Online health and wellness gets aid from THaW project


If there were a way to significantly improve healthcare delivery and information management in this country, would you want access to it right away? Access to healthcare is a hot button issue in the United States, but delivery of services and information tracking are the next frontier in online health and wellness. Cloud-based applications and databases that track, monitor and simplify medicine, care models and patient information are on the way. In fact, 20 of The National Institutes of Health’s institutes and centers are presently supporting mobile technology research efforts. We are on the doorstep of an online health and wellness revolution that will change things (in sickness and in health) forever.

Enter the Trustworthy Health and Wellness (THaW) Project 

Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the THaW project has just begun and aims to clear the many complicated hurdles of building safe and secure online health and wellness systems through mobile devices. 

This is a joint venture undertaken by a interdisciplinary team of researchers with expertise ranging from computer science to health policy, all seeking to “enable the creation of health and wellness systems that can be trusted by individual citizens to protect their privacy and can be trusted by health professionals to ensure data integrity and security.”

Heart disease, health promotion, pregnancy, oh my!

Go ahead; choose your health care issues. We have cardiovascular diseases, infectious diseases, mental health, cancer treatment and prevention, and emergency care to name a few. This all adds up to tremendous pressure on health care professionals, hospitals and governments to regulate care and track patient activity effectively.

Cloud-based mobile technologies offer an unprecedented opportunity to provide more comprehensive and informed care than ever before. Doctors and medical teams accessing patient data are able to save time when it matters most and communicate effectively with other service providers’ information that would not otherwise be accessible. But these are early days and for now what mHealth and eHealth need most is more research.

THaW promotes online health and wellness

Creating a secure cloud computing system that tracks private information is not easy. The THaW project hopes to to make it easier for health care teams to configure security measures easily understood by patients (and staff). The research team representing Dartmouth, University of Illinois, Johns Hopkins, University of Michigan and Vanderbilt School of Management want to find a way to easily authenticate clinical staff using mobile devices while giving patients a way to monitor and control what data is collected about them. At this moment nurses are rolling their eyes at an Olympic level. These people do not need more administrative or bureaucratic burdens and their eyeballs are being appropriately rolled. The team at THaW hears you loud and clear and has made it their objective to create online health and wellness security systems that do not add burden on clinical staff.

Security, control over patient data and no additional burden on staff—these kinds of lofty goals are what online health and wellness research is all about!