The Problem:

Digital health is booming. From contact lenses fitted with glucose monitors, to a smartphone that can detect and track your physical activity, we live in a world where there is a digital balm available for every ache.

However, we know very little about how to best design and disseminate digital health interventions that address the needs of medically vulnerable populations. Leave these populations behind and we risk widening already painfully large disparities in health. There are huge opportunities to engage these populations in the digital health revolution. 84% of low-income adults in the United States own a cell phone, and almost 50% own a smartphone. We can use digital health innovations to help medically vulnerable patients reduce their disease risk, avoid the emergency room, and communicate better with their providers.

But we cannot do so without evidence that these innovations are effective, engaging, and cost-efficient.

The Global Digital Health Science Center faculty members and postdoctoral students conduct basic research, clinical trials and implementation studies, all designed to develop strategies that can improve the health of people and populations.