Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Awards Grants to Study How Patients' Daily Life Affects Their Health

The has announced grants totaling $2.4 million to five teams to explore how patient-recorded observations of daily living (ODLs) can be captured and integrated into clinical care.

New technologies such as smartphones and sensors make it easier than ever to gather real-time data about a patient's diet, exercise, sleep patterns, medication usage, pain, and other personal information. As part of the foundation's Project HealthDesign program, two-year grants of $480,000 will enable the teams to test whether and how such information can be collected, interpreted, and acted upon by patients as well as clinicians in real-world clinical settings.

The teams will work closely with patients with two or more chronic conditions to capture and store several types of ODLs while analyzing and interpreting the data in order to integrate the information into the clinical work flow. During the first year, clinicians will care for thirty to fifty patients who are actively monitoring their ODLs and assess the value of including the data in their real-world care processes.

"Patients want better relationships with their providers and a different kind of engagement with the health care system," said Patricia Flatley Brennan, R.N., Ph.D., national program director of Project HealthDesign, the RWJF initiative funding the grants. "Project HealthDesign is focused on improving the health of patients by bringing their everyday experience into the clinical encounters with their doctors and health care providers. Being able to access and selectively share health information electronically — just as people do with their financial records and other data — empowers people to be more informed patients and better consumers of health care."

"." Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Press Release 03/03/2010.