Stanford, LifeMap Solutions add coaching in updated MyHeartCounts app

By Heather Mack
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A new version of MyHeartCounts, one of the original ResearchKit apps, is now available. The app, which was developed by Stanford University and BioTime subsidiary LifeMap Solutions, measures activity from any wearable device linked to the Apple Health App and takes each user's cholesterol and blood pressure results to offer a risk assessment for future heart attack or stroke, and the updated version now offers coaching.

The app is notable in that it is the foundation for one of the largest cardiovascular health studies ever conducted, wherein researchers are trying to understand how smartphones can come into play in the prevention and treatment of heart disease. Using physical activity and cardiac risk data, MyHeart Counts gives users a visual understanding of their mood, sleep quality, nutrition and how many steps they take per day, then compare with others participating in the study via a graph that has been enhanced in the latest version.

With the advent of the Stanford Coaching Module, users now get personalized coaching, and this feature will also be rigorously studied to assess how influential it is on participants’ behavior and activity. The coaching module assigns users one of five available profiles based on their activity patterns, then sends tailored prompts to encourage them to take their activity to the next level if they are able.

“The researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine have an unparalleled understanding of the value and impact of digital tools on medical research and patient health,” LifeMap Solutions CEO Corey Bridges said in a statement. “The co-developer relationship between our organizations is aimed at advancing scientific knowledge of major medical conditions through practical, effective, and engaging mHealth solutions.”

LifeMap Solutions was one of the first developers to participate in Apple’s ResearchKit launch. The company co-developed the Asthma Health app with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and also developed the patient services app for Mount Sinai Health System,  MountSinaiNY, In March 2016, they worked with Stanford to begin incorporating data from 23andMe users into the MyHeartCounts and Astham Health app.