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John Powell


Associate Professor

  • Consultant Clinical Adviser, NICE
  • Visiting Professor, Kings College London
  • Honorary Professor, University of Manchester
  • Research Associate, Oxford Internet Institute

I am an academic public health physician and health services researcher, with a background in psychiatry. I have been studying digital health for almost 20 years: investigating how information and communication technology can be used to improve health and health services. I also have an interest in knowledge management and systems improvement in the NHS. I work part-time as an academic in Oxford and part-time for NICE. I am the co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal DIGITAL HEALTH. I have been a member of the NIHR Health Technology Assessment Editorial Board since 2005.

My work sits on the interface between research, policy and practice. My projects are usually interdisciplinary and collaborative, and are in three main areas: (1) Evaluating the effectiveness of ehealth (digital health) tools - for example: a randomised trial of an internet-based intervention on the NHS website to promote mental wellbeing in the general population; a randomised trial of an internet intervention for cardiac rehabilitation; the development of a serious game intervention for childhood obesity and the development and piloting of a virtual reality tool for the treatment of social phobia. (2) Investigating how a connected health world is changing how patients and the public interact with services and manage their own health - for example: a study examining the sharing of online patient experiences; and a study examining how young people are engaging with health care in new ways. (3) Investigating how the health service makes decisions - for example a study of how NHS commissioning decisions are made; and an ethnographic study of how NHS Chief Executives make decisions – both with Warwick Business School.