Ensuring marginalized populations aren’t ‘invisible’ in health data – an interview with Rob Aldridge

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We at Infectious Diseases Hub recently spoke to Rob Aldridge (University College London, UK) about his current research into screening migrants for tuberculosis, investigating homeless individuals’ access to care and identifying vulnerable populations in data.

Aldridge is currently a Clinical Academic Lecturer based at University College London’s Institute of Health Informatics. He has a background in engineering and also has medical training; however, he now focuses on infectious disease epidemiology and identifying the health inequalities faced by marginalized populations.

Are marginalized populations ‘invisible’ in health data? How can we use technology to reach vulnerable people? And what challenges do we face with regards to improving health data?

In this interview, Aldridge discusses his ongoing projects, including a scheme that utilizes mobile phones to monitor TB treatment regimens in the homeless, which was highlighted recently in an article on BBC news. In addition, he talks about his collaboration with the University College London Hospitals’ Find&Treat outreach team and how specialist services such as this can help epidemiological research translate to the frontline of care. Find out more in our exclusive video interview above.

Summary:

00.25 – Firstly, could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your career to date?

00.46 – You have quite an unusual and varied background – what do you think this brings to your research?

01.30 – Could you provide an introduction into the projects you are currently working on?

03.18 – You have carried out a lot of research into vulnerable and marginalized populations, for example, migrants and the homeless – why do you think this is important and what has the response to this been?

05.02 – How do you hope your research will affect practice on the frontline of care?

07.02 – How have the emergence of current technologies impacted your field and how are you utilizing technology in your research?

08.52 – What do you consider to be the greatest challenges currently hindering the field of infectious disease epidemiology?

10.20 – Finally, looking forward, how close are we to eliminating health inequalities and what steps could help bring this about faster?

The opinions expressed in this interview are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the views of Infectious Diseases Hub or Future Science Group.

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