Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 8.27.41 AMAt this week’s AHA Tech Forum in Austin, Texas, it was revealed that the Health e-Heart study based at the University of California – San Francisco (UCSF) has enrolled nearly 10,000 patients about a year and a half after launch.

For those not familiar with the Health e-Heart, it’s something of a Framingham for the digital age. The study is enrolling participants all over the world to provide a wide range of health data, including biometric data like blood pressure with the iHealth connected blood pressure device, single-lead EKG tracings using the AliveCor device, and passively collected activity data using the Ginger.io platform. In addition, enrollees are entering health data like their past medical history and a detailed family history.

Technical project director Tuhin Sinha additionally described some really exciting functionality being layered on top of the simple collection of data as well. For example, using Ginger.io and geo-fencing of hospitals, investigators are able to detect when a patient is admitted to the hospital and follow up for more data. Questionnaires are also being periodically sent to participants on a wide range of topics, both to capture additional data as well as to validate the questionnaires themselves.

Over time, the study aims to help inform how we can use our ability to collect enormous amounts of health data on patients to design interventions that lead to meaningful benefits. In addition, it will serve as a platform on which to rapidly deploy and evaluate novel sensors and personal health devices.

As the digital health industry moves from pilots and feasibility to real world implementation, forward thinking studies like the Health e-Heart study will be critical to identifying how we use these emerging tools to make a difference in the lives of our patients.