuing integrative health research at Emory and beyond. Choosing from a variety of observational, self-reported and physiological methods, we develop and administer multi-method designs tailored to the research aims as well as the unique needs of participants in the study population. If you are an investigator interested in ambulatory assessment design collaboration (including the EAR method) or are a student/trainee seeking methods consultation, please click here.  

About Dr. Kaplan

Deanna Kaplan, PhD (she/hers) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. Trained as a clinical psychologist, Dr. Kaplan’s work develops and optimizes ambulatory assessment methods for research in clinical science and behavioral medicine, with a particular focus on investigating mechanisms of integrative, mind-body approaches to care. She holds an adjunct appointment in Emory’s Department of Psychology and is appointed faculty for several Emory centers, including the Winship Cancer Institute, Emory Spiritual Health (ESH), the Emory Center for Psychedelics and Spirituality (ECPS), and the Advancement of Diagnostics for a Just Society (ADJUST) Center. She also holds an appointment as an adjunct Assistant Professor at Brown University in affiliation with the Center for Digital Health. Dr. Kaplan received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Arizona, completed her predoctoral clinical internship at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at Brown University, where she received an F32 National Research Service Award (NRSA) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Her research has been funded by the NIH, the Georgia Clinical and Translational Science Alliance, and the Philanthropic Educational Foundation, among others. She serves as an editorial board member for the journal Translational Behavioral Medicine and is the current Digital Health area editor for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Global Public Health.