At the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) 2018 Annual Symposium recently held in San Francisco, the Outstanding Student Paper Award in the field of consumer and pervasive health informatics went to “Recovery in My Lens: A Study on Stroke Vlogs.” The paper was a collaboration between Informatics post-doc fellow Yu Chen (now an assistant professor at San Jose State University), Informatics student Kingsley T. Abel, Professor of Neurology Steven C. Cramer, and Informatics Professors Kai Zheng and Yunan Chen.
As the paper points out, home-based rehabilitation for stroke patients can be a long and difficult process, and many patients are turning to social media platforms — particularly YouTube — to share their experiences in video blogs. After analyzing 246 of these YouTube vlogs, the group of researchers learned that vlogging allows stroke patients to overcome “physical and speech constraints” to self-journaling and helps them “connect with other people online.” The paper discusses how future health systems might leverage vlogs for self-tracking technologies, thereby generating valuable patient health data and better supporting patient-centered education.
“I am very happy about the award,” says Zheng. “This work analyzed a novel type of data and offered valuable insights regarding stroke patients’ rehabilitation experiences and how medical professionals can learn from these experiences to provide better care and patient education and support.”
— Shani Murray