Maia Jacobs: Personalized Mobile Tools To Support Illness Trajectories


Monday, April 2, 2018, 11:30am to 1:00pm


Maxwell Dworkin 119
Abstract: Approximately half of the adult population in the United States has been diagnosed with a chronic disease, requiring healthcare to extend its reach from medical centers and into the home and everyday settings. This shift has quickly made personal health informatics, a class of tools that support individuals’ personal health management, a critical component of care. Personal health informatics is widely considered to be an important strategy for improving chronic disease survivorship rates in the future, but developing effective tools to help individuals learn about and manage their health is a challenging and complex task. These technologies must offer the flexibility and robustness to conform to individuals’ evolving health situations. Existing tools typically focus on a small subset of goals or tasks, such as symptom tracking or exercise monitoring, placing the burden on patients to integrate information from disconnected sources and repeatedly find and incorporate new resources as their healthcare needs change. In this talk, I will discuss new computing approaches for mobile health tools that consider the holistic and changing needs of individuals over time. Specifically, I will talk about the design and evaluation of mobile health tools that offer personalized, adaptive health information to breast cancer patients. Through multiyear engagements with both breast cancer survivors and healthcare professionals, I worked to understand the complexities of cancer care and patients’ cancer experiences. These studies culminated in the design and evaluation of two novel mobile health systems: MyJourney Compass and MyPath. An evaluation of patients’ use of these systems demonstrate the ability for personalized health tools to encourage health management behaviors and influence patients’ health beliefs.
Bio: Maia Jacobs is a CRCS Postdoctoral Fellow. Her research contributes to the fields of ubiquitous computing and personal health informatics through the development and assessment of novel approaches for mobile health tools to support chronic disease management. Maia completed her PhD in Human Centered Computing in the College of Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology, advised by Elizabeth Mynatt. In recent work, Maia led the development and evaluation of applications that offer personalized and adaptive support for breast cancer patients. Her evaluations of these systems provide scientific evidence that interactions with personal health tools positively influence healthcare experiences and impact health outcomes. Maia’s research has gained national attention, having been recognized in the 2016 report to the President of the United States from the President's Cancer Panel, which focuses on improving cancer-related outcomes. Prior to joining Georgia Tech, Maia received a B.S. degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and worked as a User Experience Specialist for Accenture Consulting.