Scroll to top

Leveraging Technology for Health Behavior Change: A Behavioral Science Perspective

September 29, 2017

Sherry Pagoto, PhD
Professor, Department of Allied Health Sciences
Director, UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media
University of Connecticut

About the Presentation:  Dr. Pagoto will discuss her research applying technology to the delivery of evidence-based behavior change strategies targeting diet, exercise, and weight loss. Her work involves the use of online social networks to create patient communities that promote behavior change and the development of mobile apps to deliver complex behavioral strategies.  Because most commercial mobile apps focus on dietary self-monitoring, an effective behavioral strategy that suffers from poor adherence in clinical populations, her work has focused on increasing the breadth of behavioral science principles incorporated in mobile apps. She has designed 3 mobile apps that leverage novel behavioral strategies and these include Habit app which facilitates problem solving therapy for diet and exercise, Slip Buddy app which assists users in tracking overeating episodes, and Relax app which assists users in managing emotional eating. She will also discuss the use of online social networks to complement mobile app interventions. The benefits and challenges of using mobile technology to manage health behavior will be discussed.

About the Presenter: Dr. Pagoto is a Professor in the Department of Allied Health Sciences at the University of Connecticut. She is also a licensed clinical psychologist and director of the UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media at the UConn Institute for Collaboration in Health, Interventions, and Policy. Her work focuses on leveraging technology in the development and delivery of behavioral interventions targeting diet, physical activity, and cancer prevention behaviors. She has 4 federally funded studies on these topics. She has had federal funding for her program of research for 14 consecutive years and has published 166 papers in peer-reviewed journals. She has received several awards for her work including the UMass Medical School Women in Science and Health Achievement Award in 2015, The Obesity Society Pioneer in mHealth/eHealth Award in 2014, Society of Behavioral Medicine Early Career/Young Investigator Award in 2006, and the Western Michigan University Distinguished Alumni Award in 2011. Devoted to science communication she has 24K followers on Twitter and a contributor to US News and World Report, Chronicle of Higher Education, STAT News, Psychology Today, and Her work has been featured in major news outlets including CNN, NPR, NBC News, ABC News, and Good Morning America.