With escalating health care costs and an aging demographic in most countries, it is important to focus on new models of care that are both scalable and sustainable. The success of these new approaches is predicated on advances and innovations in technology, as well as on the availability of data and new analysis techniques. Recent developments in sensors, mobile apps and wireless devices have provided us with opportunities to track health behaviors in the home and environment, offering many new opportunities for the early detection of health issues and for tailoring interventions in the home. In this presentation I will describe examples of multidisciplinary approaches – combining medical informatics, computer science, cognitive science and clinical practice – to address these challenges. I will describe a platform for delivering remote health coaching interventions developed as part of our work in the Oregon Center for Aging & Technology. We use data from unobtrusive sensors in the homes of independent older adults to monitor activity, computer interactions, medication adherence, sleep quality, etc. This data is used to update each individual’s dynamic user model and generate automated tailored coaching messages, designed to facilitate a single health coach in managing tailored health interventions for a large client base. This approach offers great promise for both reducing the cost of care and improving quality. However, there is an urgent need for research in data-analytic and data mining techniques to discover new clinical predictors, as well as research in how best to use individually tailored models of behavior to improve home health interventions. I will review some of NIH’s new efforts in the area of “Big Data” for health behavior monitoring in the home and environment, as part of a strategy to address these research needs.
Holly B. Jimison, PhD is an IPA Technology Advisor in NIH’s Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research, on loan from Oregon Health & Science University where she serves as an Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology. She received her Doctorate in Medical Information Sciences at Stanford University, with dissertation work on using computer decision models to tailor patient education materials to individuals. Dr. Jimison has both academic and industry experience in the design and evaluation of medical technologies. Her research is focused on consumer health informatics, with an emphasis on in-home monitoring and technology for successful aging. Her current projects include Big Data analytics for health behavior monitoring, technology for cognitive health coaching, and platforms to facilitate tailored home health interventions. Dr. Jimison is a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics, Past President of the Oregon Chapter of Health Information Management Systems Society, and serves on the Executive Council for Oregon’s Roybal Center for Aging & Technology.