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UNF 'hooper' leads research project

In the world of research, it’s rare to have a researcher who’s also part of the study group. UNF graduate student and basketball player Dorian James is embracing that opportunity and will be able to provide his unique perspective.
Dorian working on research project with staff memberAs a student in the Executive Master of Health Administration (EMHA) program, James is working with EMHA Director Dr. Shyam Paryani to conduct an independent study remotely monitoring athletes to determine how their fitness and activity levels relate to performance, injury recovery and overall wellness.
Beginning in October and throughout the remainder of the 2022-23 school year, James and his teammates will wear Firstbeat™ monitors and Fitbit™ trackers to collect data for multiple parameters including heart rate, calorie intake and sleep activity. Using a customized app, all participants can view their personal data to gain insight on how their daily regimen affects their health. There are also plans to expand this study to all UNF sports teams in 2023.
“We’re trying to improve general health for a lot of people,” said James. “A lot of the time athletes focus on their performance. What is their health going to be like after they finish playing sports?”
In the world of sports, athletic performance is usually assessed through a series of physical activities such as running, jumping or lifting. While athletic assessments are helpful for evaluating performance, Dorian and faculty members of the EMHA program are looking to learn more about the general wellness of athletes through remote monitoring.
He shared that the idea to conduct such a study on athletes was conceptualized by Paryani, who helped create a virtual care center for residents at a local retirement community over the summer by utilizing remote patient monitoring. The ongoing project involves the use of various sensors to detect abnormalities in a person’s health. If anything is detected, the individual receives a call on their phone from an app equipped with telemedicine to communicate with a doctor’s office. This early detection has proven successful in preventing hospitalizations.
Through conversations with Paryani, James was presented with the opportunity to help design and administer this new study monitoring UNF student-athletes. He admits to being intrigued by the thought of combining his love for athletics and human wellness.
James, whose mother is a family physician, says he initially wanted to attend medical school and follow in her footsteps. During the outbreak of COVID-19, he became interested in health administration with the goal of becoming the general manager of a hospital. Prior to graduating with a bachelor’s in biomedical science in August, he talked with Dr. Paryani about the EMHA program and decided to join. 
While he says this is his first time taking on a project of this depth, he’s excited about the process. “I feel like this project will have a real impact on improving healthcare and changing lives,” James said.
Learn more about the EMHA Program and catch Dorian along with his teammates for the upcoming men’s basketball season.