Daynamica and mobile health

It seems like almost everyone is interested in mobile health (or, to be hipper, mHealth) these days. There are a ton of devices out there that can measure physical activity, heart rate, and a number of other physiological parameters. For the most part, these devices provide only a partial picture of human activity during the day. Daily habits and behavior patterns have a substantial impact on health, but until recently, our ability to uncover links between lifestyle and health outcomes has been limited by the inherent difficulty of accurately measuring individual human activity and behavior patterns. 

For example, a mountain of research has shown that high levels of air pollution are associated with increased mortality. However, these findings are based primarily on pollution levels measured at fixed measuring stations; much less is known about how individual exposures vary over time, and hence how they impact health. Since the Daynamica app captures both movement patterns (i.e., location) and activity types (indoor/outdoor), it could be used either in conjunction with fixed or personal air pollution monitors to obtain much more precise, personalized measures of air pollution exposure. Indeed, Daynamica data could be paired with data from a wide variety of medical devices such as continuous glucose monitors or cardiac monitoring devices.

Another potential use of Daynamica is for developing and optimizing behavioral interventions. There is currently great interest in developing interventions that encourage behavior changes to improve health. But these interventions have mostly had only a modest degree of success. One key barrier to increasing the success of these interventions is that it is difficult to obtain accurate information on compliance, particularly since the behavior changes involved tend to be over-reported due to social desirability bias. Daynamica provides a platform for obtaining objective information about intervention compliance so that the reasons for intervention success or failure can be understood. The Daynamica app can also be used to deliver “just-in-time” interventions that adapt to each user’s past and current locations and activities. For instance, an intervention to decrease sedentary behavior could potentially be much more effective if it delivered reminders to users to increase their activity level at times when, based on past data, they have typically been sedentary.

The Daynamica app and data collection platform is already being used in several ongoing projects (and producing some interesting results), but the possibilities extend far beyond our existing partnerships. If you would like to know more about what Daynamica can do for your organization or research group, see our Services page or get in touch.

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