Professor George Demiris

Dr. Demiris received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Medical Informatics from the University of Heidelberg in Germany, and a PhD in Health Informatics from the University of Minnesota, in Minnesota in the year 2000. He is a PIK (Penn Integrates Knowledge) University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to this appointment he was at the University of Washington in Seattle where he directed the Clinical Informatics and Patient Centered Technologies Program, and the Aging and Informatics Training Program.

Dr. Demiris has been active in AMIA and IMIA professional activities, including the AMIA Educational Taskforce, Publications Committee, International Affairs Committee, Working groups Steering Committee, and the Knowledge in Motion Working Group. Dr. Demiris mentored more than 80 masters and PhD students, and accumulated over 200 journal publications, with an emphasis on the development and evaluation of telemedicine and other health information technologies for the elderly, and the application of informatics in Hospice care.

Dr. Demiris’ research focuses on the use of information technology to support older adults and their family caregivers and explore innovative solutions to promote independent aging and patient and family engagement. He is a co-founder of the Hospice Caregiver Research Network, an initiative led by researchers from various academic disciplines committed to designing and testing interventions to support family caregivers of patients at the end of life. In this context he is currently conducting a clinical trial to examine the impact of a behavioral intervention for hospice caregivers informed by problem solving therapy and positive reappraisal, using various informatics tools. Another area of his research includes the use of behavioral sensing, “smart home” and “Internet of Things” technologies to promote independence for community dwelling older adults and their families. Such emerging technologies introduce challenges and opportunities in terms of engaging older adults in decision making, making sense of vast amounts of data and promoting effective data visualizations as well as addressing ethical considerations.

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