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Digital Health: Tracking Physiomes and Activity Using Wearable Biosensors Reveals Useful Health-Related Information

Overview of attention for article published in PLoS Biology, January 2017
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Mentioned by

68 news outlets
18 blogs
483 tweeters
3 patents
13 Facebook pages
1 Wikipedia page
11 Google+ users
1 Redditor


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730 Mendeley
Digital Health: Tracking Physiomes and Activity Using Wearable Biosensors Reveals Useful Health-Related Information
Published in
PLoS Biology, January 2017
DOI 10.1371/journal.pbio.2001402
Pubmed ID

Xiao Li, Jessilyn Dunn, Denis Salins, Gao Zhou, Wenyu Zhou, Sophia Miryam Schüssler-Fiorenza Rose, Dalia Perelman, Elizabeth Colbert, Ryan Runge, Shannon Rego, Ria Sonecha, Somalee Datta, Tracey McLaughlin, Michael P. Snyder


A new wave of portable biosensors allows frequent measurement of health-related physiology. We investigated the use of these devices to monitor human physiological changes during various activities and their role in managing health and diagnosing and analyzing disease. By recording over 250,000 daily measurements for up to 43 individuals, we found personalized circadian differences in physiological parameters, replicating previous physiological findings. Interestingly, we found striking changes in particular environments, such as airline flights (decreased peripheral capillary oxygen saturation [SpO2] and increased radiation exposure). These events are associated with physiological macro-phenotypes such as fatigue, providing a strong association between reduced pressure/oxygen and fatigue on high-altitude flights. Importantly, we combined biosensor information with frequent medical measurements and made two important observations: First, wearable devices were useful in identification of early signs of Lyme disease and inflammatory responses; we used this information to develop a personalized, activity-based normalization framework to identify abnormal physiological signals from longitudinal data for facile disease detection. Second, wearables distinguish physiological differences between insulin-sensitive and -resistant individuals. Overall, these results indicate that portable biosensors provide useful information for monitoring personal activities and physiology and are likely to play an important role in managing health and enabling affordable health care access to groups traditionally limited by socioeconomic class or remote geography.

Twitter Demographics

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 730 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 6 <1%
United Kingdom 4 <1%
Japan 2 <1%
Finland 1 <1%
Canada 1 <1%
Switzerland 1 <1%
Russia 1 <1%
Netherlands 1 <1%
Taiwan 1 <1%
Other 1 <1%
Unknown 711 97%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 147 20%
Student > Ph. D. Student 134 18%
Student > Master 88 12%
Student > Bachelor 55 8%
Other 54 7%
Other 130 18%
Unknown 122 17%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Engineering 89 12%
Computer Science 88 12%
Medicine and Dentistry 83 11%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 58 8%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 49 7%
Other 202 28%
Unknown 161 22%