Flip No. 30

Fold data from personal tracking devices into the clinic visit

How continuous monitoring might improve health outcomes.

By HoneyBeeCollaborative

Personal tracking devices can collect a wealth of data about a person’s sleep or daytime activities. These physiological metrics could be tremendously informative in clinical settings as a way to predict and prevent disease, but the clinical value the data provides is not yet validated. Project HoneyBee aims to examine data gained from various tracking devices. To build out this Flip, we’d like to identify the potential challenges to using personal data in the clinic areas where personal tracking could be particularly useful.


  • Crystal Collins

    It is important to note that I work in the hospital inpatient setting, but I think this idea could be used outpatient as well. I think a personal tracking app could be very useful for breastfeeding mothers. I have had many patients that have apps for keeping track of this
    information in their phones/ tablets, and then they are writing the
    information down, as a courtesy to us, on the forms we provide and
    essentially doing the same work twice. I have often thought that
    hospitals should sponsor an app for iPhones and Androids that a patient
    can use to keep track of all of the information. It should be part of
    the electronic health record that they have access to online, so that the physician or doctors office can pull it up any
    time there are questions about feedings and diapers even once they leave
    the hospital. I think it would be very beneficial in troubleshooting
    issues with weight loss in infants, or exemplifying problems such as
    dehydration if the infant refuses to eat and is not having adequate
    output. It could also notify the parents when the next feeding is due
    as a friendly reminder and which side it should start on. I think it
    also might help mom’s establish better milk supplies because it should
    also be able to keep track of pumping and amounts pumped, and helps
    ensure they are pumping at least 8 times in 24 hours, and that they feed
    their infants frequently enough to provide adequate breast
    stimulation. It could also be available to our outpatient lactation
    support team so they could offer advice and help. It could include
    videos that show infants expressing hunger cues as opposed to still
    pictures and have reliable, evidence based information available at
    their finger tips about appropriate stool and urine output as well as
    intake. It would also allow nurses at the hospital to pull it up at
    anytime and update feedings without having to awaken a patient to ask
    when they are already so tired from caring for a newborn in the hospital
    and allows them to provide more patient centered care that is grouped
    more efficiently. The hospital would need to sponsor the app so that it
    would be accessible by healthcare workers, because there are a variety
    of apps already available and with the diverse technology I don’t
    believe we would be able to integrate them all. It should also be
    introduced early at OB appointments so patients can download the app
    before delivery and familiarize themselves with it. Another problem to consider is the accuracy and whether or not the parents are using it every time they feed, or don’t feed, or if they are simply filling in what they think healthcare providers will expect.

  • Elaine Chen

    And what would be great about this, just like Sal Khan’s work in flipping classrooms, is that more time between the patient and doctor would be spend strategizing about how to control chronic conditions or prevent diseases, instead of the visit being taken up mostly with the patient waiting for tests to be done and filling out questionnaires about what s/he does in every day life (how much exercise, what s/he eats…etc)

  • John Heenan

    Check out http://www.aces.md. They have a platform that connects patients with docs and other HCPs through smartphones to track and collect all kinds of data that helps diagnose, track, monitor and collect data useful for lifestyle, compliance, biometric info, you name it. They bring the benefits of the digital world to patient-focused healthcare. I’m sure they would want to be a part of this