Personal Mobile and Contextual Precision Medicine

Principal Investigator

Nicholas Anderson, MS, PhD
Director of Informatics Research, UC Davis

Background

Mobile phones have the ability to transform health care because they can collect and deliver patient-generated data to health care providers beyond in-office appointments. Patients can also receive mobile alerts, such as a reminder to take medication, and record when they take it. Including this information with an electronic health record (EHR) could, for example, link a medication change to a mood change in a psychiatric patient to assess the effectiveness of the medication. Mobile health applications also allow patients to track their own progress over time using simple visualizations within the platform, which increases patients' role in monitoring their own health, although it's unknown if this behavior leads to more favorable clinical outcomes.

Two conditions that are ideal for monitoring with mobile health applications are high blood pressure and depression. Patients who have or are at risk for high blood pressure can be given a blood pressure cuff that uses Bluetooth technology to wirelessly transmit blood pressure readings to an application on a mobile phone. For patients with or at risk for depression, questionnaires designed to measure a patient's current mood can be filled out using a mobile application. These mobile measurements can be taken between a patient's weekly or monthly in-person medical appointments, which give the practitioner a better view of the patient’s day to day status.

Central to the discussion about mobile health applications is consideration for patient privacy and informed consent. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) establishes privacy standards for medical records and personal health information, and sets limits and conditions on the uses and disclosures of the information without patient authorization. Any mobile health application that collects, stores, or transmits specified health information is subject to HIPAA.

Project Summary

This project aimed to develop and evaluate a HIPAA-compliant mobile health application designed for sending alerts and collecting, monitoring, and reporting patient-generated data about blood pressure, mood, movement (steps), and medication adherence. These data were to be integrated with data from a patient’s electronic health record on a third-party platform, where they could be accessed by the patient’s clinical care team. The researchers planned to include clinicians and volunteer participants in the initial design of the mobile applications, which were to be tested on 200 participants diagnosed with and medicated for high blood pressure or depression.

The project also planned to study how participants interacted with the health application by measuring the frequency of application use, average time spent interacting with the application and the visualization features.

Research Team and Collaborators

UC Davis

  • Nick Anderson, PhD
  • Madhan Dharmar, MD, PhD
  • William Riedl, MS
  • Michael Lehman
  • Christopher Lambertus, MS
  • Brad Pollock, MPH, PhD

UC San Francisco

  • Ida Sim, MD, PhD
  • Meghana Gadgil, MD, MS
  • Jason Satterfield, MD
  • Mitch Feldman, MD
  • Tim Satterwhite, MD
  • Amy Lozano
  • Sarah Chatfield
  • Vijay Rayanker

UC Berkeley

  • David Lindeman, PhD
  • Dan Gillette, MS

Overlap Health, San Francisco

  • David Haddad, MsC
L to R, Top Row: [UC Davis] Nick Anderson, PhD; Brad Pollock, PhD, MPH; Madan Dharmar, MBBS, PhD; Bill Riedl, MS; Chris Lambertus, MS; Mike Lehman; Bottom Row: [UCSF] Ida Sim, MD, PhD; Meghana Gadgil, MD; Jason Satterfield, MD; [UC Berkeley] David Lindeman, PhD; Dan Gillette, MS; [Overlap Health] David Haddad, MBA

L to R, Top Row: [UC Davis] Nick Anderson, PhD; Brad Pollock, PhD, MPH; Madan Dharmar, MBBS, PhD; Bill Riedl, MS; Chris Lambertus, MS; Mike Lehman; Bottom Row: [UCSF] Ida Sim, MD, PhD; Meghana Gadgil, MD; Jason Satterfield, MD; [UC Berkeley] David Lindeman, PhD; Dan Gillette, MS; [Overlap Health] David Haddad, MBA