Help assess the impact of digital health in climate change studies

Group holding up globe

The World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe) is working on a publication to review the opportunities digital health solutions present in relation to climate change. To speed up the process, the Organization has teamed up with Cochrane Crowd for a task to classify related studies. Open to all, this citizen science initiative invites volunteers to review and identify key studies, aiding WHO/Europe to research the impact of digital solutions on climate-related health issues.

Conducting horizon-scanning to identify promising digital health solutions that can help shape public health is among key priorities for us at WHO/Europe. In addition to benefiting healthcare in a digital era, this initiative promotes preparedness amid the climate crisis,” said Dr. David Novillo Ortiz, Regional Adviser for Data and Digital Health at WHO/Europe.

New task: digital health technology and climate change
Cochrane Crowd has launched a call to participate in a special task requested by WHO/Europe. This task aims to identify key digital health technologies used to manage or mitigate climate-change-related health problems and to reduce the health sector’s carbon footprint. With over 18,000 search results to assess, we need your help!

Digital health technologies leverage information and communication technology to enhance human health, healthcare services, and wellness. Examples include mobile apps, virtual medical appointments, fitness trackers, and virtual reality training for medical procedures. A specialized training module will provide more examples.

A global community of volunteers
Cochrane Crowd is a global community of volunteers dedicated to classifying research necessary for informed decision-making in healthcare. Volunteers review descriptions of research studies to identify and classify healthcare research studies. These efforts help Cochrane reviewers and other healthcare researchers worldwide find high-quality evidence about treatments and healthcare interventions.

Anna Noel-Storr, manager of the Cochrane Crowd platform, says: “Cochrane has been in official relations with WHO since 2011. This task is particularly exciting for us on the Cochrane Crowd team as it’s the first crowd task we’ve done in partnership with the WHO. I hope it’s the first of many, as I know our brilliant Crowd community will relish the opportunity to directly contribute to global health research and make a meaningful impact on climate change."

Contributing to Cochrane Crowd is free and doesn't require any prior experience in healthcare research. By joining, volunteers can build skills in evidence assessment, stay updated on the latest research, and contribute to the global healthcare community. Online training is provided, and all contributions are welcome, from a few minutes a day to more focused periods.

Participation in Cochrane Crowd offers numerous benefits, including the opportunity to earn named acknowledgement in the WHO review and a chance to gain Cochrane membership. Volunteers can also enhance their skills through training and review past decisions to improve accuracy.

"The WHO-Cochrane Crowd collaboration is a great opportunity to contribute to climate action. By identifying the most effective digital health solutions, we can advance research and empower people to protect their health,” said Dr. Israel Junior Borges do Nascimento, WHO consultant and lead author.

Become a virtual citizen scientist and help assess the impact of digital health in climate-change studies

The task will be live throughout July 2024. To take part, head to Cochrane Crowd and log in or sign up. Once logged in, click on the ‘Tasks’ panel. You should then see the task “Digital health technology and climate change”.

Friday, July 5, 2024