Health Data Exploration Projects Show Value of Personal Health Data and Devices

San Diego, Calif., March 29, 2016 – A series of reports from recipients of five Health Data Exploration (HDE) grants demonstrate a growing awareness and appreciation for systems and devices that monitor personal health data, advance the use of personal health data for research and encourage healthy living.

The HDE Network brings together companies that collect and store personal health data, captured through the use of wearable devices, smartphone apps, social media and other sources, with researchers who mine these data for patterns and trends and other strategic partners. Through a set of research projects using personal health data, the Network will identify policies and best practices for using these new forms of data to produce transformative knowledge about health.

The five “agile” project grants were intended to create new research opportunities, an open infrastructure and data sources for the research community and new training opportunities for the field. The studies were also designed to match the pace of industry, providing a timely and efficient methodology in terms of program scoping, solicitation, peer review, and contractual negotiations.

“These projects demonstrate the enormous potential inherent in the new digital health ecosystem,” says Kevin Patrick, principal investigator of the HDE project and a professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego. “Ranging from context-aware technologies that can prompt improved behaviors to methods by which privacy can be protected while using wearable technologies, our network of researchers and companies are demonstrating important methodological advances in the area of personal health data research.”

 "This diverse set of projects highlight the range of opportunities we have today to use personal health data in a practical and meaningful way," added Lori Melichar, Director at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "As more toolmakers and researchers collaborate on unlocking the knowledge within all this data, we are confident that what they uncover will help accelerate a Culture of Health."

The five HDE Agile Projects include:

The HDE project, along with its associated Network, is supported by the  Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. and the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, which is based at both UC Irvine and the University of California, San Diego (where it is known as the Qualcomm Institute). In 2014, HDE issued a report titled Personal Data for the Public Good, which found that many people who track health-related data are interested in sharing that data with researchers in medicine and public health — provided adequate privacy controls exist.

To see webinars about the HDE Agile Projects and other HDE research, visit:

Related Links

Health Data Exploration Agile Research

Media Contacts

Tiffany Fox
(858) 246-0353