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BBL Speaker Series: Storytelling Health Informatics: Supporting Collective Efforts Towards Health Equity

Event Details
  • Date:

Speaker: Dr. Herman Saksono, Assistant Professor, Health Sciences & CS, Northeastern University

Location: HBK 2105 and Zoom

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Abstract: We live in a storied life. Stories from people at present and in the past are guiding our actions in the future. Although this narrative mode of knowing complements the pragmatic mode, the pragmatic mode of knowing is the only ubiquitously supported mode in personal health informatics systems. In this talk, I will present my research on personal health informatics that uses storytelling to support health behavior in marginalized communities. These studies examined how storytelling technologies can amplify social connections and knowledge within the family and neighbors. The use of stories socially is a departure from health technologies that are often individually focused. Technologies that portray health solely as an individual’s responsibility could widen health disparities because marginalized communities face numerous health barriers due to systemic inequities. Storytelling health informatics could lessen this burden by supporting health behaviors as collective community efforts.

Bio: Dr. Herman Saksono is an Assistant Professor at Northeastern University with a joint appointment at the Bouvé College of Health Sciences and the Khoury College of Computer Sciences. Previously, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Research on Computation and Society at Harvard University. He completed his Ph.D. in Computer Science at Northeastern University and a Fulbright scholarship recipient.

Herman’s interdisciplinary research contributions are in Personal Health Informatics, Human-Computer Interaction, and Digital Health Equity. His research investigates how digital tools can catalyze social interactions that encourage positive health behaviors, thus facilitating collective efforts toward health equity. He conducts the entire human-centered design process by designing, building, and evaluating innovative health technologies in collaboration with local community partners. Herman published his work in ACM CHI and CSCW where he received honorable mentions for Best Paper awards.