Development of an ehealth system to capture and analyze patient sensor and self-report data: Mixed-methods assessment of potential applications to improve cancer care delivery

Alexander R. Lucas, Michael B. Bass, Nan E. Rothrock, Mary L. O'Connor, Mia R. Sorkin, Jason Nawyn, Fahd Albinali, Lynne I. Wagner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Capturing and Analyzing Sensor and Self-Report Data for Clinicians and Researchers (COMPASS) is an electronic health (eHealth) platform designed to improve cancer care delivery through passive monitoring of patients' health status and delivering customizable reports to clinicians. Based on data from sensors and context-driven administration of patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures, key indices of patients' functional status can be collected between regular clinic visits, supporting clinicians in the delivery of patient care. Objective: The first phase of this project aimed to systematically collect input from oncology providers and patients on potential clinical applications for COMPASS to refine the system. Methods: Ten clinicians representing various oncology specialties and disciplines completed semi-structured interviews designed to solicit clinician input on how COMPASS can best support clinical care delivery. Three cancer patients tested a prototype of COMPASS for 7 days and provided feedback. Interview data were tabulated using thematic content analysis to identify the most clinically relevant objective and PRO domains. Results: Thematic content analysis revealed that clinicians were most interested in monitoring vital statistics, symptoms, and functional status, including the physical activity level (n=9), weight (n=5), fatigue (n=9), sleep quality (n=8), and anxiety (n=7). Patients (2 in active treatment and 1 in remission) reported that they would use such a device, were enthusiastic about their clinicians monitoring their health status, especially the tracking of symptoms, and felt knowing their clinicians were monitoring and reviewing their health status provided valuable reassurance. Patients would, however, like to provide some context to their data. Conclusions: Clinicians and patients both articulated potential benefits of the COMPASS system in improving cancer care. From a clinician standpoint, data need to be easily interpretable and actionable. The fact that patients and clinicians both see potential value in eHealth systems suggests wider adoption and utilization could prove to be a useful tool for improving care delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere46
JournalJMIR Medical Informatics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • Cancer
  • Care delivery
  • Decision support
  • EHealth
  • Mobile phone
  • Survivorship
  • Symptom monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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