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Dr

Ruth DeSouza

Honorary
(consumer health informatics
(mental health
(health inequities
workforce development)
digital health)
inequities
refugee and migrant women)
humans
new zealand
Ruth DeSouza's Profile Picture
Dr

Ruth DeSouza

 
Division
Medicine, Dentistry And Health Sciences
 
Primary Interest
Maternity
Ruth DeSouza's Profile Picture
Dr

Ruth DeSouza

 

My current role is as academic co-convenor of the The Data, Systems and Society Research Network (DSSRN), a collaborative research network across the University of Melbourne. DSSRN’s focus is building a community of research scholars, and data infrastructure, to support internal collaborations and external partnerships, around data, systems, and society.

I also have an Honorary Senior Research Fellow role at The Health and Biomedical Informatics Centre (HaBIC) and my own consulting practice.My interest in data-intensive transformations in health and wellness within the context of informationalization comes from my own research examining how being an active member of one’s ‘own health care team’ through the acquisition of knowledge and skills is a key feature of contemporary health care. In my own research I explored how in maternity, mothers to be, are encouraged to take responsibility (or responsibilized) for themselves and their foetus (and later infants) into being “expert patients”. This moral imperative “to know” reflects being a good mother and citizen.My more recent research at the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health (CEH) based at North Richmond Community Health (NRCH), Melbourne explored the impact of the proliferation of mobile and wearable health technologies, and how these developments were reconfiguring power relations, relationships and practices in health care through the lens of health literacy, consumer participation and cultural competence/safety. Providing culturally competent services and communicating in culturally appropriate ways are necessary components of health literacy as they provide the conditions for allowing consumers and communities to engage in health and health care (Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care [ACSQHC], 2014, p.27). I am interested in the advent of the agentic consumer and how this subject position is intensified through digital health, and the health literacy demands of collecting and interpreting data often without the involvement of health professionals. In particular, how these consumer-oriented technologies designed to promote healthy living impact on marginalised communities and how structural inequalities in different contexts are inflected in and through technology use. My research work in progress includes: whether health technologies provide an opportunity for addressing health inequalities; a critical health agenda around the intersections of race, class, gender, neoliberalism and health technology; examining how wearable health technologies can enhance consumer participation agendas eg through co-design and shared decision making; the implications of new health information technologies for the health care workforce; implications of new health information technologies; and data ethics in the context of the secondary use of clinical data and aggregation of patient data.

Scholarly Works

Displaying the 22 most recent scholarly works by Ruth DeSouza.

Credentials

Positions


Honorary

Medicine, Dentistry And Health Sciences

Education


PhD

Auckland University of Technology

MA (Nursing)

Massey University

Grad Dip (Advanced Nursing Practice)

Auckland University of Technology

Diploma of Nursing

Auckland University of Technology