Corinne Caillaud (Pronouced korin kayo) Associate Professor and 2020 recipient of University of Sydney Equity Thompson Prize.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Bonjour à tous! I’m Corinne, and I love outdoor sports including mountain biking, hiking and snowboarding. Since I began living in Maroubra (Cadigal and Bidjigal land) I have started surfing but I cannot compare to my 14-yr old!
With my colleagues Kumi de Silva and Sally Sitou, I co-Chair the Mosaic Network. We aim to empower culturally and linguistically diverse staff to achieve their potential at the University and aspire to leadership roles. We now have a branch at the Westmead campus!
My current research focuses on using wearable sensors and digital technologies to design research-based user-centred digital solutions that help people self-monitor their health and adjust their behaviour. I have a particular interest in physical activity, sport and nutrition in adolescents and women.
How do you define digital health? Digital health encompasses technology-supported health care, wearable sensors, nano-sensors, artificial intelligence and computational sciences with the aim to deliver effective health-care and to improve health and wellness through user-centred, personalised solutions.
Digital health brings together multiple disciplines for the benefit of patients, carers, health professionals. It paves the way to new practices, new models of delivering care and enhanced possibilities for effective prevention.
What do you think will enable digital health projects and innovations to succeed? It is basic but one major element of success is defining the problem you want to solve first. Technology must be a means for achieving improved outcomes, not the primary goal. It is not about using digital technology for the sake of technology.
Second, a genuine engagement with the future users, people for which the solution is designed is also key. Then, Digital health has a huge potential to transform the health care landscape. It will enhance health literacy, empower people to self monitor their health and bring together patients, carers and health professionals into a shared journey toward personalised care and recovery.
It is also important to develop trust between providers of digital health solution, health workers, patients and communities. Data security is paramount as well as defining and agreeing on a framework for ethical and safe use of data.
As teachers and clinical educators, we also need to embed digital health in our teaching offering for students from all disciplines (and I include humanities in this group) more opportunities to work together on projects in the area of digital health. Students, both undergraduate and postgraduates will then develop a shared understanding of needs, facilitators and barriers to successfully develop and implement digital health.
What do you think are the biggest challenges facing digital health at the moment? From users’ engagement to data collection and interpretation, from data science to telehealth or ehealth, from prevention to care delivery, the possibilities are endless. This leaves the field with a somewhat fragmented landscape of possibilities rather than a strong, visible and explicit portfolio of solutions. However I think this is at the same time a unique opportunity.
As we have just experienced with COVID-19, digital health can be disruptive, implemented at fast speed and can provide a unique way to reach out to people in need of care. To sustain this more effectively, we need strong leadership, with the ability to take some level of risk, particularly in supporting and funding new ideas. Indeed the field needs new solutions to be quickly implemented, tested, and re-designed (or abandoned if they do not effectively solve the problem).
Do you have any interesting resources or helpful networks people should know about? Here, I’ll highlight that I am leading a node at the Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney focusing on Children and Adolescents’ health and wellness in the Pacific region. This initiative is part a larger collaboration with the University of New Caledonia. We have a strong commitment to engaging with communities, co-designing and assessing the benefit of digital health solutions for the prevention of obesity in the region; so, if you have an interest reach out to me! Corinne.firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to Corinne for taking the time to be our June member feature.