The newly launched Public Interest Technology (PIT@UMass) Initiative at UMass Amherst will hold its first symposium examining the benefits, risks, challenges and opportunities of technology-driven public health.
Presented by the Robert and Donna Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, and UMass Amherst Libraries in partnership with the UMass Amherst Alumni Association, the webinar will feature a panel of tech and health experts who will discuss the complexity and trade-offs of health monitoring and surveillance; data collection and privacy; and the evolution of tech devices used for health applications.
“Public Interest Technology Symposium: Tech-powered Public Health” is scheduled for 4-5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1. The event is free and open to the publicWebinar participants are invited to submit questions when they register, and the panel of experts will answer as many as possible.
“Today’s information technologies provide significant advancements for healthcare, from the ability to monitor insulin on your smartphone to robotic surgery,” says Francine Berman, director of the PIT initiative and Stuart Rice Research Professor at UMass Amherst’s Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS). “They also come with new risks—pacemakers and wearable medical devices that can be hacked, enhanced surveillance of physicians and pharmacists in the opioid crisis, and medical information collected by your smartphone. Our panelists will focus on developing and realizing socially responsible solutions to challenges posed by this ever-evolving technology.”
The live Zoom panel discussion will be introduced by Laura Haas, dean of the Robert and Donna Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences, and Anna Maria Siega-Riz, dean of the School of Public Health and Health Sciences. Berman and Sarah Hutton, interim dean, UMass Amherst Libraries, will serve as its moderators.
The panelists include:
- Liz Evans, associate professor, health promotion and policy
- Laura Quilter, copyright and information policy librarian
- Tauhidur Rahman, assistant professor, computer and information sciences
- John Sirard ’91, ’97 MS, associate professor, kinesiology