PhD in Personal Health Informatics

Interdisciplinary program of the College of Computer and Information Science and Bouvé College of Health Sciences

The Personal Health Informatics (PHI) doctoral degree at Northeastern is a joint program between the College of Computer and Information Science (CCIS) and Bouvé College of Health Sciences. It combines interdisciplinary curriculum with rigorous research opportunities, including collaborations with industry, medical institutions, community organizations, and other partners throughout Boston’s robust health, technology, and personal health sectors. All to explore the potential of patient-centered health and wellness technologies.

Our transdisciplinary program focuses on innovations that improve care from the patient’s perspective, setting us apart from medical and health informatics degrees which focus primarily on the impact of provider-facing systems. These personal health technologies are used by non-health professionals both in and out of clinical settings, and in various life stages of illness and wellness. We are committed to educating future leaders who will transform health care and empower individuals to lead healthier, more engaged, and higher quality lives.

The Power of Your Degree

PHI PhD graduates will be the scientists and innovators charting the future. They will find novel ways to improve health through principled, data-driven, participant-engaged research that builds on discoveries in behavioral and social sciences, health sciences, computation, and data science driving the advances in technology. They will produce generalizable theories and models that fundamentally change our scientific understanding of human health and behavior, and lead to a healthier population.

Exemplary research and study areas include:

  • Consumer wellness promotion technologies
  • Automated patient education and counseling systems
  • Personal health records and portals
  • Assistive technologies that aid persons with special needs
  • Automated eldercare systems that support aging at home
  • Smart home laboratory for development of future solutions
  • Telemedicine and mobile health monitoring and intervening systems
  • Effective coaching systems based on artificial intelligence
  • Intervention and coaching optimization based on physiological monitoring and modeling
  • Social computing systems that connect families with wellness support networks
  • Social and mobile applications that enable health activism

What can you do with a PhD in Personal Health Informatics?