Informatics Research Seminar: Meeting the Challenges of Smart and Connected Health: A Cancer Health Disparities Use-Case

February 26 @ 4:00 – 5:00 pm


Speaker: Timothy Jay Carney, PhD, MPH,   MBA
Presented from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Broadcast Link: Seminar

Meeting the Challenges of Smart and Connected Health: A Cancer Health Disparities Use-Case


The multinational company IBM has launched a media campaign that asks the basic question: “Can we build a smarter planet?” Dr. Carney’s research narrows the boundaries of that same line of reasoning into three self-contained information eco-systems, or information ecologies. His team’s research asks: “Can we build enhanced levels of intelligence that would lead to smarter public health systems, smarter cancer prevention and control activities, and smarter responses to cancer health disparities?” This research represents the first of several steps in constructing a multi-modeling framework that relies on predictive models, flow models (workflow, information flow, communications pathway), and systems-thinking/systems-science (computational) models. The goal is to quantitatively measure how smart and/or connected varying classifications of agents/actors (e.g., patients, providers, organizations, community, etc.) are in their performance of tasks associated with some predefined set of outcome measures (e.g., health disparities). Dr. Carney’s team sought to provide a foundation to allow for the examination of either agent-specific level intelligence or the systems-level collective agent intelligence. Its methodology draws from several fields of practice that includes health informatics, network theory, organizational theory, cognitive demand theory, health services research, and cancer prevention and control performance models.


Timothy Jay Carney, PhD, MPH, MBA recently completed a Cancer Health Disparities post-doctoral fellow in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health (SPH) and Lineberger Cancer Center, and is currently serving as Assistant Professor in the UNC SPH Department of Health Policy and Management. Tim completed a PhD in Health Informatics from Indiana University, an MPH from Tulane University, and an MBA from Devry-Keller Graduate School of Management. His research seeks to combine principles of 1) Health Informatics, 2) Cancer Care Delivery, 3) Health Services Research, and 4) Organizational Change. Tim served both as a fellow and consultant to Informatics Specialists working at the CDC (1998-2007) and closely examined the objectives and performance of national HIT initiatives, both focusing on cancer and national Public Health IT infrastructure improvement efforts. At the CDC, he was charged with the task of co-leading an 18-month effort to develop a Unified Modeling Language model of local hospital, state health department, and national cancer surveillance efforts. He was a pre-doctoral fellow (2009-2011) within the IUPUI Training in Research for Behavioral Oncology and Cancer control R25 Program (TRBOCC) sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. He also was awarded the 2006-2008 Anthem/Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE) pre-doctoral fellowship. Currently, he serves as a Carolina Community Network (CCN) Research Fellow for Cancer Health Disparities. His research areas include: cancer prevention and control, organization intelligent design,
organizational network analysis, systems science, and elimination of health disparities. Tim teaches a course titled Applied Public Health Informatics: Diagnosis and Design of Public Health Intelligence at UNC-Chapel Hill.