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Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD: PHRs, AWARE Homes & SMART Patients: Preserving Health One Bit At A Time



Insuring the health of all Americans requires harnessing the power and potential of emerging information technologies.  Personal health records, mHealth devices and AWARE homes all represent the rapid infusion of commercial electronics into the health space, and many of these innovations have profound value for helping lay people make sound health judgments and take healthy action in every day leiving.  Good evidence exists that lay people can and will use information technologies for personal health management and to maintain contact with their health care providers.  Clinicians largely are the reluctant partners in the emerging eHealth environment.  This presentation will review some of the evidence on the values & benefits of patient focused computing, explore the reasons behind some of the successes and failures, and stimulate thinking about new research questions and strategies designed to accelerate the design and deployment of technology innovations in support of personal health.  Examples will be drawn from the new Living Environments Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery (


Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD, is the Lillian L. Moehlman Bascom Professor, School of Nursing and College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin.  Currently Theme Leader of the Living Environments Laboratory at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, Dr. Brennan received a Masters of Science in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD in Industrial Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Following seven years of clinical practice in critical care nursing and psychiatric nursing, Dr. Brennan held several academic positions. Dr. Brennan directs the Living Environments Laboratory, a strategic initiative within the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.  She developed the ComputerLink, an electronic network designed to reduce isolation and improve self-care among home care patients and directed HeartCare, a WWW-based tailored information and communication service that helped home-dwelling cardiac patients recover faster, and with fewer symptoms.  Dr. Brennan is National Program Director of Project HealthDesign, a RWJ- funded initiative designed to stimulate the next generation of personal health records. Additionally, she leads the WI-TECNE project, a state-wide nursing faculty development effort supported by HRSA that will improve the integration of informatics and telehealth into nursing curricula.  She is fellow of both the American Academy of Nursing (1991) and the American College of Medical Informatics (1993), Dr. Brennan was elected to the of the Institute of Medicine in 2002.