The project, a partnership between UCSD and the University of California, Irvine, will use the grant to create a network of researchers, scientists, companies, and others to catalyze the use of personal health data for the public good. To that end, the network will bring together companies that collect personal health data captured through the use of wearable devices, smartphone apps, and social media with researchers and other partners who will mine the data for patterns and trends. The network also will work to update existing policies and procedures for managing risks and privacy concerns and will identify policies and best practices for using personal health data to produce transformative knowledge about health.
“We have high hopes that personal health data will provide a unique window onto the many factors that influence health on a daily basis” said Alonzo Plough, chief science officer and the vice president for research and evaluation at RWJF. “By addressing the barriers to using these new forms of data in research, we expect that the work of the network will help put us on a path to a better understanding of health and how we can build a national culture of health.”