Talks and Poster Presentations (without Proceedings-Entry):

G. Fitzpatrick:
"Computer Science, Social Capital and Health: better sustainable health through digitalization?";
Talk: 22. wissenschaftliche ÖGPH-Jahrestagung, Rennweg 16, Wien, 9 1030 (invited); 2019-05-23.

English abstract:
Governments worldwide are facing significant challenges to fund and deliver health care services, exacerbated by the increasing burden of chronic diseases, and a rapidly aging population and shifting demographics. Technology is seen as an important enabler for being able to meet these challenges, not only in the form of national e-health initiatives focussed on professional/institutional care, but more particularly in the form of technologies to promote health improvement, self care, and care in the community, focussed on people becoming active participants in their own health and well-being and avoiding expensive institutional care. Two particular classes of technology illustrate this, taking advantage of the unprecedented growth and maturing of mobile, wireless, wearable and sensor based technologies: technologies to promote active and healthy aging at home; and technologies to promote behaviour change towards more sustainable healthy behaviours, e.g., around exercise, nutrition, sleep and so on. These two exemplar cases provide interesting contrasts. Technologies for aging tend to be driven more top-down by government priorities and entail complex ensembles of technologies and support services, potentially as part of care packages. Technologies for behaviour change tend to be driven more bottom up, and are targeting (usually self-selecting) individuals, where anyone with some computer science skills can create "an app for that" and make it available via an app store for individuals to download and try out. Both of these areas have seen enormous investments of research efforts, government funding, and industrial innovation. Yet in both areas, there is limited evidence of widespread and sustained use and associated positive health impacts. In this talk, I will share examples of trying to design technologies in both these areas. What becomes clear is that, while it is relatively easy to design and build a new technology, it is extremely difficult to design and build a good technology that fits into everyday social practices and contexts of use, that respects individualsī autonomy and privacy, that can integrate with broader health infrastructures and diverse stakeholder concerns, and that promotes better health and well-being in a sustainable way. Technology has the potential to transform health care and promote better health and wellbeing but only if we can learn how to better address key questions such as: what are appropriate conceptualisations and theories about health and wellbeing in general and more specifically about the domain at hand; how do we gain a more holistic understanding of the context, values, social relationships, and so on to inform design; how do we translate/interpret theories (e.g., of aging, of behavior change) into specific design decisions; how do we design for ongoing appropriation and use of technology in practice and what does this mean for evaluation; and what are the cross-disciplinary and cross-sector collaborations needed to address the challenges and how to work together?

Created from the Publication Database of the Vienna University of Technology.