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 aims to bring together experts from industry, policy, and science, to answer critical questions related to behavioral digital health science and to advocate for increased access to effective digital health interventions for the medically vulnerable populations, at home and abroad.
The Center is comprised of three Focus Areas:
Research: 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.
Policy: We advise and advocate for domestic and international policies that are soundly based in evidence, prioritize the safety of patient health data, and are appropriate for low-income populations.
Programs: Center programs support its overall mission and the aims of faculty researchers. Our software programming team consults with faculty in the conceptualization, design, and implementation of digital health interventions. We also work with partners outside of academia to develop and test evidence-based digital health programs.