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Ryan J. Shaw, PhD, RN

Associate Professor
(919) 684-9434
3152 Pearson Building

Current methods for collecting and disseminating patient information are largely ineffective at improving health. Dr. Shaw identifies and optimizes novel, useful methods of collecting, visualizing, and disseminating healthcare data to (1) better inform our understanding of human disease and (2) improve patient and clinical decision-making.

Dr. Shaw is a pioneer in mobile health—the collection and dissemination of information using mobile and wireless devices. These technologies afford researchers, clinicians, and patients a rich stream of real-time information about individuals’ biophysical and behavioral health in everyday environments.

Dr. Shaw works with faculty at Duke’s Schools of Engineering and Medicine to integrate mobile technologies into first-generation care delivery systems. Dr. Shaw was one of the first scientists to demonstrate and publish that patients could feasibly utilize multiple mobile technologies to manage their health. Additionally, he conducted foundational clinical trials to explore how patients and clinicians use mobile health for self-management and care delivery.

Dr. Shaw was the founder and now Director of the new Duke Health Innovation Lab, a multidisciplinary partnership. He was appointed Faculty Lead of Mobile Technology in Precision Medicine and the Nursing School’s representative to Duke’s Entrepreneurship Initiative. By fostering collaborations across scientific, clinical and technical disciplines, Dr. Shaw actively demonstrates how nursing science can shape the future of health care and improve health outcomes.

Academic Program Affiliations

  • PhD in Nursing Program
  • Master of Science in Nursing Program
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice Program


  • PhD - Duke University
  • MS Nursing Informatics - New York University
  • BSN - University of Miami

Research Interests

Healthcare as we know it is delivered in episodic phases. A patient comes to the clinic, clinicians collect their biophysical and behavioral health data, compare it to the patient’s history, and analyze that data to make informed diagnoses and care recommendations. This structure relies on single data points that are collected in a specific setting that a patient spends very little time in overall. To have a true picture of a patient’s health, the clinician would have access to the biological, behavioral, environmental, social networking, and contextual data of the patient in their everyday lives – every day, every hour, and everywhere. Moreover, this data would be available in “real-time”.

With the proliferation of mobile devices, notably smartphones and other wearable sensors, the potential to collect this real-time digital health data is now possible. Geographic location is rarely a barrier, and with the near universal access to smartphones we are able to transcend the traditional socioeconomic barriers previously faced. This has the potential to yield new insights into disease processes and enhance our understanding of the longitudinal effects of care delivery, medications, and health behaviors.

My work explores how data science and care teams will make it possible to use these data to improve health outcomes and care delivery. I discover how to integrate data from these new technologies into electronic health records and leverage predictive analytics to forecast patient needs.

Awards and Honors

  • 2015 || BAYADA Award for Technological Innovation in Health Professional Education and Practice, Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions
  • 2013 || Distinguished Dissertation Award, Duke University School of Nursing
  • 2010 || ThinkSwiss Travel Grant, Swiss Confederation – Institute of Nursing Science, University of Basel
  • 2010 || Top Student Research Poster: “Online Social Networking and Diabetes”, Southern Nursing Research Society Annual Research Conference
  • 2008 || Distinguished Master's student, New York University College of Nursing
  • 2008 || Information Technology Fellowship in Healthcare, Duke Health Technology Solutions & Duke University School of Nursing
  • 2004 || Inducted, Sigma Theta Tau International
  • 2003 || Academic Excellence Award, University of Miami – Jackson Memorial Hospital
  • 2003 || Mary Gaynell Forbes Nursing Scholarship, University of Miami

