Development of a Universal Daily Tracking App

Champion Name

Ashley Harris, Kate Godfrey, Carly McMorris

University of Calgary
Challenge ID


Project Track


Challenge Description

Share This

In research, we are often interested in aspects of daily life that we wish we could track for days or weeks at a time. This could include changes in mood for people that are depressed, the environment that triggers migraines, or changes in diet that lead to health complications. Many tracking apps currently exist, but none offer flexibility for researchers to customize the things they want to track, which are often highly unique for an individual's health goals or need to be highly specified to answer a particular research question. We would like a team to develop a tracking app with full-back end customizability, so researchers, can customize the information that they track. This single app would then have endless utility in different fields of research and in future could extend to healthcare. This challenge is to develop an effective tracking app with flexibility that can be specialized for different studies and to maximize information collection. The successful team will have to develop the app interface to be functional for a range of people including those with sensory needs, set-up reminders to complete diary entries, and allow the information to be collected securely by health care professionals. Below are examples of potential uses: Ex 1. For mental health disorders, it is desirable to track mood over the course of days to weeks. Supplementing this information could be tracking location (at school or at home), activity or schedule (i.e., children’s school schedule). Even tracking posts on social media may provide insight to shifts in mood and state. Understanding shifts in mood are critical to understanding risk factors for clinical depression, as well as determining effective individualized treatment approaches. Ex 2. In studies of migraine, we are interested in knowing when migraines occur, how long they last and what treatments are taken. Importing location information to know if an individual left school or work because of a migraine provides an index to severity. Other factors such as weather/barometric pressure or food could be useful in identifying migraine triggers. For pediatric migraine, it may be parents who are completing these questions on behalf of their children in cases. Ex 3. Studies of sleep and fatigue or exercise often use actigraphs but this doesn’t provide how a participant was feeling throughout the day. When we consider exercise intervention studies, recommendations of 20 mins of activity 5-6 days a week often doesn’t account for what a participant was doing the rest of the day. Capturing whole - day activity can provide better insight to the uptake of some of these interventions-type studies