Stanford clinical trial uses data-driven methods to hunt for disease

Stanford clinical trial uses data-driven methods to hunt for disease

A clinical trial program initiated by Stanford Medicine has deployed a data-driven, integrated team approach to predict and prevent disease and better detect overlooked health conditions and risks.

WHY IT MATTERS

The Humanwide pilot project uses science and technology to understand each patient, from lifestyle to DNA, and apply that knowledge to transform their health.

The organization’s model combines tools of biomedicine with a data-driven, team-based approach to focus on predicting and preventing disease before it strikes.

As part of the pilot, Humanwide patients used mobile monitoring devices, including a glucometer, pedometer, scale and blood pressure cuff, to regularly measure key health metrics.

The data automatically uploaded to their electronic health records for remote monitoring by their health care team, and the care team then helps the patient manage current health conditions and address future risks through a plan aligned with his or her personal goals.

ON THE RECORD

“With Humanwide, we’re able to focus on the whole human: who they are when they’re working, who they are when they’re playing, who they are when they’re at home,” Mahoney said in a statement. “This program demonstrates how we can zero in on what matters to a patient, to craft the entire care plan around their goals.”

EARLY LESSONS

In a paper in the Annals of Family Medicine, she and co-author Steven Asch outlined the early lessons of the year-long project, which involved 50 patients.

The paper noted encouraging the use of wearable devices in a healthy population helped identify multiple patients with early diabetes or hypertension, prompting early intervention and self-management.

The pilot participants underwent genetic assessments that gauged their risk for cancer and other diseases, and a pharmacogenomic evaluation that determined which types of drugs are most effective for their individual biology and cause the fewest side effects.

The patients also tracked key health metrics, such as blood glucose levels and blood pressure, using portable digital devices that beamed their readings back to their electronic health records for remote monitoring by care teams.

The teams, which included a primary care physician, nutritionist, behavioral health specialist and clinical pharmacist, used this data to inform each patient’s care.

They also considered other factors, such as social and environmental determinants, and succeeded in identifying several previously overlooked health conditions and risks for different participants, from hypertension to heightened risk for breast cancer.

“Looking at genomic data and other factors that actually predict patient health allows us to be proactive instead of waiting for something to happen and having to react to that,” David Entwistle, president and CEO of Stanford Health Care, said in a statement. “Humanwide is an opportunity to build a deep understanding of each patient in a unique way.”

Nathan Eddy is a healthcare and technology freelancer based in Berlin.

Email the writer: nathaneddy@gmail.com

Twitter: @dropdeaded209 

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