The Digital Physical Activity and Diet (dPAD) Collaborative: A Joint MD Anderson/UTHealth Core

Speaker: Karen Basen-Engquist, Leah D. Whigham, Sahiti Myneni
Length: 1:00:00 minutes

The scope and severity of the obesity epidemic in Texas calls for scalable solutions to help Texans manage their weight by addressing the modifiable determinants of weight gain: eating behavior/diet and physical activity. Digital health tools can provide such solutions, but research is needed to identify effective content and acceptable user interfaces, develop adaptive tailoring, and expand the use of these tools among populations most at need of intervention. Development and testing of digital tools require a team science approach that brings together expertise in behavior change theory and methods, informatics/analytics, human factors and engineering. As part of the UTHealth-MDACC Population Health Initiative Collaborative Projects, we are developing the Digital Physical Activity and Diet (dPAD) Collaborative to increase investigator expertise and improve the innovation and scientific rigor of obesity-related digital health research by building an intellectual community of investigators focused on this topic and providing core services such as training, expert consultation, resource clearinghouse and services such as usability testing and harvesting/pre-processing of digital data. This resource will allow investigators to conduct rigorous studies to test digital weight loss, nutrition and physical activity interventions and assessment tools with high potential for funding, dissemination and implementation. This webinar will introduce the dPAD scope of work, highlight examples of digital tools and methods currently being used for research and describe ways for investigators to contribute and be involved in this initiative.

Karen Basen-Engquist, PhD, MPH
Professor of Behavioral Science, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Director, Center of Energy Balance in Cancer Prevention and Survivorship

Leah D. Whigham, PhD, FTOS
Associate Professor, Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences
Director, UTHealth Center for Community Health Impact

Sahiti Myneni, PhD, MSE
Associate Professor, UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics

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