Online Program

Promoting Health Policy to Eliminate Health Disparities through Innovative Wearable Technology Innovations

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 10:50 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.

Jayfus T. Doswell, PhD, Juxtopia, LLC, Baltimore, MD
  1. 1.     Background

   Health disparities remain prevalent among minority populations in the United States (e.g., African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Native Hawaiian & Other Pacific Islander) who disproportionately suffer from preventable adverse health conditions ranging from asthma, heart disease and stroke to hypertension, diabetes, obesity, periodontitis, fetal/infant mortality, HIV, and colorectal cancer. Eliminating health disparities for minority populations may reduce direct medical care expenditures by $229.4 billion. Furthermore, the environment in which people live, work, learn, and play have measurable impact on their health.

    To foster impactful health policy changes that significantly mitigate health disparities through innovation, the APHA Health Informatics and Information Technology (HIIT) Section is sponsoring the first annual Health Informatics and Information (HIIT) Disparities Wearathon. The HIIT Disparities Wearathon participants will range from public health informatics and epidemiology specialist to community health, health administration, and health policy experts who will collaborate to prototype innovate solutions that address health disparities and help shape health policy. All APHA sections are invited to participate.

  1. 2.     Objective/Purpose

    The objectives of this session are to: 1.) Facilitate a fast-paced health innovation forum, comprised of public health professionals, that collaborate to prototype wearable telehealth interventions that prevent and mange health disparities; and 2.) Discuss the potential of resulting wearable telehealth innovations to shape health policies.

  1. 3.     Methods

For two years, HIIT Disparities Wearathon organizers, comprised of college students and their

advisors, investigated the potential of wearable telehealth to address health disparities and to shape health policy. These HIIT Disparity Wearathon organizers developed an open-source wearable telehealth hardware and software platform, JIBand, to investigate how wearable telehealth could early diagnose various diseases and prevent health disparities. Organizers conducted a needs analysis in a Health Enterprise Zone in Baltimore, Maryland to assess the healthcare inefficiencies, current practices, and population needs.  Afterwards, the HIIT Disparity Wearathon organizers developed the JIBand Platform to address the target population needs and from which wearable telehealth innovations may be created. 

  1. 4.     Results

    The results of the wearable telehealth platform study demonstrated that a low-cost, easy to use, and easily accessible wearable technology may be developed to continually identify and manage conditions that may lead to health disparities, while simultaneously, collecting data that may help shape health policy.

  1. 5.     Discussion/Conclusion

   The HIIT Disparities Wearathon will facilitate a multidisciplinary group of public health professionals that will collaborate to quickly innovate “wearables” that significantly decrease health disparities with potential to shape health policy.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate in small groups to develop innovative wearable telehealth interventions from the JI Open-Wear Platform that address health disparities. Discuss how resulting innovations have the potential to substantiate existing or help shape public health policies. Describe how wearable telehealth may effectively prevent conditions outside healthcare settings while decreasing overall healthcare costs. Formulate how to transition prototypes towards commercialization.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: tba
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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