Research Cluster of the LSC DiPH

The central scientific questions are divided into four Research Clusters, each of which is coordinated by an experienced full-time researcher.

The strength of our LSC lies in the interdisciplinary expert teams that collaborate in the Research Clusters, thereby profiting from the different types of expertise. A brief summary of the four Research Clusters is presented hereafter:

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Research Cluster 1 is developing a systematic framework for the use of and assessment of digital technologies in public health. For example, work in this Research Cluster addresses major public health challenges through the formulation of logic models linking health outcomes and determinants. Thereafter it will be determined whether and how digital technology can be integrated into the development of effective public health interventions.

Research Cluster 2 is focusing on identifying and understanding how new technologies can support individual and community health needs. Exemplary research in this area involves combining formative research with conceptual work on digital innovation in order to identify implicit needs that go beyond the conscious scope of individual and community users as well as public health stakeholders.

Research Cluster 3 is developing a systematic and cross-paradigmatic approach for the identification and solving of evaluation questions.  The spectrum of the evaluation methods will cover social and cultural anthropology as well as causal statistical modeling. One of the topics that will be examined within this Research Cluster is the development of an economic framework to evaluate new digital public health interventions. By comparing welfarist and extra-welfarist health economic perspectives, the benefits of digital approaches for private and public health benefits will be identified.

Research Cluster 4 is developing sustainable participation and transfer methods, particularly by focusing on methods to facilitate reach and usability and to address barriers. For example, the cluster will identify and apply theories from multiple disciplines to describe, understand and modify digital divide and digital health literacy along multiple sociocultural fault lines. This work could result in a digital “prevention in the pocket” tool for disease prevention and health promotion to facilitate interaction between general practitioners and patients by, e.g., providing individualized, socioculturally sensitive recommendations combined with remote sensor monitoring and feedback loops.