Enabling Precision Health and Medicine (2018-2019)
The landmark sequencing of the human genome in 2003 heralded a new era in biomedical research, one that promised to accelerate the pace of discovery and open up entirely new avenues to understanding the genetic molecular basis of disease. These advancements have developed concurrently with electronic medical records, digital (e-health) technologies and the shift toward patient-centered care.
As a result of the tools now available to characterize biospecimens and collect a range of personal data through wearables and apps, researchers face an influx of heterogeneous datasets and many challenges (and opportunities) for data analysis. Translating these discoveries into actionable diagnostics, interventions and therapies remains a substantial challenge. This project team focused on the challenges in developing applications to support healthy living (precision health) and improve patient care (precision medicine).
Team members developed WearDuke, an initiative designed to promote healthy living through student engagement with wearable technology that measures sleep and activity levels. In 2018-2019, the team worked to create the infrastructure necessary to support the project, including holding focus groups with Duke undergraduate students to unearth and understand any student concerns around the project. WearDuke’s first pilot was launched in Spring 2019 in one first-year residence hall.
Going forward, team members will monitor student participants to assess wide-scale feasibility and acceptance of using a wearable to record sleep and activity habits. The team also developed a website to help promote the initiative and provide interested students with additional information.
Another group of student team members focused on family health history (FHH) – the collection of health information about a patient and their family members. FHH is used to help providers identify patients at increased disease risks and to offer guidance to reduce potential health issues. The team completed a literature review to further understand how to collect FHH and share the information with providers. They also studied cultural considerations around FHH, including religion, race, ethnicity and age.
Their research found that young adults and certain racial, ethnic and religious groups are unsure about collecting FHH. The team developed a website with accessible information to help individuals with FHH collection. In 2019-2020, the team plans to make the website publicly accessible. They also plan to submit a manuscript on family health history awareness in young adult population to the Journal of Personalized Medicine.
Fall 2018 – Spring 2019
Enabling Precision Health and Medicine: Increasing Awareness and Accessibility of Family Health History (FHH) Collection (poster by Elise Cai, Kimberly Calero, Connor King, Lori Orlando, Susanne Haga, presented at Bass Connections Showcase, Duke University, April 17, 2019)
WearDuke (poster by Sarah Bond, Grant Kim, Nathan Parikh, Christine Wang, Lauren Willis, presented at Bass Connections Showcase, Duke University, April 17, 2019)
This Team in the News
- Geoffrey Ginsburg, School of Medicine-Medicine: Cardiology
- Susanne Haga, Sanford School of Public Policy|School of Medicine-Population Health Sciences
/undergraduate Team Members
Sarah Bond, Public Policy Studies (AB), Global Health (AB2)
Elise Cai, Biology (BS)
Kimberly Calero, Public Policy Studies (AB)
Grant Kim, Computer Science (BS), Psychology (AB2)
Connor King, Biology (BS)
Nathan Parikh, Biomedical Engineering (BSE), Computer Science (BS2)
Christine Wang, Computer Science (BS), Psychology (BS2)
Lauren Willis, Biology (BS), Evolutionary Anthropology(BS2)
/yfaculty/staff Team Members
Lori Orlando, School of Medicine-Medicine: General Internal Medicine
Ryan Shaw, School of Nursing