Informatics Seminar Series
Spring Quarter 2021

Friday, April 30, 2021

“Community Wellness Informatics: Designing Technology for Health Equity”

Andrea Grimes Parker PhD.
Associate Professor
School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology

Abstract:
Friday, April 30, 2021

In the United States, there are serious and persistent disparities in health outcomes. For example, socioeconomic status is predictive of mortality and disease, with low-SES households disproportionately experiencing the poorest health outcomes. This inequality is due in large part to the social determinants of health—social, physical, and economic conditions that make it more challenging to achieve wellness in low-SES communities.

Disruptive innovations are sorely needed to reduce health disparities. Information and communication technologies (ICTs), with their growing ubiquity and ability to provide engaging, informative, and empowering experiences for people, present exciting opportunities for health equity research.

This talk will overview a set of case studies demonstrating work the Wellness Technology Lab has done to design, build, and evaluate how novel interactive computing experiences can address issues of health equity. These case studies investigate how social, mobile, and civic technology can help low-SES communities to both cope with barriers to wellness and address these barriers directly. Using findings from this research, I will articulate opportunities and challenges for community wellness informatics—research that explores how ICTs can empower collectives to collaboratively pursue health and wellness goals.

Bio:
Andrea Grimes Parker is an Associate Professor in the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Dr. Parker holds a Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing from Georgia Tech and a B.S. in Computer Science from Northeastern University. From 2018-2019, she was a Northeastern University Institute of Health Equity and Social Justice Research Faculty Scholar. Dr. Parker is the founder and director of the Wellness Technology Research Lab at Georgia Tech. Her interdisciplinary research spans the domains of human-computer interaction (HCI) and public health, as she examines how social and interactive computing systems can be designed to address health disparities.

Dr. Parker’s research has been funded through awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health, the Aetna Foundation, and Google. She served as co-chair for the 2020 Symposium of the Workgroup on Interactive Systems in Healthcare (WISH), and currently serves on the SIGCHI CARES Committee and the Georgia Maternal Health Research for Action Steering Committee. Dr. Parker has received several best paper nominations for her research on health equity.

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