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PIK Professor Appointed to National Committee

George Demiris, PhD, a Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor in Penn Nursing’s Department of Biobavioral Health Sciences, has been appointed a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (the Academies) Committee on the Health and Medical Dimensions of Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults.  

This committee will examine how social isolation and loneliness impact health outcomes in older adults aged 50 and older, particularly among low income, underserved, and vulnerable populations. 

Demiris’ research focuses on the use of information technology to support older adults and their family caregivers and explore innovative solutions to promote independent aging and patient and family engagement. He is a co-founder of the Hospice Caregiver Research Network, an initiative led by researchers from various academic disciplines committed to designing and testing interventions to support family caregivers of patients at the end of life.

He is currently conducting a clinical trial to examine the impact of a behavioral intervention for hospice caregivers informed by problem solving therapy and positive reappraisal, using various informatics tools. Another area of his research includes the use of behavioral sensing, “smart home” and “Internet of Things” technologies to promote independence for community dwelling older adults and their families.