With leaps and bounds being made to enable consumers to track and collect digital health data (see recent announcements from Apple, Google, Samsung) there is still a huge gap in figuring out how to harness all this data to effectively improve health care. Today, at Stanford’s Medicine X — a health tech conference that explores how emerging technologies have the potential to improve and advance the practice of medicine — Open mHealth gave a sneak-preview of its first product initiative, Linq.
Linq is built on the foundations of the Open mHealth open API platform and provides a way of bridging the gap between patients and clinicians and bring digital health data into the heart of clinical practice today.
With Linq, patients are able to use the apps and devices they love — such as Fitbit, Runkeeper, Jawbone and Withings — and seamlessly share the data they collect with their doctors. Doctors are provided with data views that summarize the information they care most about, reducing the work on their end to gather relevant clinical insights — without having to worry about where the data is coming from. For example, Open mHealth worked with activity experts Catrine Tudor-Locke of Pennington Biomedical Research Center and Eric Hekler of Arizona State University, to align and convert step count data and activity tracking to a validated measure of ‘minutes of moderate activity’ — a metric more useful for doctors when providing patients with guidance around physical activity. This allows us to pull in data from multiple different types of activity tracking apps and devices, and provide doctors with a unified measure of ‘minutes of moderate activity’.
Linq also encourages intentional, collaborative tracking between patients and clinicians, focusing the use of digital health data towards answering existing clinical questions. Through smart notifications, alerts and goal settings, doctors can use the platform to personalize the care they provide: for example, a doctor could set a custom notification to ensure it’s bringing down a patient’s blood pressure, so that if it isn’t, they can change the prescription. These types of features help reduce the amount of time needed to understand a particular issue, and in turn, bring down clinical costs.
Open mHealth will be piloting Linq with Stanford’s preventive cardiology clinic in the coming weeks. The pilot will investigate the effectiveness of the Open mHealth approach to bringing digital health data into routine clinical practice.
As clinicians, we struggle with how to integrate mobile and digital health data into the care of our patients without disrupting the all-too-busy clinical workflow. With Linq, we have a streamlined and easy-to-use platform to review these data with our patients, without having to worry about the specific device or app it’s coming from. This is a critical step towards helping clinicians help patients stay healthy, and we’re excited about the potential for Linq and the Open mHealth platform to enhance our preventive health discussions with our patients. Dr. Michael V. McConnnell, MD, MSEE, Stanford Preventive Cardiology
Linq is a demonstration of what is possible using the Open mHealth platform; an open-source developer platform designed to enable the innovative use of integrated, digital health. The Open mHealth clinical data schemas, developed in collaboration with clinical experts, translate data from popular health apps and devices into formats designed for health care — enabling developers to build products that can be used and trusted in the clinical environment. These data sources are openly available through the Open mHealth API connectors, and in the coming weeks will be even easier for developers to use through a new ‘sandbox’ — which will package all the Open mHealth open-source components into a browser-based tool. Over the coming months, Open mHealth will be building out the list of connected apps and devices, and deploying Linq through additional pilots. Open mHealth is looking for feedback on first draft of clinical data schemas, and any suggestions of additional data sources or data types to integrate into the Open mHealth platform.
With Linq, we’re excited to see the Open mHealth vision of connected, data-driven, personalized care be brought to life, and hope you’ll join us. If you’re a patient or doctor interested in participating in early beta-tests, please register interest here.
The development of Linq and has been made possible by the support of the RWJF, who have been a generous funder of Open mHealth since 2011. Open mHealth is a nonprofit startup working to bring clinical meaning to digital health data.