Please tell us a little bit about yourself
I am Adeola (my name is pronounced as spelt), and I recently joined the University of Sydney as a Human Factors Research Fellow working with A/Prof Melissa Baysari, within the Biomedical Informatics and Digital Health theme. I am currently working on a Digital Health CRC project focused on using decision support for more responsive care, better patient outcomes and greater efficiency. My role is aimed at using human factors methods to determine how to improve the fit between clinical decision support systems, its users (typically but not limited to clinicians) and the entirety of their work system. My current research interests are in human factors, usability evaluation, implementation science, clinical decision support systems and virtual models of care.
In my previous postdoctoral research position, I led, coordinated and managed various digital health projects focused on improving online access to care for cancer patients, survivors and caregivers. These projects involved the design, development, evaluation and implementation of digital health interventions such as iConquerFear (a web-based tool for managing fear of cancer recurrence) and PROMPT-Care (a web-based tool for routinely collecting Patient Reported Outcomes). I was also a lecturer at the University of Tasmania, teaching into a total of 11 postgraduate and undergraduate Information Systems and Health Informatics units in face-to-face and online settings.
I hold a PhD in Information Systems (specialising in health informatics) from the University of Tasmania, and my PhD research focused on investigating how smartphone technology can improve consumer safe food handling behaviour at home. My education also includes a Masters in Information Technology (Malaysia) and a Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science (Nigeria).
I love reading and writing which may sound boring but that is probably why I’m drawn to this line of work. When I’m not working, I spend time with my sons and my husband, attend church services online, do some shopping, take long walks and watch TV shows (typically South Korean, Scandinavian and American). I like the South Korean language (although I can’t speak it) and I would like to visit Jeju Island in South Korea someday (when the pandemic is really over).
How do you define digital health?
Digital health involves the use of technology, in its various forms, to improve healthcare delivery and patient outcomes. Digital health is evolving, with the possibilities of today only imagined decades ago. So, I’m excited to see how the healthcare landscape will be revolutionised in the coming decades.
What do you think will enable digital health projects and innovations to succeed?
Understanding, and engaging with, the end users (e.g. clinicians, patients, carers) and their interactions with digital health systems before, during and after the design and implementation phases are key to success. Also, it is imperative to consider factors that could influence implementation in routine care and sustained uptake early on in the design process rather than as an afterthought.
What do you think are the biggest challenges facing digital health at the moment?
Digital disruption is booming. Technology is rapidly developing, and the pandemic has certainly pushed the healthcare industry out of its comfort zone. However, research focused on understanding the users, and the work environment at the centre of these technologies being implemented in healthcare settings, has not picked up the same pace. Therefore, I think the biggest challenge right now is the lack of integration between the recent advances in AI-driven technology (artificial intelligence) for users in healthcare settings, the user centred considerations (such as trust, ethics, usability, equity and governance), and the implementation of these technologies in routine care (i.e. outside research environments).
Do you have any interesting resources or helpful networks people should know about?