Outlook: Newsletter of the Society of Behavorial Medicine
Winter 2014 Return to Outlook Main page »

Technology SIG Update

Heather Cole-Lewis, PhD, MPH, Technology SIG Outlook Liaison
Timothy Bickmore, PhD, Technology SIG Chair
Eric Heckler, PhD, Technology SIG Co-Chair

The Technology SIG has had an exciting year and is eager to gather at the SBM Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.

The mission of the Technology SIG is to ensure that SBM is fully utilizing technology to improve behavior and health, keeping members of SBM abreast of opportunities that exist, and leading the conversation on theories, methods, and applications of technology to behavioral science. This year, we elected to change our name from the Behavioral Informatics SIG to the Technology SIG in order to better showcase to others in the SBM community our objectives and encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration.

In fulfillment of our mission, members of the Technology SIG have been busy planning an array of technology-related events for the Annual Meeting. Topics include building better eHealth interventions, leveraging meaningful use guidelines to accelerate patient engagement and health behavior change, facilitating and sustaining academic-industry partnerships, and utilizing wearable sensors for research, among others. Additionally, a panel discussion entitled "Resolving the Tower of Babel Problem in Behavioral Theories: Benefits of and Developments in Behavioral Ontologies to Support Interventions," will provide updates on the behavioral ontology initiative undertaken in collaboration with the SBM Theories and Techniques of Behavior Change Interventions SIG.

To ensure that you do not miss the technology-related activities at the Annual Meeting, please join us for breakfast roundtable meetings (also known as "SBM Tech Madness") at 7:30am on April 24th and 25th. SBM Tech Madness is an opportunity to gain an overview of the day's technology-related events as speakers are invited to give brief previews of their talks. If you are presenting on a technology-related topic at the Annual Meeting and would like to showcase your presentation at Tech Madness, please contact Tim Bickmore (bickmore@ccs.neu.edu).

An additional objective for the Technology SIG is to build relationships with other organizations in order to: 1) establish SBM as a leading place for other behavioral/health oriented organizations to turn for leadership on the best ways to use technology in their research and practice; and 2) cultivate relations with other organizations that might have complementary skills to SBM to ensure our organization is appropriately linked with the technologists, computer scientists, and engineers required to fulfill our mission. In fulfillment of this goal, the Technology SIG is collaborating with the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA). Additionally, this year at the Annual Meeting, several members from the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) community will be joining us for a workshop entitled, "Building a Better e-Intervention: A Workshop on How to Create Usable, Enjoyable, and Effective e-Health User Experiences." The purpose of this event is to introduce the discipline of HCI and teach fundamental strategies for designing technologies that can fit into a person's daily life. Further, the speakers will provide linkages between HCI methods and behavioral science methods and theories.

As evident from this brief update, there is a great deal of opportunity and excitement about how technology can support and enhance health behavior and health outcomes. The Technology SIG looks forward to continuing to interact with others, within and outside of SBM. See you at the Annual Meeting!