Digital health expert to work with Danish diabetes teams to improve health and wellbeing

Behavioural medicine and implementation scientist, Professor Brian Oldenburg has been offered a visiting professorship by the Danish Diabetes and Endocrine Academy to share his expertise in utilising digital technology such as mobile apps, chatbots and wearable devices to improve the health and wellbeing of people with chronic conditions such as diabetes.

Professor of Public Health and Implementation Science at Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute and La Trobe University, Professor Oldenburg is focussed on improving the health and wellbeing of people with long-term health conditions by improving the user experience of digitally-enabled solutions including their impact, safe utility and scalability.

As the leader of Australia’s NHMRC Centre for Digital Technology to Transform Australia’s Chronic Disease Outcomes, Professor Oldenburg will work with diabetes and other health researchers in Denmark to develop a world class research program to develop, implement and evaluate digitally-enabled solutions between Denmark and Australia.

Through a collaborative program based at the Steno Diabetes Centre in Copenhagen the researchers aim to develop a program to reduce the personal, societal and economic costs associated with diabetes and other long-term conditions — highlighted as a key priority for Denmark’s health system. The program, which will include state-of-the-art ‘real world’ implementation trials of digital health interventions, will also help to foster a new generation of digital health researchers.

Around half of all adults in developed countries like Denmark have at least one long term condition or disability including diabetes, and many adults have two or more. Digitally-enabled solutions that can utilise intelligent mobile apps, chatbots, wearable devices, sensors, social media, interoperable data platforms, decision support for practitioners and/or smart delivery systems can be very helpful for curtailing the rising burden of chronic conditions.

Professor Oldenburg says challenges that can be addressed by these solutions include people’s inadequate access to resources and supports for chronic disease self-management, poorly coordinated care delivery and the lack of integrated and interoperable data and information systems for health consumers, providers and the health system.

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