Wearable Health Lab

The Team

We are a team of researchers with expertise in clinical medicine, exercise physiology, computer science, and biostatistics.



Matthew Smuck, MD

Matthew Smuck, MD

Dr. Matthew Smuck is the Chief of PM&R and Associate Professor in the department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Stanford Univeristy. Dr Smuck is also the Director and Founder of the Wearable Health Lab.

Kara Flavin, MD

Dr. Kara Flavin

Dr. Kara Flavin is a Clinical Asistant Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences

Christy Tomkins-Lane, PhD

Christy Tomkins-Lane

Christy Tomkins-Lane is a founding member of the Wearable Health Lab. Christy completed her PhD in Rehabilitation Medicine and both her M.Sc. and B.Sc in Kinesiology


Agnes Martinez-Ith

Agnes Martinez-Ith

Agnes is a Clinical Research Coordinator for the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Post-Doctoral Fellows and Students

Residents/ Fellows

Anne Kuwabara, MD

Manoj Mohan, DO

Kevin Barrette, MD

Michael Lersten, MD


Surabhi Gopa Mundada

Jusin Nordon

Vibhu Agarwal

Former Post-Docs:

Patricia Zheng

Charlies A. Odonkor

Zhang Wei

Amir Muaremi

Key Collaborations


Research Examples:

With a particular interest in musculoskeletal and mobility-limiting diseases, we analyze longitudinal and cross-sectional wearable biosensor data to uncover diesase specific patterns. Using insights from population science we apply this to gain new insights into disease mechanisms, and to develop tools for precision health. Here are some key examples of this work: 

Population Science:

Determinants of Physical Activity in America: A First Characterization of Physical Activity Profile using National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

Smoking Is Associated with Pain in all Body Regions with Greatest Influence on Axial Pain.

Physical Activity Intensity Signatures (PAIS) of Pain: Large-Scale Study Reveals Novel Cut-Points for Accelerometry Analysis in Regional Body Pain.

Disease Mechanisms:

Does physical activity influence the relationship between low back pain and obesity?

Association of Regional Body Pain With Accelerometer-based Physical Activity Measures in a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

Activity Monitoring with Accelerometry Outperforms Self-Reported and Laboratory Assessments of Function in Patients with Lumbar Spinal Stenosis.

Activity Changes Following Treatment of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Precision Health:

The spinal stenosis pedometer and nutrition lifestyle intervention (SSPANLI): development and pilot.

A review of activity monitors as a new technology for objectifying function in lumbar spinal stenosis.

Predictors of objectively measured walking capacity in people with degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Decompression Normalizes Free-Living Physical Activity Impairment.

Does the presence of the fibronectin-aggrecan complex predict outcomes from lumbar discectomy for disc herniation?



Selected Research Awards

2017                   1st Place: Outstanding Paper Award: Meidcal and Interventional Spine, The Spine Journal

2016                   Runner Up: Outstanding Paper Award: Surgical Science. The Spine Journal

2016                   ISSLS Prize – International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine’s annual award for a single published manuscript.

2015                   Foundation for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2015 PM&R Journal Best Original Resarch Award.

2014                   Richard Materson ERF New Investigator Research Award

                           President’s Citation Award – American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation


Press Coverage

“Could Physical Activity Be a Magic Bullet Against Low Back Pain Among Overweight and Obese Americans?” The Back Letter, 2014 Jan; 29(1): 4-5.

“Astonishingly Simple Change Lowers Back Pain 40% in Obese Patients: 1 Minute (60 Seconds) Lowers Back Pain 40% in Obese Patients” Orthopedics This Week. Nov. 18, 2013.

“Improving spinal care with activity monitors” Spinal News International. Nov. 12, 2013.

“Mild exercise aids heavy patients' back pain” San Francisco Chronicle. Oct. 29, 2013.

 “Exercise Eases Low Back Pain” I Milwakee Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today. Oct. 10, 2013.




The Spine Journal’s 2013 Outstanding Paper Award presentation

Use of mobile technology to solve problems in spine research


Research Lab Director:

Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Stanford University Medical Center
Harnessing the power of wearable biosensor data we are spanning the gap between a qualitative approach toward a quantitative approach to research, prevention and treatment of orthopaedic and neurological disease."