eCohorts and the future of epidemiology
Reporter Ron Winslow posted an article in the March 18, 2013 issue of The Wall Street Journal about a privately-funded University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) effort to track heart disease risk in over 1 million adults using mobile technology.
The project, called “Health eHeart” is described by Dr. Jeffrey Olgin, UCSF’s chief of cardiology, as “a large-scale digital version of the Framingham Heart Study.” The researchers plan to engage participants by encouraging them to enter their own data (e.g., brief surveys), be available for digital follow-up, and to use digital apps and sensors to record certain biological measures like blood pressure.
Questions for consideration:
- Are “eCohorts” the wave of the future for epidemiology? For what types of research questions are they best suited?
- What steps are needed to enable the widespread use of mobile technology for data collection in research studies?
- What are the new challenges that arise with the use of “eCohorts”?
We look forward to an engaging discussion on these issues.
Posted by the Epidemiology Branch, NHLBI