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Ryan J. Shaw, PhD, RN

Associate Professor
Elizabeth C Clipp Term Chair of Nursing
(919) 684-9434
4145 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 -- DeRienzo, C., Shaw, R.J., Meanor, P., Lada, E., Ferranti, M.J., Tanak, D. A simulation tool to support and predict hospital and clinic staffing Health Informatics Journal. 2016 1-10
  • 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


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.


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Congratulations to PhD student Jackie Vaughn, and her faculty sponsors Ryan Shaw Sharron Docherty who have received an award for her NIH F31 NRSA proposal entitled "Technology-mediated Symptom Management in Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Care."  This award is for a three-year period. This project was awarded at $116,214 for the three-year project period.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Ryan Shaw was recently quoted in a Modern Healthcare article entitled "FDA looks to regulate digital drug products."

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said Thursday that the agency is considering regulating digital tools that are used to encourage prescription medication adherence, potentially as part of a drug review process. Read the full article here

Friday, April 27, 2018

A large number of DUSON faculty and students recently presented at the 2018 Society of Behavioral Medicine annual meeting in New Orleans, LA. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Ryan Shaw recently published and co-lead an article entitled "Accelerating Precision Health by Applying the Lessons Learned from Direct-to-Consumer Genomics to Digital Health Technologies" in National Academy of Medicine.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Congratulations to Ryan Shaw and his entire team with the Health Innovation Lab who received an award from the Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative, Duke Incubation Fund application entitled "Line Snugglers, Evaluation in Adult Critical Care Populations." The project has been awarded $19,930 for a one-year period with a start date of March 1, 2018.  

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Ryan Shaw will be leading two newly announced Bass Connections Projects. He will be leading "Developing a Mobile Phone-based Community Health Program for Hypertension Control in Nepal" (2018-2019) and "Enabling Precision Health and Medicine" (2018-2019). 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Two Accelerated Bachelor of Science of Nursing (ABSN) students enter a simulation lab to begin an assessment and treatment of a pediatric patient when the child’s status suddenly changes. As they would in a real-life situation, they summon the on-call provider. Minutes later, the provider, an advanced practice nursing student who knows nothing about the case arrives – but not in the traditional sense.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

PhD student Zhao Ni and Ryan Shaw were mentioned in an article entitled "Digital Health Conference in China Brings Together Multiple Perspectives" published on the news page of Duke Global Health Institute. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Innovation is always on the forefront of minds at Duke University and Duke Health System. We all know where health care has been, and where it is now—but what about where it will be in about five or even ten years from now? The science behind health care and how health care professionals can effectively treat patients is evolving, and innovators at Duke want to make sure that they stay on top of the ever-changing times.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Mobile App Gateway, a program Ryan Shaw is the faculty advisor for, was featured in an article entitled "Duke launches Mobile App Gateway" on the Duke Clinical and Translational Science Institute website. The article goes into detail about what the Mobile App Gateway offers and how it's helping entrepreneurs at Duke. Read the full story here.