Ching-Hua Chen, PhD, RN

Manager, Research Staff Member, Computational Health Behavior & Decision Science, IBM, T.J. Watson Research Center

Since 2015, Dr. Ching-Hua Chen has been leading an interdisciplinary team of psychologists, data scientists and medical researchers, whose goal is to develop and test technology-enabled approaches to studying health behavior and patient decision-making. Her research aims to quantify and explain the trajectories of health behavior and patient experience through the analysis of various types of longitudinal, temporal data (e.g., from medical/health records, social platforms, wearable devices, IoT sensors). From this data, Dr. Chen is interested in identifying causal relationships between various events and health behaviors. She is also interested in conducting qualitative studies to understand how these measurements can be used to influence patient decision making to promote healthier behaviors. Methodologically, she is exploring ways to combine semantic (knowledge-driven) approaches with machine learning (data-driven) approaches to generate high-quality insights for influencing behavior change.

Dr. Chen’s current research agenda brings together several branches of scientific and domain expertise that she has cultivated over her career. Her formal background in mathematical modeling for decision making under uncertainty (obtained through her graduate education in operations research) is now combined with knowledge of health and healthcare (obtained through her nursing education). Additionally, the 2 years Dr. Chen spent as a user experience researcher has afforded her the skills and sensitivities to design technologies that are responsive to the real needs of health consumers.