Digital personal health coaching platform for promoting human papillomavirus infection vaccinations and cancer prevention: Knowledge graph-based recommendation system

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A study reveals how personalized digital health tools, such as a Digital Personal Health Librarian, leveraging electronic health records, social data, and advanced technologies, can not only enhance wellness care and preventive health but also significantly improve the uptake of interventions like HPV vaccination.

Digital personal health coaching platform for promoting human papillomavirus infection vaccinations and cancer prevention: Knowledge graph-based recommendation system | Image Credit: © John Doe - © John Doe - stock.adobe.com.

Digital personal health coaching platform for promoting human papillomavirus infection vaccinations and cancer prevention: Knowledge graph-based recommendation system | Image Credit: © John Doe - © John Doe - stock.adobe.com.

Electronic health records and digital health platforms aren’t just a tool for the medical provider. A new study demonstrates how emerging technology can also be used to offer personalized health coaching and tailored medical advice that can help improve health outcomes.

Takeaways

  1. Electronic health records and digital platforms extend beyond medical providers, with a study showcasing how personalized digital health tools, like a Digital Personal Health Librarian, can leverage health records and advanced technologies for personalized health coaching.
  2. While personal health records primarily aim to streamline medical care, this study highlights their potential to improve health literacy and motivate patients to actively participate in their healthcare, offering a more comprehensive approach to well-being.
  3. Focusing on HPV prevention, the study demonstrates the use of digital tools to overcome challenges in promoting interventions like vaccination, showcasing how personalized recommendations can be generated using personal health information, social data, and advanced digital technologies.
  4. Despite concerns about the depersonalization of healthcare interactions through digitization, the study underscores the positive impact, revealing how these tools can deliver highly personalized and effective health promotion messages, overcoming obstacles such as limited time, resources, access to care, and provider knowledge.
  5. While the report's focus is on HPV prevention, researchers emphasize the broader applicability of these digital tools, asserting that personalized health interventions can extend far beyond HPV, covering a wide range of diseases and conditions, offering local information for specific recommended interventions.

Personal health records have been designed to make medical care easier and more effective on the provider end, but they can also be used to improve health literacy and motivate patients to take a more active role in their healthcare. Often used as a supplemental tool in provider and patient relationships, a report published in JMIR Formative Research illustrates how personalized digital health tools can be used to advance wellness care and preventive health.

The team that authored the report looked specifically at the use of a Digital Personal Health Librarian to improve the uptake of interventions such as vaccination to prevent human papillomavirus (HPV) and its associated cancers.

Numerous education campaigns have been initiated to help improve compliance with recommended vaccines and disease prevention efforts for HPV, but there are still more than 45,000 causes of HPV-related cancers each year even though the HPV vaccine has been found to be 90% effective in preventing these cancers.

The study team used personal health information from electronic health records to create individualized and interactive tools that generated personalized recommendations to promote HPV vaccination and cancer prevention. It wasn’t just personal health information used to make these recommendations, though. The study team revealed that social data, natural language processing tools, machine learning, and other digital tools were all used to help develop a system that could determine what kind of information patients needed and how best to deliver that information to them.

The digitization of healthcare can often be viewed in a negative light because of depersonalization of interactions between providers and patients, but this study shows that these same tools can also be used to deliver highly personalized and effective messages on health promotion. The tool can also help overcome other obstacles to delivering effective health education, including limits on time, resources, access to care, and even provider knowledge.

Although this report focused on the use of a digital personal health tool focused on HPV prevention, researchers note that the usefulness of these tools can extend far beyond HPV and cancer prevention. Vaccination and health promotion education can be offered for a wide range of diseases and conditions, and these messages can include local information on when and where patients can take steps for their specific recommended interventions.

References

​​Ammar N, Olusanya OA, Melton C, et al. Digital personal health coaching platform for promoting human papillomavirus infection vaccinations and cancer prevention: Knowledge graph-based recommendation system. JMIR Form Res 2023;7:e50210. doi:10.2196/50210

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