Interactive computer assessments may help foster health equity

picture of Farah Ahmad head shot

Through the use of interactive, computer-assisted health-assessments, Professor Farah Ahmad hopes to foster equity in health care, especially at the intersections of gender, ethnicity and migration. Ahmad will present her research and discuss how embracing eHealth innovations can boost community empowerment as part of the York eHealth Alliance Lecture Series.

Farah Ahmad head shotThe lecture, “eHealth Innovations to Address Health Inequities: A Case of Computer-Assisted Health-Assessment in Primary Care,” will take place Thursday, Feb. 16, from 3 to 4pm, at 402 Health, Nursing & Environmental Studies Building.

Farah Ahmad

“Equity in health-care access is a key social determinant of population health,” says Ahmad, who is based in the Faculty of Health’s School of Health Policy & Management. “Fostering equity mechanisms is more salient today than ever before due to the challenges of economic recession and changing demographics.”

One way to embrace eHealth is by using interactive computer-assisted health-assessments in primary care for prevention and health promotion. Her recent research demonstrates that these kinds of assessments can enable patients to disclose socially stigmatized issues, such as partner violence and compromised mental health, as well as assist providers to offer needed care and referrals.

Ahmad’s action research on eHealth for psychosocial healthcare re-orientation takes place at the critical intersections of gender, ethnicity and migration. It is grounded in principles of social science includes quantitative and qualitative studies with inner city women, refugees and health-care providers. She will highlight the potential to develop integrated care models as an important pathway for simultaneous actions on the multiple health determinants that improve life conditions.

Ahmad is affiliated with the Centre for Research on Inner City Health, St. Michael’s Hospital as an associate scientist and with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Strategic Training Initiatives on Health Research on Health, Care, Place & Technology as a mentor. She held several prestigious fellowships, including awards from the CIHR during her doctorate and post-doctorate.

For more information, visit the Faculty of Health website.