Proponents of “the quantified self” phenomenon argue that the data we collect is for self-knowledge and self-empowerment. But, will having more data and simply knowing more won’t necessarily help us live healthier and more informed lives ?

With almost five billion mobile phone users in the world, of which two billion are smartphones, mobile health has been lauded as an attractive solution to address the challenges of the rising costs of chronic disease and ongoing lifestyle and health management.

Simply knowing more won’t necessarily help us live healthier lives.

As a nurse I have provided both patient and families information and personalized care plans based on diagnosis and treatment given in the hospital and post discharge care instructions. I have worked with healthcare coaches, discharge planners and home care professionals who call families, provide education and monitor lab results and adjust treatments in hope of preventing readmission. Many times the engagement wears away after the novelty of the information and plan are given – patients return to their home environment and behaviors that are not in support of the care plan, but rather, the lifestyle that is appealing to them that is full of risk and unhealthy behaviors.

It’s all about behavior

Efforts being put into digital heath and the accumulation of data require effective behavior modification and patient engagement…the data is not enough to improve clinical outcomes and patient health.

A promising application of this data could involve a targeted digital behavioral program specific to the individual, matching their weight loss to measurable improvement in their quality of sleep. Linking these lifestyle modifications to the individual’s chronic condition and consequently providing a personalized and highly structured digital behavioral intervention could have a transformational effect on the individual’s life, improving their quality of sleep and, as a result, their ability to function.

Staying focused on all of the elements of the health outcome, and providing data to enable the right behavior at the right time holds true promise in the digital and mobile health landscape

Brenda Hopkins RN    Check out my last blog here

Brenda Hopkins, CEO, Publisher & Editor in Chief

I am the founder of Healthcare Disruptors, a global growth consulting and media firm. With over 25 years of healthcare operations and consulting experience from startup to Fortune 50 global organizations, I have developed a passion for exploring the disruptive forces in the healthcare sector.  I’ve held senior leadership roles at companies like GE Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente and Athena Health.  I started this journey as an RN, learning from the ground up.

I also focus on looking at innovation, EMR, healthcare IT, clinical support, patient experience, issues of convergence and new business models. Much of my work here is identifying the disruptors, transformers and growth drivers in the healthcare ecosystem and working to address the implications of this for stakeholders. I spend my free time with my kids, skiing, biking and learning from the many amazing people that I meet in this industry . I am working on developing a nonprofit executive coaching organization to guide women into senior leadership roles in healthcare.

Check out my last blog here