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Exercise is Medicine hosts technology and Think Tank conference

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The Exercise is Medicine Global Research and Collaboration Center (EIM-GRCC), housed in the Hubert Department of Global Health at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH), will host an EIM conference titled, "The Wild Wild West of Quantified Healthcare: A Conference and Think Tank on mHealth Integration for Exercise is Medicine," in Atlanta.

Beginning Monday, Dec. 5, the conference will gather a diverse group of stakeholders, primarily from various health care systems and organizations, as well as representatives from software companies, wellness groups and universities to discuss how to establish a framework for integrating objective physical activity data from wearable tracking devices into routine health care delivery. The invitation only Think Tank will convene on Tuesday, Dec. 6 to ignite a collaborative dialogue focused on sharing best practices and developing solutions to integration and implementation challenges.

"Physical activity doesn’t have the same rigor as pharmaceutical interventions but the health benefits are similar and in many cases greater because exercise is a wonder drug that improves several key physiologic systems," explains Felipe Lobelo, MD, PhD, associate professor in the Hubert Department of Global Health at Rollins School of Public Health and EIMGRCC Director.  "Our challenge is figuring out how to translate all the scientific knowledge on the benefits of physical activity into the fabric of modern health care across the board. We have to make it a standard of care with system support, reimbursement, patient engagement, behavioral counseling, and even medical record prompts."

Conference and Think Tank attendees will discuss the integration framework that aims at refining of the technology to support wellness programs and clinical-to-community interventions for the prevention and management of more than 40 common and costly diseases related to inactivity such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancers, depression, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

"We hope to find ways to facilitate a real life integration of data from wearable tracking devices and apps into what the health system and clinicians and community care extensors do with their patients" explains Lobelo. "For this to happen we need to balance aspects such as data validity, security, privacy and inclusion of evidence-based behavior change strategies to engage patients and enable meaningful use of this data.  Lifestyle interventions have double the effectiveness when compared to pharmaceutical interventions among patients at risk of diabetes. We know that in many cases physical activity is the best intervention for our patients and will save costs to the health system, we just need to standardize lifestyle the same way we do other interventions in medicine"

The full conference agenda, is available online.

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