Programs: Health Communication, Health Informatics & Analytics
- PhD, Computer Science, Harvard University
- ScM, Computer Science, Brown University
- BA, Summa Cum Laude, Mathematics, University of Massachusetts, Boston
My research is at the intersection of technology and health, focusing on the use of the Internet, social media, and mobile technologies to aid in patient education, support, and self-management. Some specific areas of research follow.
Using digital health data for behavior change: I am assessing the potential for integration and use of consumer digital health data to support accountability, motivation, and overall improvement of health. One area is understanding how clinicians benefit from objective measures of physical activity and develop a broader picture of patients’ health between appointments. I am formulating displays to depict average daily activity, weekly fluctuations, and anomalies since the prior visit with the goal of helping clinicians provide tailored advice about increasing activity levels.
Using digital health for sustained behavior change: Individual engagement with a physical activity tracker, like a Fitbit, and how it leads to behavior change, can vary greatly between individuals and is affected by many factors. My research strives to identify which factors have the greatest impact in underserved groups, such as older adults and Hispanic veterans. To date, we have identified the value of education on baseline activity level, the visual reminder of a commitment to exercise, and the immediate feedback received after making small changes to behaviors when physical changes are slower to manifest. After identifying and verifying addition factors, such as an increased sense of accountability to a clinician, I will develop studies to test and measure sustained behavior change.
Removing barriers to adoption and use of digital health technologies: In observational studies, I identified the impact of poor digital literacy skills in older adults. While the “digital divide” is being eradicated through smartphones, in my studies I observed the impact of poor digital literacy skills in older adults. I am researching how to scale the “high touch” individual training I have provided in senior centers while also understanding the broader implications for adoption and use of digital health technologies.
Gualtieri, L, Rosenbluth, S, and Phillips, J. Can a Free Wearable Activity Tracker Change Behavior? The Impact of Trackers on Adults in a Physician-Led Wellness Group. Journal of Medical Internet, Vol 5, No 4 (2016): Oct-Dec.
Torous, J. and Gualtieri, L. (2016). Wearable Devices for Mental Health: Knowns and Unknowns. Psychiatric Times, (33)6, Pp 25-32.
Ressler, PK, Bradshaw, YS, Gualtieri, L, and Chui, KKH. (2012) Communicating the Experience of Chronic Pain and Illness through Blogging, J Med Internet Res 2012;14(5):e143.
Gualtieri, L., Javetski, G., and Corless, H. (2012). The integration of social media into courses: A literature review and case study from experiences at Tufts University School of Medicine. Future Learning 1 (2012) 79–102.
Gualtieri, L.N. (2012) The Potential for Social Media to Educate Farm Families About Health and Safety for Children, Journal of Agromedicine, 17:2, 232-239.
Gualtieri, L.N., and Miller, D. (2011) e-learning 2.0. In K. Vu and R. Proctor (Eds.)The Handbook of Human Factors in Web Design 2nd edition, New Jersey and London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Koch-Weser, S., Bradshaw, Y.S., Gualtieri, L.N., and Gallagher, SS (2010). The Internet as a Health Information Source: Findings from the 2007 Health Information Trends Survey and Implications for Health Communication. Journal of Health Communication, Volume 15.