Predrag Klasnja, PhD

"Technology has the potential to transform how individuals manage their health. My research explores how to design effective technology-based interventions that provide support at the right times and in the right contexts to help individuals develop healthy habits and sustain those habits over the long-term."

Predrag Klasnja, PhD

Assistant Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute


Predrag Klasnja, PhD, studies ways in which mobile-health (mHealth) interventions can help individuals develop healthy habits and sustain them over the long-term. To achieve these goals, Dr. Klasnja develops and evaluates mHealth tools intended to keep people engaged with their health goals, discover opportunities for healthy behavior they can do in their current situation, and reflect on their behavior patterns to identify ways to improve their health without disrupting relationships and routines that are important to them.

A key requirement for achieving these goals is that mHealth interventions can be optimized — that they are designed to provide the right types of support, at the right times, and in the right contexts to maximize intended benefits while minimizing burden on the individuals that use them. In his recent work, Dr. Klasnja has been collaborating with colleagues at the University of Michigan and Arizona State to develop methods for efficient design and optimization of mobile-health technologies.

While health management often happens away from the clinic, it shouldn't happen in isolation from health care providers. A second focus of Dr. Klasnja’s work is the use of technology to help individuals more effectively communicate with their health care teams. Dr. Klasnja studies how patients can use technology to manage information for their care and selectively share information with their care teams to help them make better treatment decisions.

Dr. Klasnja’s projects span a range of health domains, including heart disease, obesity, physical activity, and substance use. His current projects are examining the use of mobile technology to support lifestyle modification after bariatric surgery, assess contextual factors related to substance use, promote smoking cessation, and support physical-activity maintenance following cardiac rehabilitation.


  • Health Informatics

    mHealth, just-in-time adaptive interventions, methods for intervention optimization

  • Obesity

    Obesity prevention and control; physical activity

  • Chronic Illness Management

    Health behavior change; smoking cessation, cardiovascular disease management

  • Cancer

    Cancer prevention; information management during cancer care

Recent publications

Golbus JR, Klasna P, Nallamothu BK. The CHAT trial:time for a heart to heart talk. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2019 Apr;12(4):e005643. doi: 10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.119.005643. PubMed

Liao P, Dempsey W, Sarker H, Hossain SM, Al'absi M, Klasnja P, Murphy S. Just-in-time but not too much: determining treatment timing in mobile health.  Proc ACM Interact Mob Wearable Ubiquitous Technol. 2018 Dec;2(4). pii: 179. doi: 10.1145/3287057. PubMed

Klasnja P, Smith S, Seewald NJ, Lee A, Hall K, Luers B, Hekler EB, Murphy SA. Efficacy of Contextually Tailored Suggestions for Physical Activity: A Micro-randomized Optimization Trial of HeartSteps. LID - 10.1093/abm/kay067 [doi] Ann Behav Med. 2018 Sep 5. pii: 5091257. doi: 10.1093/abm/kay067 [Epub ahead of print] PubMed

Hekler EB, Rivera DE, Martin CA, Phatak SS, Freigoun MT, Korinek E, Klasnja P, Adams MA, Buman MP. Tutorial for using control systems engineering to optimize adaptive mobile health interventions. J Med Internet Res. 2018;20(6):e214. doi: 10.2196/jmir.8622. PubMed

Phatak SS, Freigoun MT, Martin CA, Rivera DE, Korinek EV, Adams MA, Buman MP, Klasnja P, Hekler EB. Modeling individual differences: a case study of the application of system identification for personalizing a physical activity intervention. J Biomed Inform. 2018 Jan 31. pii: S1532-0464(18)30012-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jbi.2018.01.010. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Luers B, Klasnja P, Murphy S. Standardized effect sizes for preventive mobile health interventions in micro-randomized trials. Prev Sci. 2018 Jan 9. pii: 10.1007/s11121-017-0862-5. doi: 10.1007/s11121-017-0862-5. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Lewis CC, Klasnja P, Powell BJ, Lyon AR, Tuzzio L, Jones S, Walsh-Bailey C, Weiner B. From classification to causality: advancing understanding of mechanisms of change in implementation science. Front Public Health. 2018 May 7;6:136. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2018.00136. eCollection 2018. PubMed

Korinek EV, Phatak SS, Martin CA, Freigoun MT, Rivera DE, Adams MA, Klasnja P, Buman MP, Hekler EB. Adaptive step goals and rewards: a longitudinal growth model of daily steps for a smartphone-based walking intervention. J Behav Med. 2017 Sep 16. doi: 10.1007/s10865-017-9878-3. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Barbarin AM, Klasnja P, Veinot TC. Good or bad, ups and downs, and getting better: use of personal health data for temporal reflection in chronic illness.  Int J Med Inform. 2016 Oct;94:237-45. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2016.06.011. Epub 2016 Jun 23. PubMed

McClure JB, Heffner J, Hohl S, Klasnja P, Catz SL. Design considerations for mHealth programs targeting smokers not yet ready to quit: results of a sequential mixed-methods study. JMIR mHealth uHealth. 2017 Mar 10;5(3):e31. doi: 10.2196/mhealth.6845. PubMed


Recent News

How can we use technology to support patients after bariatric surgery?

With funding from the Partnership for Innovation, GHRI is evaluating a new technology-based lifestyle program designed by Group Health bariatric surgeons.

Read about it in News and Events.

health informatics

The common goal of precision medicine and public health

Dr. Eric B. Larson draws ideas from The Lancet, JAMA, and Science to explain why population-based medicine is personalized medicine.

Read it in Healthy Findings.

healthy findings blog

Do mast cells hold the key to chronic and unexplained disease?

Dr. Jennifer McClure reflects on evidence about mast cells as a key to chronic disease, providing new insights for physicians, researchers, and the public.

Read it in Healthy Findings.