Please tell us a little about yourself
Hi, I’m Bernard a PhD candidate at the Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (DHCRC), based in the School of Computer Science at The University of Sydney.
I completed my undergraduate degree in Design Computing and right after joined The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), initially as an Education Technologist. More recently, I was the Program Manager of a Commonwealth Department of Health funded professional development grant initiative for rural and remote medical specialists.
What is your research on?
The current working title of my thesis is: “Visualising performance data”. The project aims to explore how data visualisation can enable reflective practice and support clinician performance. Human-computer interaction (HCI) research methods will investigate how learner modelling concepts (e.g. scaffolding and personalisation) can support the monitoring, self-reflection, and planning of continuing professional development (CPD).
Large amounts of patient administration, medical, and surgical data is routinely collected within hospitals. Just like how banks and fitness apps are designing interfaces to support the achievement of goals – whether it be financial independence/early retirement, to improve health and well-being – we aim to design personalised interfaces to support clinician reflection on their performance.
Some of the design challenges include the reliability and validity of quality indicators, ethical issues around who has access and scope of use, and the complexity of visualisations for individuals compared to multi-disciplinary care teams.
I’m collaborating with other PhD researchers in the DHCRC Practice Analytics program to investigate how we can better use hospital data to understand variation and develop quality indicators to support performance improvement. Data scientist Harvey Jia Wei Koh, will develop quality indicators to reliably measure clinical performance. Emma Whitelock-Wainwright, a psychologist, will look at how we make sense of healthcare data. Medical anthropologist Carol Pizzuti, will investigate the attitudes of health professionals to performance data.
What are the real world consequences of your research?
A tangible output of the research project will be usable visualisation tools that integrate with hospital datasets across jurisdictions and medical specialities. More generally, we hope to shape the digital health agenda through what we have learned about designing interfaces to support lifelong learning. Having worked on the Medical College side, I envision the research being relevant to the design of CPD platforms used each year by Fellows across Australia.
What does digital health mean to you?
Digital health to me is the reimagination of healthcare for the modern age. Digital health is the rocket ship, where data and code is the jet fuel. Technology is a force multiplier that has transformed many aspects of our society. It’s exciting to be a part of something that serves the health of the community. But at the end of the day, we do not innovate for the sake of innovation. People are at the heart of digital health so we need to be wary of any unintended consequences and not just focus on the endless potential technology brings.
Do you have any resources or links you would like to share?
- Digital Health CRC Practice Analytics: https://www.digitalhealthcrc.com/project/using-practice-analytics-to-understand-variation-and-support-reflective-practice/
- Offscreen Magazine: https://www.offscreenmag.com/
- Twitter @brnrdbb
A very big thank you to Bernard for being our student feature this month!