Areas of Expertise

  • Health Disparities
  • Informatics

Areas of Interest

Health Informatics
Mobile Health (mHealth) and eHealth

Representative Publications

  • 2017 -- Voils, C.I., Shaw, R.J. Wearable Technology and Long-Term Weight Loss Letter to the Editor in the Journal of the American Medical Association. 317(3); 318
  • 2016 -- PubMed # : 26911820 Shaw, R. J. and Steinberg, D. M. and Bonnet, J. and Modarai, F. and George, A. and Cunningham, T. and Mason, M. and Shahsahebi, M. and Grambow, S. C. and Bennett, G. G. and Bosworth, H. B. Mobile health devices: will patients actually use them? J Am Med Inform Assoc. 23(3); 462-6 PMC4901379
  • 2016 -- PubMed # : 26647104 Shaw, R. J. and Pollak, K. and Zullig, L. L. and Bennett, G. and Hawkins, K. and Lipkus, I. Feasibility and Smokers' Evaluation of Self-Generated Text Messages to Promote Quitting. Nicotine Tob Res. 18(5); 1206-9
  • 2016 -- PubMed # : 26001748 Shaw, R. J. and Sperber, M. A. and Cunningham, T. Online Social Media as a Curation Tool for Teaching. Nurse Educ. 41(1); 41-5
  • 2016 -- PubMed # : 27565168 Goode, A. P. and Hall, K. S. and Batch, B. C. and Huffman, K. M. and Hastings, S. N. and Allen, K. D. and Shaw, R. J. and Kanach, F. A. and McDuffie, J. R. and Kosinski, A. S. and Williams Jr, J. W. and Gierisch, J. M. The Impact of Interventions that Integrate Accelerometers on Physical Activity and Weight Loss: A Systematic Review. Ann Behav Med. 2016 51(1); 79-93 PMC5253097
  • 2016 -- Perkins, L., Pereira, K., Shaw, R.J., Biernacki, G.J., Thompson, J. Implementing the Evidence-based Guidelines for Overweight/Obese Adults The Journal of Nurse Practitioners. 2016 12(9); e389-3393
  • 2016 -- PubMed # : 27892900 Rudolph, A. and Vaughn, J. and Crego, N. and Hueckel, R. and Kuszajewski, M. and Molloy, M. and Brisson 3rd, R. and Shaw, R. J. Integrating Telepresence Robots Into Nursing Simulation. Nurse Educ. 2016 42(2); E1-E4
  • 2016 -- Jackson, G.L., Roumie, C.L., Rakley, S.M., Kravetz, J.D., Kirshner, M.A., Del Monte, P.S., Bowen, M.E., Oddone, E.Z., Weiner, B.J., Shaw, R.J., & Bosworth, H.B. Linkage between theory-based measurement of organizational readiness to change and lessons learned conducting partnered research Learning Health Systems. 2016
  • 2016 -- Vaughn J, Lister M, Shaw RJ Piloting Augmented Reality Technology to Enhance Realism in Clinical Simulation CIN: Computers Informatics Nursing. 2016
  • 2016 -- Chaballout, B., Molloy, M.A., Vaughn, J., Brisson, R., Shaw, R.J Feasibility of augmented reality in clinical simulations: Using Google Glass with manikins JMIR Medical Education. 2016 2(1); e2


Grant Funding (Selected)

  • A Novel IT Weight Loss Solution to Provide Variable-Ratio Rewards in Real-time

    NIH National Heart Lung and Blood Institute
    R34 PAR-10-005
    08/2015 to 04/2018

    Project Goal To determine the feasibility of using automated algorithms that analyze dietary self-monitoring and interim weight loss data to provide real-time reinforcement using variable-ratio financial incentives

  • Project CLOUD: A CataLyst to Use Data Analytics (CLoUD) for Innovating the DUSON Informatics Program

    Duke University SON CONCEPT Office CATALYST Award
    07/2014 to 06/2015
    Role: PI

    Project Goals: To complete professional development through SAS training in data analytics and visualization of the kind of qualitative data nurse scientists produce, and using this training (as well as Data Analytics Certification in Predictive Modeling) to support the re-design of N418: Database Systems in Healthcare, and to develop a new Data Analytics online course that will be offered by the Healthcare Informatics program. The new course will be grounded in experiential learning principles. The instructor will put out a call to faculty for problems that need to be solved using analytics. Each team of students, working for a faculty client, will produce a viable solution by the end of the course.

  • The Adaptive Leadership Framework in Mobile Health: A Pilot Study for Weight Loss

    Duke University School of Nursing ADAPT Center Small Grant Program (funded by NINR/NIH)
    10/2013 to 09/2014
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Project Goal: This study begins to address the need for patients and clinicians to make meaning and perform adaptive work and approaches from multiple weight loss data (e.g., weight, physical activity, and diet) and barriers to weight loss that are captured in real time through mobile devices.

  • The mHealth@Duke Consortium and Seminar Series (mHealth@Duke Colloquium Grant)

    Duke University School of Nursing
    09/2013 to 08/2014

    Project Goal: To support the mHealth@Duke interdisciplinary consortium to accelerate research on the use of sensors and mobile technology to advance the delivery of health care through improved patient-provider communication and collaborative health care management. Through our consortium of faculty, students and yearly conference, we do this by: 1) providing a venue for education and leadership development in the mHealth space and 2) serve as an incubator for mHealth research by providing a forum for discussing and refining new ideas, identifying funding resources, and serving to build capacity for novel mHealth technologies.

  • The Mobile Health (mHealth) Platform: Development and Feasibility Evaluation

    Duke Center for Personalized and Precision Medicine
    08/2013 to 07/2014

    Project Goal: To begin development of a single unified platform that will collect and deliver multiple domains of real time health and contextual data from various wireless and mobile devices that will allow for intra-individual tailoring and personalization of health interventions.

