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Big Data, Remote Monitoring for Transforming Healthcare

Big Data, Remote Monitoring for Transforming Healthcare

July 2023 — A recent webinar on using big data, remote monitoring and remote microsampling for omics studies to transform healthcare was hosted by The Evidence Base®, an online hub that provides the latest news on real-world data, health economics and outcomes research.

Webinar moderator Neil Spooner, PhD, Director, Spooner Bioanalytical Solutions and Co-Founder of the Patient Centric Sampling Interest Group (PCSIG) was joined by leading genomicist Michael Snyder, PhD, Professor & Chair, Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Snyder's topic was the use of big data and remote monitoring to transform healthcare today.

At the top of his webinar presentation, Dr. Snyder highlighted how our present healthcare system focuses on treating people when they are ill rather than on how to prevent them from becoming ill.

An information graphic spotlighting how healthcare system is broken. Infographic courtesy of Michael Snyder, PhD, Snyder Lab, Stanford Medicine

Dr. Snyder explained that he and his colleagues in the Snyder Lab at Stanford Medicine believe that each of the steps followed in the current healthcare system can be improved. They have been using big data and remote monitoring devices to monitor people while they are healthy with the aim of learning how to keep them that way and to detect disease before symptoms appear.

Remote Monitoring Enables Multi-Omics Studies in the Snyder Lab at Stanford Medicine

"We believe that that advanced technologies have the potential to transform healthcare and keep people healthy," said Dr. Snyder.

Dr. Snyder et al use advanced multi-omics technologies (genomics, immunomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, microbiomics) as well as wearables and remote blood microsampling devices to actively monitor health. They have used these technologies for early detection of infectious disease, including COVID-19, as well as for monitoring health under different conditions that may help improve lifestyle choices.

Monitoring Big Data Can Help Healthcare Systems Better Manage Health

In a long-term multi-omics study, the Snyder Lab researchers have followed a group of 109 individuals for roughly 13 years to gain health insights on cardiovascular disease, oncology, metabolic health and infectious disease. They have studied blood samples and plasma taken from the study participants to understand all aspects of their health.

Such studies have led to interesting discoveries about human health and how it changes over time and from person to person. For example, they found that individuals have distinct aging patterns that can be measured in an actionable period of time. Some people are "immune agers" who can take measures to boost immunity, while others are "kidney agers" who can make lifestyle choices that protect their kidney health.

The researchers also have learned that it's important for each individual to know their healthy baseline data (i.e., their baseline body temperature), for example, so they know that "something is off" when their health measures change.

How Wearables and Remote Microsampling Can Provide Benefits

Dr. Snyder and colleagues believe it will soon be possible to "Amazonize" healthcare by taking a remote, home-based approach to monitoring health. People can do this in two ways: 1) By wearing health devices that monitor them 24/7, and 2) by using remote microsampling devices to collect micro-sized blood samples and other specimen samples at home. 

An image collage of remote and portable healthcare devices.
Infographic courtesy of Michael Snyder, PhD, Snyder Lab, Stanford Medicine

Dr. Snyder listed numerous technologies that can be used for remote monitoring. The purple product pictured above in Dr. Snyder's slide is a Mitra® device based on VAMS® microsampling technology from Trajan Scientific and Medical. These microsampling devices can help simplify the steps taken to getting a health check-up.

Amazonizing of Healthcare: Dr. Snyder proposed that providers can mail blood sample collection kits to people at home. Individuals can use the enclosed microsampling device and supplies to self-collect 2-4 blood samples from a quick fingerstick. Then they mail the samples back to the lab for testing.

The blood microsamples can be shipped to the lab via standard mail or overnight delivery. No special cold-shipping is necessary because Mitra microsamples don't need to be refrigerated. They will dry on the device in transit and are analyzed in the lab following a dried blood spot (DBS) workflow for sample processing.

Slide by Dr. Michael Snyder, Stanford Medicine
Infographic courtesy of Michael Snyder, PhD, Snyder Lab, Stanford Medicine

This content was curated from the webinar hosted by The Evidence Base and the Patient Centric Sampling Interest Group (PCSIG).

To learn more about the adoption of blood Microsampling in Omics Research visit our resource page

Advance your omics research with resources on how others use microsamples to study DNA, metabolites, lipids and different proteins.In some territories our devices are supplied for therapeutic or IVD use Outside of those territories our devices are supplied for research use only

Image Credits: Dr. Michael Snyder, Snyder Lab, Stanford Medicine; FedEx; Apple; Scanadu; iHealth Labs Inc; Athos Apparel; Basis; RadTarge; Autographer (OMG Life); Withings; Qardio; Dexcom

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