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PLoS Biol. 2017 Jan 12;15(1):e2001402. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2001402. eCollection 2017 Jan.

Digital Health: Tracking Physiomes and Activity Using Wearable Biosensors Reveals Useful Health-Related Information.

Author information

1
Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, United States of America.
2
Mobilize Center, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, United States of America.
3
Spinal Cord Injury Service, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, California, United States of America.
4
Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, United States of America.
5
Division of Endocrinology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, United States of America.

Abstract

A new wave of portable biosensors allows frequent measurement of health-related physiology. We investigated the use of these devices to monitor human physiological changes during various activities and their role in managing health and diagnosing and analyzing disease. By recording over 250,000 daily measurements for up to 43 individuals, we found personalized circadian differences in physiological parameters, replicating previous physiological findings. Interestingly, we found striking changes in particular environments, such as airline flights (decreased peripheral capillary oxygen saturation [SpO2] and increased radiation exposure). These events are associated with physiological macro-phenotypes such as fatigue, providing a strong association between reduced pressure/oxygen and fatigue on high-altitude flights. Importantly, we combined biosensor information with frequent medical measurements and made two important observations: First, wearable devices were useful in identification of early signs of Lyme disease and inflammatory responses; we used this information to develop a personalized, activity-based normalization framework to identify abnormal physiological signals from longitudinal data for facile disease detection. Second, wearables distinguish physiological differences between insulin-sensitive and -resistant individuals. Overall, these results indicate that portable biosensors provide useful information for monitoring personal activities and physiology and are likely to play an important role in managing health and enabling affordable health care access to groups traditionally limited by socioeconomic class or remote geography.

PMID:
28081144
PMCID:
PMC5230763
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pbio.2001402
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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