History

A SmartState Center

The Technology Center to Promote Healthy Lifestyles (TecHealth), is one of the fifty-five SmartState Centers in South Carolina. The prestigious SmartState Program was established in 2002 by the state’s General Assembly to improve the state’s economy and the quality of life of its citizens through the innovative work of world-class researchers. Housed within the state’s senior research universities, the SmartState Centers are supported through a match of public and private funding.

Establishment & Goals

The Technology Center to Promote Healthy Lifestyles (TecHealth), is dedicated to improving some of the most intractable health problems facing the state through the creation and application of technology that encourages healthy lifestyles. The inaugural director of TecHealth, Dr. Delia West, joined the Center in August 2013 and has established a growing team of research scholars, students and software specialists to carry out the Center’s mission.

Dr. West’s major area of interest and expertise is behavioral intervention for weight management with a focus on technology use to increase effectiveness and broaden access to evidence-based interventions for obesity treatment and prevention.

Obesity is linked to prevalent chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, osteoarthritis and some cancers. Over 67% of South Carolina’s citizens are classified as overweight or obese and the state has some of the highest rates in the nation of obesity-associated diseases. In 2003, obesity-related medical costs were an estimated $1.06 billion in South Carolina. Given the high rate of obesity in South Carolina and its effect on the citizens, businesses and economy of South Carolina, it is, currently, a primary focus of TecHealth research.

With a thriving portfolio of research, educational and commercial projects, TecHealth continues to explore new and compelling technological solutions that will lead to a vibrant, healthy future for the people and the state of South Carolina.