Jimmy talks with Physiotherapist Mark Merolli, an Australian physio with a PhD in digital health. They talk about how technology constantly transforms the field of Physical Therapy and how that trend will continue into the future. Social media is also discussed from how it’s used now to where its application will go in the coming years.
Mark Merolli is a passionate digital health and informatics professional. He work in academia, research, clinical practice, as a consultant, and on various entrepreneurial projects.
His clinical background as a Physiotherapist has been rewarding and grounding. After years focussing on clinical practice exclusively, he was drawn in by the paradigm shift I was witnessing both with his own patients and in the wider community – a push enabled by technology. He was an early adopter. During a stint living and practicing abroad in the United Kingdom, he was fortunate enough to gain some experience working at a digital media agency alongside my clinical work, specialising in online, print media and advertising. This parallel experience to health practice was invaluable and provided a foothold to explore “digital” in “health”. Working as part of the online team helped him gain extensive knowledge in the web, social media, website management, search engine optimization (SEO), digital analytics and, digital strategy. By doing this, he was better able to conceptualise the digital landscape and relate it back to his passion – healthcare.
All of his experiences have led him to focus his career very much in the digital health space. He has a PhD in this area, specialising in social media for health but my interests and expertise covers a range of technologies and areas (especially consumer-centric technologies that influence participation in health – mHealth, apps, sensors, telehealth, virtual reality, games, etc).
Currently he is involved in research, lecture, educate, strategy, speaking and providing thought leadership on all things digital health to various health organisations, entities and individuals.
In addition, he also has formal qualifications in health informatics, such as Membership in the Australasian College of Health Informatics (MACHI), a Certified Health Informatician Australasia (CHIA), endorsed by Australian College of Health Informatics (ACHI) and Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA), as well as being the Chairman of the International Medical Informatics Association – Participatory Health and Social Media Working Group (IMIA – PHSM).
His real passion is to connect with likeminded health professionals and other stakeholders who are interested in this big wide world we now call “digital health”. As technologies continue to intertwine with healthcare, it’s important we’re equipped with the knowledge and understanding to operate confidently in this environment. His overall vision is to connect with, educate and up-skill health professionals across a variety of digital health areas and to help solve practical solutions in future models of healthcare.
His Mission: “To connect professionals with digital health”
His Credo: “For health professionals..by health professionals”