  • Health Services Research & Development Post-doctoral Training

    Veterans Affairs Office of Academic Affiliations, Health Services Research & Development
    08/2012 to 07/2013
    Role: Nursing Post-doctoral Research Fellow
  • A Three-Month RCT to Sustain Weight-Loss among Obese Persons through Tailored SMS

    National Institutes of Health
    12/2010 to 08/2012
    Role: Principal investigator and trainee

    Project goal: To explore the effects of theoretically targeted mobile phone messages on sustaining weight loss

  • Development and feasibility testing of a targeted weight-loss sustaining text message intervention

    NIH CTSA/Duke Translational Medical Institute pre-doctoral scholarship
    CTSA TL1 RR024126-05
    07/2010 to 09/2010
    Role: Principal Investigator, doctoral trainee

    Project goal: To develop a weight loss sustaining text message intervention and test the feasibility and acceptability among people with obesity.

  • Information and behaviors people with diabetes seek and partake in online

    NIH CTSA/Duke Translational Medical Institute pre-doctoral scholarship
    CTSA TL1 RR024126-05
    07/2009 to 09/2009
    Role: Principal Investigator, Trainee

    Project goal: To determine the health information seeking and social media use on the Internet among people with diabetes

  • From Episodic to Real-Time Care in Diabetes Self-Management

    NIH National Institute of Nursing Research
    06/2016 to 05/2019

    Type 2 diabetes is a serious problem in the U.S. and self-management is critical to control the disease. This study will use mobile health technologies to identify strategies that help patients and health professionals use patient-generated data to help patients better self-manage and overcome challenges with diabetes. The results will serve as a cornerstone for creating tools to help patients better self-manage disease through the use of mobile health technologies and real-time patient-provider collaboration.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Ryan Shaw was recently the keynote speaker of the 2017 Ruth K. Palmer Research Symposium at Loyola University Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing in Chicago and spoke on "Mobile Health Technologies for Precision Health." This year's theme was "Mobilizing Innovative Technology to Transform Research and Promote Health."

Each year, health care professionals gather to share the latest information in research at the symposium and the event addresses matters seminal to nursing research, education, administration, policy and clinical practice.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Kudos to Ryan Shaw and Kris Hauser – Pratt School of Engineering, co-principal investigators, and their entire team for the submission of their NIH R21 application entitled "Toward Telerobotic Nursing." This proposal requests funding for a two-year period with a start date of September 1, 2017.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Ryan Shaw recently published a letter to the editor entitled "Wearable Technology and Long-Term Weight Loss" in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The article was co-authored by Corrine Voils, PhD, with Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Across the world, patients and health care providers are enjoying technological advances that are transforming health care. However, before these items make it to the marketplace, they have to be developed and tested. Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON) is home to a place for this – the new Duke Health Innovation Lab, an interdisciplinary center for developing and testing pioneering innovations in technology and patient care delivery.

Friday, December 2, 2016

DUSON and Pratt School of Engineering were featured in an article entitled "Researchers developing real life Baymax, aka a personal healthcare assistant" on the Blastr website. The article also includes a video demo of the Tele-Robotic Intelligent Nursing Assistant (TRINA) in action. Click here to real full article.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

More than 14 faculty, staff and PhD students presented at the 2016 Gerontological Society of American (GSA) Annual Scientific Meeting in New Orleans, LA. According to GSA, more than 3,600 international experts attended thr premier gathering of gerontologists from both the United States and around the world. Attendees participated in over 450 scientific sessions including symposia, paper and poster presentations.

The following faculty, staff and PhD students presented at the conference:

Friday, November 18, 2016

Ryan Shaw, Michele Kuszajewski and Margie Molloy were recently featured in the News & Observer in an article entitled "Duke officials test, refine robot-nurse." The robot-nurse is a first-generation nursing robot that DUSON and the Duke Pratt School of Engineering students are collaborating on to build and refine.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Congratulations to Ryan Shaw and Karin Reuter-Rice who have received the 2016 Innovation Award for their Duke Center for Applied Genomics and Precision Medicine (CAGPM) proposal entitled "Aggregating and Visualizing Environmental Biological Physiological and Outcome Data in Acute Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury." This project was awarded at $22,500 for the one-year project period 2016-2017.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Faculty members Melissa Batchelor-Murphy, Rosa Gonzalez-Guarda, Devon Noonan, Schenita Randolph, Karin Reuter-Rice, Cheryl Rodgers, Ryan Shaw and Eleanor Stevenson were recently accepted into the Fall Path to Independence Grant Writing Program co-sponsored by DUSON and the Duke University School of Medicine.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Katherine Pereira publishes article entitled "Implementing an Evidence Based Guideline for Overweight/Obese Adults" in the Journal of Nurse Practitioners. Co-authors included Lorraine K. Perkins, DNP, FNP-BC, family nurse practitioner at Sentara Family Medicine in Williamsburg, Virginia; Ryan J. Shaw, PhD, RN, assistant professor at the Duke University School of Nursing; Gregory J.