Spotlight on COPH Research

Dr. Joshi Uses Health Informatics to Address Public Health Issues

Blood glucose and pressure monitoring in Orissa, India, using portable technology in chronic disease surveillance.

Dr. Ashish Joshi is an assistant professor in the COPH Department of Health Services Research and Administration and the Center for Global Health and Development. Dr. Joshi’s research interests include global health; multifaceted technology-mediated interventions to support chronic care; and computer-mediated health education, geovisualization, and health outcomes.

Dr. Joshi blends his clinical medicine training with biomedical research, public health research, and computer science and engineering research. He uses technology-mediated, multifaceted interventions to support chronic care. For example, Dr. Joshi designs and evaluates interventions that support disease prevention, monitoring, and management through technologies that are multifaceted, cost-effective, and accessible. He creates models that can be adopted in practice-based settings through effective collaborations among different stakeholders for improving health outcomes. His expertise is especially geared toward interactive health information platforms such as touch-screen computers placed in kiosks for the purpose of recording demographic information, knowledge, attitudes, and practice information; self-reported clinical assessments; and risk assessment information and health education for lifestyle modification.

Since joining UNMC in 2010, Dr. Joshi has developed a program called MetaPhor (Mobile Emerging Technologies and Population Health Outcomes Research) that aims to develop and implement meaningful, cost-effective, and accessible health Informatics solutions by establishing strong public-private partnerships. He has initiated several research projects in the areas of chronic diseases, sexually transmitted infections, and child health nutrition. Dr. Joshi, in collaboration with the North Central District Health Department in O’Neil, Nebraska, designed and developed an innovative web-based community health assessment system to better assess needs of individuals living in rural Nebraska.

In addition, Dr. Joshi is developing research and teaching opportunities in Brazil, Nigeria, and India. His ongoing project to evaluate a telehealth program in Brazil was supported by a grant from Brazil’s Ministry of Health and the U.S. Department of Education. His research work involving computers to improve chronic disease surveillance in rural and tribal areas of India was recently presented at the American Medical Informatics Association-Public Health Informatics 2011 conference, for which he was awarded a travel grant by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Dr. Joshi will be teaching Introduction to Biomedical Informatics (BIINFO 810) in the fall semester 2011 in collaboration with other faculty from the UNMC College of Medicine and College of Nursing and from UNO. Prior to joining UNMC, he developed an online certificate program in public health informatics specifically geared toward addressing public health informatics needs in developing countries. Dr. Joshi will use his academic and research expertise to expand similar public health informatics programs at UNMC.