Computer showing data

Visualization Design for Heterogeneous Data in Personal Health Records


In recent years, significant research has been done in the area of personal health technology (PHT) [1]. PHT applies advances in mobile and wearable sensing, computing, and communication technology for semi-automatic health data collection, analysis, and disease prediction, forming a ’sense-predict-intervene’ loop which is core to most of the PHT applications and the basis for health-related feedback to the patients [1].

Despite these qualities, on one hand, limited understanding is available on how health-care providers prefer to access information from PHR and how it can be used in clinical decision making, diagnosis, and treatment [2]. On the other hand, very little is known about how patients can provide data of clinical relevance and how they can take benefit from it in connection with their own personal health technology.


To address these issues, this PhD project aims to investigate the impact of data visualization and interface design in a ’double-loop’ PHR, i.e. by looking at data visualization and interaction from both the patient and providers point of view. Studies have found that understanding of the underlying information presented in PHR through visualization and representation is the main influencer in use of the system [3].

Empirically, this PhD project is associated with two larger health intervention studies; (i) the REAFEL project [4] , which focuses on optimizing diagnosis of atrial fibrillation and (ii) the Phy-Psy Trial [5], which focuses creating a coordinated care model to reduce the excess mortality of patients with severe mental illness by improving the treatment of their co-morbid physical conditions. These projects form the empirical basis for this PhD project and the goal is to design a generic interface and data visualization that covers both cases. This will help establish a more general approach for several health problems (heart diseases and mental health) rather than specific approaches for each.


  1. Jakob E Bardram and Mads Frost. The personal health technology design space. IEEE Pervasive Computing, 15(2):70–78, 2016.
  2. Nicholas Huba and Yan Zhang. Designing patient-centered personal health records (phrs): health care professionals perspective on patient-generated data. Journal of medical systems, 36(6):3893–3905, 2012.
  3. Lina Bouayad, Anna Ialynytchev, and Balaji Padmanabhan. Patient health record systems scope and functionalities: literature review and future directions. Journal of medical Internet research, 19(11), 2017.
  4. Reafel reaching the frail elderly patient for optimizing diagnosis of atrial fibrillation.
  5. The phy-psy trial.


Raju Maharjan
PhD student
DTU Health Tech
+45 45 25 52 64


Jakob Eyvind Bardram
Head of Sections, Professor
DTU Health Tech
+45 45 25 53 11
20 JUNE 2021