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Little Data, Big Health

last modified Jun 18, 2015 12:18 PM
Wei Wang, Little Data Labs

Little Data, Big Health

Wei Wang, Little Data Labs

Abstract

The promise of solving big health problems with Big Data in Medicine can only be delivered if empowered by little data from individuals. An individual’s little data include daily fitness activities, food intakes, and personal health records. The fitness activities can now be tracked automatically by apps on smartphones and specialised fitness devices, such as Fitbit or Jawbone. Food intakes still need individuals to record what they eat manually into an app. Personal health records need hospitals to open up patients’ data on their EHR systems to patients, and patients can also self-report their measurements data such as glucose or blood pressure levels, and medication compliances as prescribed by doctors. As we all witness today, these little data are not readily available yet. At Little Data Labs, we try to solve this problem by a) making it easy for individuals to pull all their health and fitness data into one place and b) providing easy to understand and take actions upon feedbacks to each individual with a personal health dashboard.

We have already achieved the fitness part where fitness data from different sources, such as Fitbit and RunKeeper, can be integrated into individual’s health data store within a few clicks. We’re working on the health part to allow patients to self-record their health measurements, such as glucose levels or genome sequences, either manually or automatically, such as from devices like iHealth or DexCom glucose meters, or web services such as 23andme. We’ve talked to eHospital staff at Addenbrookes Hospital here in Cambridge to discuss the possibility of allowing patients to access part of their electronic health records in the eHospital system. We learned from Dr Lydia Drumright, who is helping shaping the Addenbrooke’s eHospital programme, patients’ health records in eHospital are going to be shared partially with patients from June 2015. We’re prepared to integrate patients’ health records from the eHospital system once they become available.

We welcome feedback on our project from anyone who has an interest in personal health records, and we’re open to collaborations with patients, doctors, and researchers in the Cambridge area.