Mobile health devices: will patients actually use them?


Although mobile health (mHealth) devices offer a unique opportunity to capture patient health data remotely, it is unclear whether patients will consistently use multiple devices simultaneously and/or if chronic disease affects adherence. Three healthy and three chronically ill participants were recruited to provide data on 11 health indicators via four devices and a diet app. The healthy participants averaged overall weekly use of 76%, compared to 16% for those with chronic illnesses. Device adherence declined across all participants during the study. Patients with chronic illnesses, with arguably the most to benefit from advanced (or increased) monitoring, may be less likely to adopt and use these devices compared to healthy individuals. Results suggest device fatigue may be a significant problem. Use of mobile technologies may have the potential to transform care delivery across populations and within individuals over time. However, devices may need to be tailored to meet the specific patient needs.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Shaw, Ryan J, Dori M Steinberg, Jonathan Bonnet, Farhad Modarai, Aaron George, Traven Cunningham, Markedia Mason, Mohammad Shahsahebi, et al. (2016). Mobile health devices: will patients actually use them?. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA, 23(3). pp. 462–466. 10.1093/jamia/ocv186 Retrieved from

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Ryan Shaw

Associate Professor in the School of Nursing

Ryan Shaw is at the forefront of integrating patient-generated health data and emerging technologies into novel care delivery models. Using a health equity lens, his research focuses on data from wearables, sensors, and devices that enhance patient care and interact with electronic health records (EHRs). His innovative work has attracted funding from institutions like the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

As the Director of Duke University School of Nursing's Health Innovation Lab, located adjacent to Duke Hospital, he oversees a space for entrepreneurship, product development and testing, and modeling care delivery processes. Additionally, he teaches classes in health informatics and research methods, and mentors students to become the next generation of health scientists and clinicians.

Dr. Shaw's work is shaping the future of healthcare through the integration of technology and patient-centered data in nursing practice.

He currently co-leads two NIH-funded clinical trials:
EXTEND (Grant R01NR019594):
Log2lose (Grant U24HL150227):


Dori Steinberg

Consulting Associate in the School of Nursing

Dr. Steinberg is an Associate Professor in the Duke School of Nursing and at the Duke Global Health Institute. She is also Director of the Duke Global Digital Health Science Center. Her research focuses on digital health interventions for dietary change, and chronic disease management among adults. 

Dr. Steinberg is the PI of an NIH-funded R01 grant examining how to best leverage digital health to improve diet quality among individuals with high blood pressure. She was PI on K12 career development grant as Duke BIRCWH Scholar and has been a co-investigator on several successfully funded grants from NIH and Duke. Her work has been featured in the Journal of the American Medical Association, The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and The American Journal of Public Health, as well as in mass media. 

Dr. Steinberg earned her B.S. in Nutrition from the Cornell University, her M.S. in Public Health from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also a Registered Dietitian.

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