Yale School of Medicine to launch app to help patients collect EHR data, participate in studies

By Aditi Pai
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Yale School of Medicine researchers have announced plans to launch a new app, called Hugo, in partnership with Yale New Haven Health System that allows patients to collect health data and participate in studies by sharing that data with researchers.

Hugo is a cloud-based personal health platform that aims to help patients collect their medical data from multiple health care system EHRs as well as from wearables and questionnaires. The app will organize the data that it collects and then syncs this data with a research database.

Dr. Harlan Krumholz, the director of the Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE) at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and Dr. Allen Hsiao, the chief medical information office for Yale School of Medicine and Yale New Haven Health System, will lead the first study to use data from Hugo. 

“This could be a game changer,” Krumholz said in a statement. “Hugo harnesses the very latest in digital health technology and puts patients in the center, making them true research partners.”

The study, which will be supported by The Yale Center for Clinical Investigation, Yale School of Medicine, Yale-New Haven Hospital, and the Yale Medical Group, will examine hospital readmission and emergency department use after patients are discharged initially from the hospital. 

Normally, according to Yale, between 20 percent and 30 percent of patients who are readmitted to the hospital after discharge are readmitted to another facility, which poses a challenge to researchers who want to study readmission rates. Partial funding for this study will come from Yale Clinical and Translational Science Award grant from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at the National Institutes of Health.

Last year, Yale School of Medicine launched two research-focused apps using Apple’s ResearchKit framework. In November, Yale School of Medicine launched an app that aims to decrease the chance of pregnancy loss resulting from an undersized placenta. And in early October, Yale launched a study for people who have or may develop cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle. Participants take self-assessments about their quality of life and heart-related symptoms. They also have the option to perform six-minute walk tests that analyze their physical abilities and heart rate trends.