Keynote Heather Patrick: “A walk on the wild side: Tales of translating behavioral science into health tech”

Published on September 30, 2020 – Dr Heather Patrick will give this keynote lecture on November 17th, 2020 as part of the online Symposium “Digital Health: resistance or motivation organized by our Amsterdam Center for Health Communication/ACHC. We cordially invite everybody who is interested to attend this online lecture.

Dr Heather Patrick

Dr Heather Patrick (Health Psychologist. Certified Health and Wellness Coach. Motivation Guru. Digital Health Expert) Tuesday, 17 November, 16.30-17.30 hours

 Dr Patrick is a health psychologist working at the intersection of digital technology and health behavior change. Over her nearly 20-year career she has worked as an academic researcher, within the US federal government, and in the private sector. Her primary expertise is in applying principles of motivational science (e.g., self-determination theory) to promoting healthy nutrition, physical activity, weight management, stress management, and smoking cessation. As a behavioral scientist working in the private sector, she collaborates with cross-functional teams to develop digital solutions to promote health behavior change and to support the integration of human-delivered care and technology. Outside of work, Heather is the proud significant other of Stephen – a member of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra in Washington, DC – and stepmom to Nolan (14) and Violet (10). She is also an avid runner and home chef.


A walk on the wild side: Tales of translating behavioral science into health tech

Health technologies, including digital sensors, wearable devices, and mobile applications offer tremendous potential to bridge the gap between recommendations from healthcare providers and people’s capacity to implement those recommendations in their daily lives. However, many of these solutions have been developed by (1) technologists with limited or no input from relevant experts in the behavioral and social sciences or (2) behavioral and social scientists with limited or no input from relevant experts in human-centered design, user experience, or software engineering. As a result, many health tech offerings have had limited impact on population health and health behavior change — particularly when it comes to the sustained behavior change that is needed to maintain health and to prevent and manage chronic conditions. In order for health tech to live up to its potential, experts from the behavioral and social sciences, health technology, and clinical care must work together. This requires that technology professionals develop a more sophisticated understanding of human motivation and behavior change and that behavioral scientists develop science communication skills to be able to implement robust principles of human motivation and behavior change into technology solutions. This keynote address will focus on (1) how the intersection of health and technology has evolved in recent years, (2) what behavioral scientists need to know when collaborating with partners in the tech industry, and (3) what tech industry experts need to know when collaborating with behavioral scientists. 

If you plan to attend the whole ACHC symposium or the keynote only, you will have to register for the symposium (free of charge) here.

More information on the symposium can be found here (in Dutch):

The symposium including this lecture in the RPA Communication Lecture Series is funded by:

  • The Dutch Research Council (NWO) via the VENI-grant awarded to Eline Smit (451-15-028)
  • The Research Priority Area Communication – DigiComLab
  • The Netherlands – Flanders Communication Association (NeFCA)