Application of Big Data Analytics in a National Mobile Health Program

With more than 500 million people estimated to have downloaded a mobile health (mHealth) application on their smartphone globally, mhealth offers a potential solution as platforms to deliver large scale physical activity interventions. Increased physical activity could decrease the burden of disease, leading to improved quality of life. In addition, with an ageing population and increasing medical inflation, a physically active population would place less stress on our health systems.

In his thesis, Gregory’s research evaluates the impact of the National Steps Challenge on physical activity. The challenge is a nationwide initiative that encourages Singaporeans to be more physically active. Since 2015, it has been encouraging Singaporeans to incorporate physical activity into their daily routines. Delivered via a fitness tracker and an app, the challenge provides data on a large sample recruited from a real-world setting with continuous objective activity monitoring.

Gregory modelled the impact of increased physical activity from the National Steps Challenge participants on the chronic disease burden in Singapore. The model projections were then extensively validated against other known projections and data. Finally, he provided evidence that it is possible to conduct a nationwide physical activity intervention that can impact Singapore’s chronic disease burden in the long run cost-effectively.

Click on the video below to view a presentation on the research project!