The Digital Health Generation
 

This website emerges out of a Wellcome Trust project to examine the way young people are using digital health technologies.

Welcome to DigitalHealthGeneration, a site dedicated to understanding how young people are using digital health health technologies; what they are learning, how they make sense of health information and data and the impact of this on their identities and health behaviours.   Our mission is to share resources, research-led insights and views about what works well, how things may change, and what we need to do to help young people to be ready for future digital health.  

The project emerges out of project funded by the Wellcome Trust focused on understanding the impact of digital health technologies on young people. You can read more about the project by clicking on 'our research' (under the 'about' menu)

Our aim is to bring together different voices so as to exchange ideas, inform policy development and advance opportunities for equality through digital health access and engagement. Our digital platform and associated events will bring together academics, non-profit groups, industry and designers, health professionals and policy makers.


Digital Health and Young People

Digital health technologies are revolutionising healthcare, profoundly changing government health policies and the ways that health knowledge is being created, accessed and used around the world. This includes the global wearable and mobile health industry providing the means through which people's bodies and health practices are are being measured and monitored.    

There have been significant developments in the design of digital health technologies, including the trend towards more mobile and wearable health technologies, many of which provide opportunities for improving health.  As such, there has been a rapid growth in what can be described as technologies that are pertinent to promoting healthy lifestyle behaviours, such as physical activity, body weight management, sleep and food consumption and other bodily aspects such as menstruation, fertility, sexual activity and pregnancy. Mobile and wearable devices offer a range of tools for individual to measure, monitor and regulate their health, and provide new ways of understanding our bodies and health through quantified data.

Many of these technologies are now being promoted by schools, parents, coaches, health professionals and others as tools to encourage young people to adopt healthy lifestyles.  Yet for these opportunities to be realised, existing research and policy development must be informed by studies which better understand the contexts within which digital health is used and address some of the ethical questions about the increased monitoring and surveillance of people’s bodies and health behaviours. There is a pressing need to understand how young people are using these technologies and the impact this has on their health, identities and health behaviours.   

Despite continued investment, we don’t yet know if digital media and devices are the preferred means through which young people access health information. Nor do we know how young people might be contributing to or accessing digital media that potentially contribute to their participation in activities that may cause ill-health or injury, such as eating disorders, self-harm and drug use. Failure to address these issues may leading to significant gaps in access to digital healthcare and to potentially harmful forms of engagement.

Please get in contact with us if you would like to find out more about our research or tell us about your work in the area of digital health.

About the site

Research Project: Read about our research project and associated events

Access Resources: We are building a portfolio of resources about young people and how they use digital health technologies. 

Connect: Get in touch with us and others working in the area of digital health and young people. 

 

Tweet us @DigiHealthGen