Focus turns to eHealth for NUIG health promotion conference

Academics at NUI Galway’s Health Promotion Research Centre have cautioned over the impact the digital divide may have amid increasing use of eHealth for promoting health and wellbeing. Ahead of the 25th annual Health Promotion Conference at NUI Galway, which takes place today (Thursday), the co-chairs of the event, Dr Victoria Hogan and Dr Jane Sixsmith, highlighted the need for ongoing research on the issue of unequal access to technology and digital information and services. This year’

This year’s online conference - Health Promotion through eHealth: Challenges and Opportunities - is open to all, and takes place from 9am to 4pm today.

“Given the ubiquitous nature of digital technology in everyday life, and the increasing importance of technology for health, this is considered a priority area for both health promotion research and practice," says Dr Victoria Hogan.

Dr Jane Sixsmith adds: “The increasing use of digital technology is an opportunity for the promotion of health, but the challenge is the inequality in access as a result of the digital divide. As we further develop and use these technologies for health we must ensure equity of access.”

The Health Promotion Conference brings together leading academics, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers working with eHealth. They will explore the use of eHealth in various settings such as the workplace, children’s health, mental health, and health promotion apps. Minister for State at the DThe conference is hosted in partnership with the Department of Health, the Health Service Executive, and the Association for Health Promotion Ireland.

Professor Margaret M Barry, established chair in health promotion and public health at NUI Galway, will moderate a live panel discussion on the opportunities and challenges of eHealth for health promotion.

Professor Deborah Lupton, SHARP professor, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of New South Wales, Australia, will draw on projects she has led which have addressed people’s everyday experiences of digital health - from googling symptoms to using discussion forums, websites, social media groups, YouTube, apps, and wearable devices. She will also touch on the future of digital health in relation to Covid-19.

Muiriosa Ryan, social media manager, Health Service Executive will speak on the HSE’s social media strategy and how it is used in a global pandemic.

Attendees can register online at col.eventsair.com/ahp2021/registration

 

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