Technology Applications Center for Healthful Lifestyles


The Technology Applications Center for Healthful Lifestyles (TACHL) was established as a SmartState Center for Economic Excellence in 2010. Its mission is to improve population health through technology. We aim to develop, evaluate, and disseminate health technology innovations that foster health promotion, disease prevention, and health care management. TACHL is composed of a dedicated team of health technology researchers and research support services under the leadership of Drs. Ken Ruggiero (Director) and Frank Treiber (Co-Director). Dr. Treiber served as Director of TACHL from 2011-2018.

Since launch in August 2010, TACHL has grown exponentially. In this time, TACHL has served as a key partner or collaborator on grants totaling more than $25 million, primarily from NIH and other federal sources. The TACHL team is leading a number of high impact initiatives, including:

  • Development and testing of a smartphone-based mental health intervention for disaster-affected adults called Bounce Back Now in partnership with the American Red Cross.

  • Development and testing of health technology solutions that are designed to prevent chronic diseases (e.g., Tension Tamer) and the quality and efficiency of care available to individuals with chronic diseases (e.g., Smartphone Medication Adherence Stops Hypertension [SMASH], stroke [SMASS]).

  • The Telehealth Resilience and Recovery Program, a technology-enhanced model of mental health care for traumatic injury patients embedded in MUSC’s Level I trauma center and currently being implemented in three partnering SC trauma centers (Palmetto Health, Greenville Hospital, Trident).

  • Launch of numerous web- and smartphone-based resources for firefighters and health care providers who serve them via the Center for Firefighter Behavioral Health (http://www.cffbh.org) in partnership with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

Drs. Ruggiero and Treiber also form the leadership of Digital Health Solutions, a program under MUSC’s South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research (SCTR) Institute, an NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award. In this role, they partner with a technology development team (Digital Health Solutions) that is directed by Mr. Sachin Patel. Their process in working with other providers, investigators, and innovators is as follows:

  • Schedule consults (which should be requested through SPARC) 

  • Discuss the health technology idea via initial scientific and/or technical consult

  • Define the innovation

  • Develop a budget

  • Work with the team requesting consultation to pursue funding to support development, evaluation, launch, dissemination, and/or maintenance

  • Develop the innovation (or liaison with an external partnering development team), preferably via an iterative patient- and provider-informed process

  • Provide ongoing scientific mentorship and/or consultation, as needed

  • Assist in evaluating the innovation, as needed

  • Assist in disseminating the innovation, as needed

  • Maintain the innovation