Doctoral candidate Shameem Ahmed successfully defended his dissertation, "mHealth Literacy: Characterizing People’s Ability to Use Smartphone-based Health-related Applications," on June 30.
His committee includes Associate Professor Kate Williams (chair), Professor Emeritus Abdul Alkalimat, Professor Linda Smith, and Tiffany Veinot (associate professor, University of Michigan School of Information and School of Public Health).
From the abstract: This dissertation investigates the following research question: what literacy does a user need to gain benefits from using a health-related app on a smartphone? It coins the term ‘mHealth Literacy’ to refer to all such necessary literacies or skills, and identifies ten literacies which are required to use mHealth apps.
More than one-third of the adult population in the USA suffers from the problem of inadequate Health Literacy. With the emergence of new forms of information technology, the focus of Health Literacy has been extended from physical world to the cyber world. A new research domain called eHealth Literacy has emerged as a result. Whereas definitions of eHealth Literacy are up to this point based on theory, this dissertation, through empirical study, will advance understanding of eHealth Literacy when it comes to mobile devices and their applications. In addition, this dissertation may have a significant impact on current healthcare policy by informing the policy makers about the current situation of mHealth Literacy level of the general population.
Ahmed’s research interests include community informatics and information and communication technology for development, with a particular interest in examining the role of information and communication technology in the economic, social, and cultural development of people in underdeveloped countries. He also studies online communities, wireless computing, mobile computing, and cloud computing.
Ahmed has a master’s degree in computer science from Illinois; a master’s degree in mathematics, statistics, and computer science from Marquette University; and a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology.