Health & Technologies

Researchers at UGA CPH are innovating the use of technology to improve health and reduce health disparities. We are studying and evaluating the application of telemedicine, mHealth, health informatics, and assistive technologies to address a range of issues including mental health, flu, HIV, tuberculosis, stroke, and dementia.

Faculty Experts

Jenay Beer
Assistive technology; human-robot interaction; telemedicine

Juliet Sekandi
Telemedicine; AI in tuberculosis treatment

Tamora Callands
mHealth; global health; sexual & adolescent health

Allan Tate
Data fluency; virtual reality; family health

Selected Projects & Groups

Robot-facilitated piano lessons for older adults

PI: Jenay Beer

This project features robot-led piano lessons for lonely adults 65 and older with mild cognitive impairment, in an effort to improve cognition and reduce feelings of social isolation. Participants receive robot-led piano lessons as well as cognitive assessments over the course of six months. This work offers an important contribution to the body of scientific knowledge about the use of socially assistive robots to provide mental and social stimulation to older adults who are experiencing issues with cognition and may lack social connections.

Improving tuberculosis medication adherence in Uganda

PI: Juliet Sekandi

Dr. Sekandi has conducted one of the first pilot evaluations of the feasibility, acceptability, and cost of using video directly observed therapy (VDOT) among tuberculosis patients in her home country of Uganda. She recently published results of a federally funded randomized clinical trial showing VDOT improved treatment completion to nearly 90%. In VDOT, a smartphone app records the patient taking the prescribed medication; the patient then sends the video via an encrypted message to a health provider who views it and assesses adherence. For patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis, VDOT helps ensure adherence to a new oral antibiotic available to treat this disease strain. The tuberculosis control workforce, however, remains overburdened. Dr. Sekandi is working with colleagues in the School of Computing to develop novel facial recognition software using advanced machine learning and computer vision to read and interpret videos of patients’ adherence with minimal human input.

Mind Your Heart

PI: Anita Reina

The Mind Your Heart Project addresses how to use mindful eating to help individuals maintain a healthy nutritional diet. We offer web-based education for working adults that can be completed anytime, anywhere. Our program is a science-based program to help adults make lifelong diet quality changes in a sustainable way.

Center for Advanced Computer-Human Ecosystems

Co-I: Allan Tate

The Center for Advanced Computer-Juman Ecosystems (CACHE) aims to engage interdisciplinary research to explore how humans interact with computers and boost performance with a variety of technologies. The CACHE lab features immersive and interactive virtual environments, including virtual- augmented- and mixed-realities to address timely societal issues such as health inequities, physical and mental well-being, and climate change.