Keynote on Healthification by Tobias Kowatsch, Dartmouth CTBH Seminar, 21 April 2023

Prof. Dr. Tobias Kowatsch was invited by Dartmouth’s Center for Technologies and Behavioral Health to give a keynote on the question: What can we learn from the most successful TV shows to lower the socioeconomic inequalities in health?

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) impose enormous health burdens on individuals and lead to substantial health economic challenges. NCDs’ risk factors relate primarily to a lifestyle characterized by tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, or an unbalanced diet. This lifestyle can lead to obesity, hypertension, and other cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Unfortunately, individuals with lower socioeconomic status (SES) are substantially more affected by NCDs. These individuals are also significantly underrepresented in clinical and non-clinical trials. As a result, health interventions are potentially only effective for individuals with higher SES and do not address those most in need. Therefore, it is essential to understand how to reach and engage individuals with lower SES. This short animation overviews the research at the Centre for Digital Health Interventions and explores what we can learn from the most successful TV shows to “hijack” the comfort zones of vulnerable individuals to address socioeconomic inequalities in health.

By Tobias Kowatsch, Professor for Digital Health Interventions, Institute for Implementation Science in Health Care, University of Zurich, Director at the School of Medicine, University of St.Gallen, and Scientific Director of the Centre for Digital Health Interventions (CDHI,, Departement of Management, Technology, and Economics, ETH Zurich.

Produced by zense: © University of St.Gallen

See also this talk by Tobias Kowatsch:

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