Early Insights from Project HealthDesign

Oct 21, 2011, 10:31 AM

As more patients begin using technology to manage their health, the Pioneer Portfolio's National program Project HealthDesign is helping meet the demand by designing tools that can be used by real people to improve their health and engagement with their health care providers. In the true pioneering spirit, Project HealthDesign research teams are working with real patients to create new technologies that help people living with chronic illnesses and improve their health and coordination of care. Patients are tracking observations of daily living (ODLs) about their sleep patterns, pain levels and moods. They use the resulting ODL data to better communicate with health care providers as they look to see what the trends in their ODLs might suggest, like whether they need to take a certain action to improve their health or whether past actions have made a difference. The incredible experiences these teams are having with real patients and clinicians have uncovered some preliminary lessons.

The teams have learned that new clinical workflows are needed in order to incorporate ODLs into clinical practice. Nurses, health coaches and other caregivers have emerged as the key points of contact for ODL data incorporation. And because each patient is different, personal health applications need to be customizable.

A key outcome of the teams’ work will be to determine how ODLs can be integrated into clinical care and individuals’ daily health decision-making processes. To learn more insights and lessons from Project HealthDesign, view the Early Findings and Challenges report for a quick overview or read the draft Technical Architectures and Implementations report for more detailed findings.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Pioneering Ideas blog.