Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

Development of a smartphone app to predict and visualize risk of developing chronic diseases: integration of genetic risk and wearable data.

Youngwon Kim, PhD; Shiu Lun Ryan, PhD; Brian Hon-Yin, PhD; Michael Multhaup, PhD
Competition Sponsor: The Chinese University of Hong Kong and The University of Hong Kong
Award year: 2021

Preventing or delaying the onset of common chronic diseases through healthy lifestyles is a key priority. The role of personalized digital healthcare services is being increasingly recognized in clinical settings as well as consumer markets. Prominent wearable devices have now enabled numerous people to track their lifestyle including energy expenditure, steps, and dietary intake. At the same time, direct-to-consumer genetic testing services raised their popularity. Such a contemporary plethora of information on wearable-device lifestyle indicators and genetic risk provides an unprecedented opportunity not only to promote a healthy lifestyle, but also to predict and prevent development of chronic disease outcomes. We aim to develop an app that visualizes individuals’ unique risk of chronic diseases by integrating genetic and lifestyle information. Our mobile app, which is evidence-based but user-friendly, will allow users to constantly monitor how their own disease risk progresses according to their wearable-measured lifestyle indicators. We believe that this app will grow as a communication platform for sharing personal stories and achievements on lifestyle change and disease risk reduction. The disease prediction of our app will be based on a series of algorithms developed and validated by our research team. Importantly, our mobile app platform will enable our users to directly integrate their wearable data from the manufacturing companies via API, and upload genetic risk estimates from their medical practitioners and/or direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies.

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