This month we are pleased to profile PhD Candidate Ardalan (Ardi) Mirzaei. Ardi is a registered pharmacist who is currently completing his PhD in the School of Pharmacy looking at patients’ health information seeking behaviour.
Please tell us a little about yourself
I am a registered pharmacist working in community pharmacies and performing medication reviews. I also work as a training coordinator for pharmacy internship. My passions are health, teaching and technology. I enjoy exploring the use of machine learning and deep learning models, and their application to everyday tasks as well as to healthcare. My interests have led me to be part of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) Technology Forum and working on a digital health policy statement as part of the Health and Medicines Information Section (HaMIS) of FIP. I am currently completing my PhD in the School of Pharmacy looking at patients’ health information seeking behaviour.
What is your research on?
Information seeking is fundamentally a dynamic process, it is demand driven, i.e. a person seeks information based on a perceived need for knowledge. Patients seeking medicine information are making a conscious effort to source information in response to a gap in their knowledge. With the rapid expansion in technology and the accessibility of information, patients are susceptible to finding and acting on incorrect information. Many cross-sectional studies have examined the interaction between a patient and the information they source, however, my research tries to model these interactions along the patient journey.
What are the real world consequences of your research?
It is hoped that with this research we will understand who seeks health information, what influences their behaviour, and the sources they access along their journey. The development of a model that captures this dynamic process supports the development of targeted interventions to improve health literacy. Furthermore, the findings will enable development of educational programs targeted to specific patient groups to optimise their health information seeking behaviour.
What does digital health mean to you?
Digital health includes having better access to patients and their characteristics in order to optimise healthcare provision. There are many times that errors could be minimised, treatments adjusted appropriately, and diagnosis made accurately when patient information is accessible. As a pharmacist, I get excited at the possibilities the digital health era can provide. Yet, with these advances comes the need for effective guidelines.
Connect with Ardi:
A very big thank you to Ardi for being our September research student profile!