Dr. Emily Seto the Lead of Health Informatics at IHPME. She is also a research scientist at the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, University Health Network (UHN), and a faculty member of the Techna Institute, UHN. Her current research interests include mHealth, telehomecare, user-centred design processes, women’s health, implementation science, and tools to enable patient self-care and improved clinical management especially for those with complex chronic conditions. In particular, one of her main research interest is exploring how the ubiquity of mobile technologies across sociodemographic groups presents an opportunity to leverage these innovations to help support consumers to actively participate in their own health management.
My program of research includes the following three foci:
- Telemonitoring for Chronic Disease Management: Monitoring patients in their homes and providing virtual care has the potential to result in improved patient outcomes and experience, and cost-savings to both patients and the healthcare system. The smartphone-based heart failure telemonitoring system that I developed and evaluated for my PhD thesis has been enhanced and refined over the years for clinical use as a sustained program at the University Health Network with plans to spread to other Canadian and international institutions. It has also led to several new avenues of research, such as telemonitoring of patients with multiple chronic conditions, and also with specific conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, diabetes, and mental health conditions.
- Implementation of Digital Health Innovations: A common barrier to achieving large-scale impact with digital health innovations is the lack of pathways for sustained implementation. My second area of research focus is to understand how to scale and spread digital health innovations, particularly exploring barriers and facilitators of sustaining and spreading telemonitoring programs. Projects in this area include several clinical trials investigating how to implement telemonitoring in various healthcare delivery models, specifically, primary care, specialty clinics, and homecare nursing. Examples of projects investigating implementation of digital health innovations but not related to telemonitoring, include a completed project for the Yukon government to evaluate their Telehealth System and to provide recommendations for future directions, and a current project that is a Master’s student thesis investigating the implementation of an intra-institutional teledermatology service.
- Mobile Innovations for Women’s Health: An area that has received little attention but has enormous potential to positively improve health, is the use of mobile innovations for women’s health. Three projects within this area that form the research of several graduate students that I supervise include: 1) smartphone-based telemonitoring of women at high-risk for pre-eclampsia, 2) supporting the mental health of perinatal women with mobile technologies, and 3) community-based research on the use of mHealth to improve the occupational health and safety of sex workers.
Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, University Health Network