Welcome to the first President’s blog for 2017. I hope you have all had a productive and successful start to the year in your respective sectors, and are looking forward to breaking new ground in internet research in 2017.
It is an exciting time to be an ISRII researcher.
We have seen a meteoric rise in the range of new technologies available to support our work, creating opportunities to explore health-related phenomena and devise new ways of providing health care assistance in ways I, for one, never imagined. As a broadly-based organisation, our ISRII community facilitates collaborations across health conditions, across a wide range of disciplines and industries, and across different technologies. This integration is where some of the most transformational breakthroughs in health care will come.
Our health industry is yet to fully realise the potential of technology in improving health care provision, and in empowering people to become more active agents in their own health and wellbeing. Research is the key to unlocking this potential, and ISRII, as the peak international body for health-related scientific research in information and communication technologies, has a major role to play. It is only through research that we better understand the mechanisms of action for the technologies that we develop, how and why patient groups and the general community respond to different technological innovations in different ways, how to better leverage different technologies to achieve better outcomes, and how to improve uptake, adherence, and cost efficiencies associated with our interventions. Strong research partnerships with the business, community, and government sectors are required to affect change, and to capitalize on the very real opportunity to be global innovators in reducing the considerable burden of disease associated with a range of health problems. ISRII provides the perfect vehicle for this collaboration to occur on an international scale, and I am keen for this organization to be even more firmly established in this space as the ‘go-to’ body for accessing world-class and world-first research in eHealth across the spectrum of health promotion, disease prevention, treatment and maintenance of health and wellbeing.
This year has seen some changes at the ISRII Board level, with key thought leaders (and founders) of ISRII rotating off our Board, paving the way for a new group of researchers to represent our organisation. Take a look at our website to find out more about our current ISRII Board of Directors: http://isrii.org/leadership/
As a Board, we have identified two key issues to work on over the next 12 months – improving the ISRII website, and expanding the ISRII membership.
ISRII Website: I am so pleased and grateful to Pepijn Van De Ven (University of Limerick, Ireland) for chairing the ISRII Website Committee, with assistance from our ISRII members Amy Morgan, Angela White, and Javier Fernández-Álvarez. This is work in progress but feel free to take a tour of our ISRII website and familiarise yourself with its new and improved features. On the landing page, you will now find a paper feed from our journal Internet Interventions, with more detailed information provided on the Journal page. Go to the ISRII Scientific Meeting Archives at http://isrii.org/isrii-scientific-meeting-archives/ to check out the newly added Storify publication from our successful Seattle conference in April 2016…did your tweets make the memory board? A summary of our wonderful Valencia conference in 2014 is also now available at the same link, complete with some photographic memories of this terrific event. We are also very excited to provide a new feature on the website for ISRII members only – a live and active discussion board to facilitate networking, information and data sharing, and communication. This is an ISRII members-only privilege, where you can get access to the leaders in internet research across the globe no matter where you are located. Log into the ISRII website first, and then access http://isrii.org/forums/forum/forum_index/. We have several different discussion boards available: one for each of our Special Interest Groups – Design, Data Sharing and Standardisation, and EMA/EMI, one for posting opportunities (jobs, scholarships, events), and one for those seeking collaborations. Get involved and make this important new feature work for you.
ISRII Membership: I am also delighted that Tonya Palermo (Seattle Children’s Hospital, USA) has agreed to chair the ISRII membership committee, and has brought together ISRII members Malena Braun (Argentina), Amit Baumel (USA), Bridianne O’Dea (Australia), Emily Law (USA), Louise Thornton (Australia), and Christopher King (USA) to assist her in doubling our membership by our next ISRII conference. The committee has been busy already, compiling an ISRII membership survey to help us better understand what ISRII can contribute to its members, areas for potential growth, and suggestions as to how we can improve. Please look out in your inboxes for a link to this survey, and please help us to make ISRII bigger and better in 2017.
ISRII 2017 Conference: Speaking of conferences, plans are well underway for the 9th ISRII conference in the vibrant city of Berlin. David Ebert (Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany), our ISRII President-Elect, will convene the ISRII 2017 conference which will take place 12-14 October 2017. Please see the website to submit an abstract and register your place at this exciting event: http://isrii-conference.com
I look forward to seeing you all in Berlin in October, ready to face the challenges for our field together.