Unveiling the Data Shadow: A Scalable Software Architecture for Public Health and Electronically Assessed Data



In 2017, health expenditure in Norway amounted to 10,4 percent of GDP, and it increases by approx. 0,3 percent annually. Medical treatment and rehabilitation include treatment in hospitals, medical services, dental services, etc., and about half of Norway's health expenses are related to these services. In total, 97 percent of the budget is spent on treating disorders and support functions. Despite studies have shown that the greatest effect on health is within preventive health, only 3 percent of the Norwegian health expenses is used for that purpose. Computer-based technology is used to measure a large amount of health-related information as activity level, heartrate, sleep rhythms, eating habits, exercise habits and emotions. These large amounts of data collected by patients are available in electronic recording equipment and social media but are not shared with the physician or other healthcare professionals – in fact establishing a data shadow. The volume of data is massive, and health personnel do not know how to break the data down to sensible and usable information. This research project is founded in this perspective of preventive health and synthesizes available personal health information by utilizing commodity mobile and wearable hardware to gain a comprehensive insight into the health data shadow of an individual. This is further used to give individuals a fact-based awareness of own health and make informed choices, showcased through a persuasive technologies experiment, and secondly by a built prototype solution upon which health workers and medical doctors can be provided with a comprehensive, unfiltered data foundation to base diagnoses, treatment and council upon. Our major contribution is a proof of concept implementation and leveraging state of the art cloud based function as a service approach to build a scalable software architecture for a ubiquitous and heterogeneous environment harvesting the data shadow through activity tracking devices.