A digital health typology: Navigating the complexity of emerging technologies to negotiate health systems innovation with young people


  • Teresa Swist Young and Resilient Research Centre, Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University
  • Philippa Collin Western Sydney University
  • John Lewis Wellbeing Health & Youth Commission
  • Sharon Medlow University of Sydney
  • Ian Williams University of Melbourne
  • Cristyn Davies University of Sydney
  • Kate Steinbeck University of Sydney


Background: A priority across health systems innovation is to develop and apply ethical digital technologies with diverse publics, including young people. Mechanisms to support mutual learning the public involvement of young people in research are emerging. Yet the processes and repercussions of emerging technologies — such as the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and Big Data — are often complex and opaque to people of diverse ages, backgrounds, and expertise.


Aims: This study aims to clarify concepts and explain relationships associated with emerging technologies, focusing on the implications for health systems innovation, by integrating the perspectives of young people guiding an adolescent health research community of practice. 

Methods: An integrated knowledge translation study spanned: i) a narrative, transdisciplinary literature review exploring the interrelationship between emerging technologies, health systems, and implications for research with young people; ii) a workshop with young people to share review insights and explore digital health innovation; and iii), a synthesis of insights from previous phases.


Results: A flexible and adaptable classification tool, the Digital Health Typology, to differentiate and explain emerging technology concepts and interrelationships, perspectives of young people aligned with the typology, plus key insights to inform future research and priority-setting agendas.

Conclusions: Findings seek to advance mutual learning between youth and adult stakeholders: by making sense together about the evolving and complex technologies increasingly used across health systems and everyday life in a rapidly changing society.





Oral Presentations