Revealing the Power and Pitfalls of Digital Health

Lisa Marsch, PhD, leads a diverse team of researchers with expertise in behavioral health, medicine, engineering, computer science, health economics, ethics, and public policy.

As tech companies worldwide flood the marketplace with new digital health tools promising to improve health and healthcare, Lisa Marsch, PhD, sees a glaring omission—rigorous scientific study of the safety, ethics, and outcomes for individuals and society.  

“Digital health applications can be extremely powerful and effective,” says Marsch, the Andrew G. Wallace Professor and director of the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health (CTBH) at Geisel. For example, a mobile app that she helped create has been shown to more than double drug abstinence rates among people recovering from opioid addiction. “However, digital health technology can also be ineffective, a waste of money, and even potentially dangerous when not evidence-based.”

The Center for Technology and Behavioral Health tackles these issues through multi-disciplinary research and, increasingly, through partnerships with private industry and public agencies. The Center also leads the Northeast Node of the National Clinical Trials Network for the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

“Our Center brings scientific rigor and ethics to the world of digital health—both of which are much needed in this space.”

—Lisa Marsch, PhD, Andrew G. Wallace Professor; Director, Center for Technology and Behavioral Health