MISC Talk: Andrea Parker

Date: 
Tue, 11/13/2018 - 11:30am

Ehrlicher Room, 3100 North Quad

Community Wellness Informatics: Designing Technology for Health Equity

Abstract

In the United States (U.S.), there are serious and persistent disparities in health outcomes. 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 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. Technology, with its growing ubiquity and ability to provide engaging, informative, and empowering experiences for people, presents exciting opportunities for health equity research. However, there has been little Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) research examining how software tools should be designed to facilitate health equity in the U.S. by addressing the social determinants of health.

In this talk, I will present a set of case studies demonstrating how the Wellness Technology Lab is pursuing technology-driven social change through health promotion. These case studies explore how social, mobile, and civic technology can help low-SES communities to both overcome barriers to wellness and address these barriers directly. Using findings from this research, I will articulate opportunities and challenges for a community wellness informatics agenda within HCI.

Speaker Bio

Andrea Grimes Parker is an Assistant Professor at Northeastern University, with joint appointments in the College of Computer & Information Science and the Bouvé College of Health Sciences. She holds a Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing from Georgia Tech and a B.S. in Computer Science from Northeastern University. Dr. Parker is the founder and director of the Wellness Technology Lab at Northeastern. Her interdisciplinary research in HCI and Personal Health Informatics examines how social and ubiquitous computing systems can help reduce racial and socio-economic health disparities. Dr. Parker’s research has been funded through grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Aetna Foundation. Her research has yielded best paper nominations at the ACM CHI and CSCW conferences. From 2014-2016, she served as the National Evaluator for the Aetna Foundation’s portfolio of projects on mobile health interventions in community settings.