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Published: 28 Aug, 2019

Research programme examines social media, social network, digital technology and behavioural change

NEWS Recently the programme STAR-C has had a kickoff meeting, attended by researchers and stakeholders. The programme will examine how social networks and use of social media can be used to tailor and personalise health promotion.

The research programme is focused on the development of a technological platform for personalized digital coaching for promoting healthy behaviours and exploration of the adoption of the technology in different social contexts. The programme aims for a co-creation of knowledge between researchers, users and professionals in health and social care.

“The idea with STAR-C is to use innovative digital technology to promote healthier behaviours in the population. Many apps on promoting healthy behavior such as dietary habit and physical exercise are not tailored to the individual needs. STAR-C will study the use of social media and social networks to support a sustainable behavior change and utilize this knowledge to develop a digital platform that is tailored for individuals,” says Professor Nawi Ng, the Principal Investigator of STAR-C (STAR-C is the acronym of Sustainable behaviour change for health supported by person-Tailored, Adaptive, Risk-aware digital Coaching in a social context).

The programme is a collaboration between four faculties at Umeå University and the Västerbotten County Council. The team of experienced and newly established researchers is multidisciplinary, and has extensive experience in both qualitative and quantitative methods.

STAR-C will employ a mixed methods design in seven interconnected and complementary projects, which will run from 2019-2021 and is funded by the Forte Research Council with SEK 15 million, with a possible extension for another three years during 2022-2024.

STAR-C aims at strengthening collaboration between researchers, health professionals, and the population, thereby creating more effective preventive and health promotion efforts, and reducing health inequalities. Lessons learned will be shared both within nationally in Sweden as well as internationally.