While technology is a major “driver” of many of society’s comforts, conveniences, and advances, it has engineered regular physical activity and a number of other positive health behaviors out of our daily lives. A key question is: how can we harness technology for “good” in the health promotion/disease prevention area? One potential solution is “community-engaged citizen science” that brings together researchers + public and private organizations + residents themselves in harnessing the potential of IT and mobile devices to solve the health promotion challenge. Several examples of how to do this, representing both the “me” and the “we” technology domains, will be discussed, including virtual advisors, evidence-based tele-health, and the use of citizen scientists from all walks of life as change agents for creating more healthful and equitable neighborhoods and communities.
Dr. King is Professor of Health Research & Policy and Medicine (Stanford Prevention Research Center) at Stanford School of Medicine. Recipient of the Outstanding Scientific Contributions in Health Psychology Award from the American Psychological Association, her research focuses on the development, evaluation, and translation of public health interventions to reduce chronic disease. She has served on a number of government taskforces in the U.S. and abroad, including membership on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Scientific Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2020, and the Science Board of the U.S. President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. An elected member of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research and Past President of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, she received AAMC honors for outstanding research targeting health inequities. Her research on citizen science engagement to promote healthful living environments for all has been honored with an international excellence award.