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Expert researcher appointed as advisor to World Health Organization


The World Health Organization (WHO) has appointed an expert from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) to help shape the future of its work on digital health.

Dr Malcolm Fisk, Senior Research Fellow at DMU’s Computing and Social Responsibility Centre, has been named an expert advisor for the WHO’s newly established Digital Health Department, which aims to promote the harnessing of technologies to support people’s health across the globe.

Malcolm Fisk 2

In his role, Dr Fisk will provide high-level strategic advice and support to the WHO; contributing to a review of the digital health landscape and making recommendations for new areas for intervention and improvement.

“As an expert advisor, I will be supporting the new WHO Digital Health Department to promote digital health technologies, including through the use of artificial intelligence, robotics and wearables,” he said.

“My objective will be to help ensure that people, worldwide, are better able to access health services and to self-manage their health and lifestyles. This means that the technologies must be able to empower people, rather than just be tools to deliver services to passive and grateful patients.”

Having conducted research in this field for more than 30 years, Dr Fisk is well attuned to global health challenges and has done a lot of work in Europe, looking at how older people access health services.

His area of expertise centres around telehealth – a specialist area within digital health that is concerned with the way people access, or are provided with, health services that are mediated by communications technologies.

“My research relates to people’s use of digital health technologies – from mobile phones to vital-signs monitors – and the way they facilitate heathier independent living,” he said.

Dr Fisk has also carried out research in developing countries, where he has examined how people are accessing health services through smart mobile (sometimes solar-powered) devices, and how eHealth strategies are executed in rural, remote and island communities.

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The focus of the WHO's work on digital health relates to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 – to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

As the lead higher education institute in the UN’s ‘Together’ campaign, DMU is committed to supporting the SDGs to ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. DMU encourages students, alumni and partners in universities and organisations around the world to address these 17 goals through pioneering research, community work and academic excellence.

Posted on Friday 25th October 2019

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