Expert to discuss efficacy of health technology devices in Feb. 19 talk

For Immediate Release:
February 13, 2020

Primary Media Contact:
Sally Voth
Public Relations Specialist
[email protected]
Phone: 540-868-7134

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Mobile apps, sensor-enabled smart homes, fitness trackers and other health devices are touted as great ways for individuals to monitor their wellness and get healthier, but are they really as effective as they say they are?

Dr. Kay Connelly, associate dean for research at Indiana University’s School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering, will be discussing the work of the university’s Proactive Health Informatics Group – for which she is the director – at the latest installment of Tech Bytes: Technology Talks with Industry.

Her presentation is 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, in Cornerstone Hall Room 300. It will be distanced to the Paris Room on the Fauquier Campus. The public is welcome to attend.

“Mobile apps, wearable fitness trackers, and sensor-enabled smart homes promise to usher in a new era of health and wellbeing, where patients proactively monitor and improve their health outside of a clinical setting,” Dr. Connelly says. “The Proactive Health Informatics group at Indiana University is studying whether these new technologies live up to their promise. We have a particular focus on populations that already experience health disparities, such as people who live in rural areas, or people from low socio-economic backgrounds.

“In this talk, I will provide an overview of the types of projects we pursue at Indiana University. Then I will describe our work with rural older adults, who face significant challenges in living independently as they age.”

Dr. Connelly’s research focuses on issues that influence individuals’ acceptance of health technologies. These issues include privacy, convenience and utility.

She has a bachelor’s of science degree in computer science and math from Indiana University, and master’s and doctoral degrees in computer science from the University of Illinois. More information about Dr. Connelly is available at

Her presentation is part of the Tech Bytes: Technology Talks with Industry series organized by Laurel Ridge Computer Science Professor Melissa Stange.

The series is being funded by a grant Laurel Ridge received as part of the 2019 NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund, which is powered by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) with support from Microsoft Research. The purpose of the grant is to attract more women and minorities to the computer science field.

There are two more Tech Bytes presentations scheduled. On March, 11, Richard Danzig, retired U.S. Secretary of the Navy, senior advisor to the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, chair of the Advisory Panel for Idaho National Laboratories’ Innovation Center, member of the Toyota Research Institute Advisory Board, member of the Homeland Security Secretary’s Advisory Council, director of the Center for a New American Security, and a Rhodes Scholar, will speak.

On April 8, Heather Wilson, a James Wood High School and Shenandoah University graduate, who is the executive vice president, chief analytics & intelligence officer for L Brands, as well as a board member for Equifax, will be presenting.

Those interested in attending the talks are asked to register at


Founded in 1970, Laurel Ridge Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With three locations — Middletown, Warrenton, and Luray-Page County — the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. Laurel Ridge offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. Laurel Ridge also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. Laurel Ridge serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.

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