NOTE: As of June 14, 2013, the Project HealthDesign website is now an archive and will not be updated regularly. Please feel free to use the site to learn about our work exploring the power and potential of personal health records. Direct any inquiries to
  • ShareThis
  • YouTube


Building a Bridge Between Patient Experience and Provider Expertise

Project HealthDesign is a groundbreaking national program of  Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Pioneer Portfolio, designed to spark innovation in personal health technology. The program advances a vision of personal health records (PHRs) as springboards for action and improved health decision-making.

Project HealthDesign's first nine teams embarked on a user-centered design process to create health IT tools that ranged from a mobile medication management system that alerts children with cystic fibrosis when to take various medicines to a PDA that tracks patient-sourced pain and activity data. Our five most recent teams have examined how personal health applications and devices can integrate observations of daily living (ODLs) into personal health decision-making and clinical care.

Examining Observations of Daily Living (ODLs)

Because patient-sourced data about ODLs and symptoms provides clinicians a richer picture of an individual's health from day to day, technologies that enable individuals to track these types of data outside the clinical setting may be the most important feature of PHRs and mobile health technologies.

ODLs are sensations, feelings, thoughts, attitudes and behaviors that provide cues to a person about their health state. Our current teams are working with patients and clinicians to identify which ODLs patients value and how they can be tracked and interpreted by patients and clinicians to result in better care.

Exploring Legal and Policy Issues

Experts at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, and the Center for Democracy & Technology have helped the teams integrate ODLs into clinical practice workflow in ways that comply with current privacy and security regulations. The lessons learned from analyzing these issues have helped to inform policy discussions that may govern the exchange of ODLs and other information in PHRs.

Keeping Pace with Emerging Technologies

Our technical partners at Sujansky & Associates help direct our teams to technological solutions that build upon emerging technologies and commercial personal health IT solutions. Technologies currently employed in our projects include sensors, mobile apps, and personal health platforms such as TheCarrot and Microsoft HealthVault.

Stay engaged with us by signing up for our monthly emails or reaching out to us on Twitter @PrjHealthDesign.

Project HealthDesign is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation