Early stage researcher, Ph.d candidate, School of Sport & Health Sciences in the University of Brighton (UK) An early stage researcher in the field of co-designing digital health technologies for older people.
About this speaker
Shuvarthi comes with an experience of nearly a decade working for Non-Profit Organizations in the health & development sector of India. He has a unique experience of transforming left wing insurgency regions in eastern region of India by improving access to healthcare facilities and transforming the lives of rural people through essential oil cultivation. Incidentally, his work on transforming lives of tribal people through essential oil cultivation was showcased as an international success story by International Fragrance Association (IFRA, Belgium). Following this, Shuvarthi was entrusted with overall responsibilities to manage healthcare facilities, comprising of one 30 bedded hospital and two small scale diagnostic centres, in the city of Kolkata in India. Over a period nearly five years, the non-profit organization was steadily transformed into a self-sustaining organization without any dependency on external funding, by offering healthcare services to the citizens of Kolkata at a nominal cost. Shuvarthi also served in multiple national and state level committees of India on universal health coverage, integrating traditional health system with modern medicine and improving environmental sustainability of forest goods.
Academically, he has a Bachelors Degree in Chemical Engineering from National Institute of Technology (India, 2010) and a Masters in Public Health with a specialization in Health Systems Policy & Management from the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT-Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2018). He received the prestigious OKP full Scholarship to pursue his masters in 2017 from NUFFIC (Netherlands). He has also completed two online weekend certificate courses on entrepreneurship supported by NUFFIC & Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2021. Shuvarthi continues to serve on the reviewer panel for multiple journals like JMIR, JBI Evidence Synthesis, PLoS and Global Health Research & Policy.
Shuvarthi is researching on co-designing digital health technologies for older people in homecare settings. One of the crucial components of successful ageing is to live independently in old age. Yet in UK alone, nearly 300000 older people require assistance with 3 or more essential daily tasks like eating, bathing and mobility which compromises on their independent living. Additionally, in a crisis where health system in UK is already overstretched to its resources to combat the recent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, allocating resources for regular homecare services has become challenging. In this situation, Digital Health Technologies (DHTs) can be a potential solution to promote healthy ageing, support psycho-social wellbeing and enhance independent living for older people. Such technologies comprise a wide range of products used in the health and care services including apps, software and online platforms to benefit people. Yet DHTs are barely adopted by older people as they do not reflect their actual user needs leading to poor appropriation of DHTs in homecare settings.
The research study aims to co-design new dignified technologies for care settings in participation with older people living in the Leach Court, Brighton which is part of the open innovation ecosystem of the Brighton & Hove Digital Health Living Lab(BHLL), an enterprise project of the University of Brighton. The research study uses a phenomenologically led participatory design approach to understand, from the lived experiences of older people , the barriers & facilitators they face in digital health technology adoption in everyday life and further, devise strategies to translate intangible human values like ‘dignity’ into tangible digital designs.
Shuvarthi is researching at the School of Sport & Health Sciences in the University of Brighton (UK) under the supported supervision of Prof. Kathleen Galvin from University of Brighton, Dr. Theo Fotis from the University of Brighton and Prof. Lisbeth Uhrenfeldt from the Nord University (Norway).