Spotlight on Research at COPH – 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 care of patients with chronic diseases. 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 been involved in several public health interventions using evidence-based, culturally relevant, and cost-effective innovative informatics approaches to improve population health outcomes in various global settings. Dr. Joshi is the principal investigator on a two-year R21 research grant titled “Evaluation of a Touch Screen Computer-Based Breastfeeding Educational Support” funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research Quality. The study aims to improve breastfeeding knowledge and practices among Hispanic women living in rural settings through use of a touch screen, interactive, bilingual, standalone, and Internet-enabled breastfeeding educational program. He has evaluated a computer-mediated interactive multiple sclerosis education program for the US Department of Veterans Affairs in Baltimore, Maryland. He was also funded by the Government of Orissa, India, to design, develop, and evaluate an interactive dengue fever health information portal. For his presentation on this project, he received the best oral presentation award at the Centre for Research in Medical Entomology’s “Brain Storming Conference on Dengue Scenario in India: Disease Burden, Surveillance and Control,” July 25-26, 2013, in Madurai, India. Dr. Joshi, in collaboration with Dr. Stephen Obaro and with a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, also implemented a community-based surveillance system to monitor acute bacterial infections in Nigeria. This public health surveillance system is both a standalone and an Internet-enabled application that will generate data to improve public health decision making. Dr. Joshi also received a research grant from the Indian Council of Medical Research to evaluate the impact of a computer-mediated, bilingual, touch screen, kiosk-based program to support individuals at risk of metabolic syndrome in diverse Indian settings. This was the first-ever study to be conducted in India to evaluate the feasibility, usefulness, and effectiveness of a technology-enabled intervention to improve population health outcomes.
Dr. Joshi has also been funded through several industry partners, including Orion Diagnostics (Finland), Case Care Innovations (Florida), and Planet Water (Omaha). These projects vary from point-of-care testing to design, development, and implementation of an Internet-enabled medical monitoring system to evaluate the effect of Planet Water’s “AquaTowers” on water, sanitation, and hygiene-related outcomes among school children in rural India.
Since 2010, Dr. Joshi has published 25 research papers in peer reviewed journals, and given nearly 15 presentations at national and international conferences. He has received many awards, including the 2013 Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Samman Award at the House of Lords, London; the 2012 and 2013 UNEMED Research Innovation Award; and the 2012 UNMC Distinguished Scientist New Investigator Award.
Ashish Joshi, PhD, MD, MPH, is the director of the Center for Program Informatics and an assistant professor in the UNMC COPH Department of Health Services Research and Administration and the Center for Global Health and Development.