Behavioral Informatics

The growing collection of consumer and clinical-facing devices and technologies has created unprecedented opportunities to improve the health of individuals and populations. Consumer and patient-centric information sharing, technology-mediated communication, care coordination, and behavior change are examples of health-related outcomes for which technologies play a role in health and well-being. HCIRB’s focus on behavioral informatics incorporates an emphasis on the use of these technologies by consumers and patients, caregivers, and health care providers. Researchers also are examining the design, implementation, and evaluation of behavioral interventions delivered by advanced technologies, analytics, and platforms for cancer care. In an era of connected health applications, researchers are adding wearable technologies, in-home sensors, telemedicine channels, patient portals, and mobile health channels to the range of study targets in behavioral informatics.

Priorities in Behavioral Informatics

  • How can we leverage communication and behavioral science to achieve: (a) improvements in the patient experience, (b) reductions in per capita costs, and (c) improvements in population health?
  • How can we craft a healthcare environment that optimizes technology-mediated communication between patients and their care networks (including families, friends, and healthcare providers)?

Funding Opportunity Announcements


Announcement #

Expiration Date


Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Telehealth in Cancer Care

More Information


March 8, 2024

Kelly Blake

Gurvaneet Randhawa

Smart Health and Biomedical Research in the Era of Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Data Science

NOT-OD-21-011 November 11, 2022 Dana Wolff-Hughes

Centers on Telehealth Research for Cancer-Related Care

More Information

RFA-CA-21-029 (P50 Clinical Trial Required)

July 21, 2021

Robin Vanderpool

Roxanne Jensen

Mobile Health: Technology and Outcomes in Low and Middle Income Countries

PAR-21-303 (R21/R33 - Clinical Trial Optional)

December 10, 2022

Vidya Vedham

Current Projects

Telehealth and Cancer-Related Care

Due to the onset and continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of telehealth, and specifically virtual visits, to deliver care across the cancer control continuum. To date, telehealth research on cancer-related care has focused primarily on asynchronous methods, leveraging a wide range of mobile phone and electronic health record technology through apps, secure messages, and patient portals. The limited research on synchronous telehealth communication between patients and providers has focused largely on specialty services delivered via teleconferencing (e.g., genetic counseling, various forms of supportive care, and health behavior change interventions addressing smoking, exercise, and diet).

Innovative telehealth services that leverage synchronous communication, while also integrating clinical and asynchronous data, are needed to broadly demonstrate the ability of cancer-related telehealth to improve access to care, care quality, patient-provider communication, provider-to-provider communication, and health outcomes. Thus, the National Cancer Institute is supporting research to identify and improve telehealth for cancer care delivery. HCIRB is collaborating with the Healthcare Delivery Research Program to support several funding initiatives in this area of research.

  • Findings from an NCI Request for Information (RFI): Stakeholder Input on Scientific Gaps and Research Needs Related to Delivery of Cancer-related Care via Telehealth (Recorded Webinar)

Smart and Connected Health

This joint NSF-NIH program seeks to accelerate the development and use of next generation health care solutions by funding high-risk, high-reward efforts in a variety of areas, including information science, technology, behavior, cognition, sensors, robotics, bioimaging, and engineering.

Learn more

NCI-Funded Grants in Smart and Connected Health in the HCIRB Portfolio

PI Name Organization Name Project Title Project Number
Barnes, Laura Elizabeth University of Virginia  Collaborative Research: Multiscale Modeling and Intervention for Improving Long-Term Medication 1R01CA239246-01
DiEugenio, Barbara University of Illinois at Chicago MYPHA: Automatically Generating Personalized Accounts Of In-patient Hospitalization 5R01CA225446-02
Ozer, Elizabeth University of California, San Francisco Changegradients: Promoting Adolescent Health Behavior Change with Clinically Integrated Sample-efficient Policy Gradient Methods 1R01CA247705-01
Papanikolopoulos, Nikos University of Minnesota Active Learning for Medical Applications 5R01CA225435-03
Sanders, Lee Michael Stanford University Intelligent Information Sharing: Advancing Teamwork in Complex Care 5R01CA204585-04

Reports and Publications

President’s Cancer Panel (2016). Connected Health in Cancer Care. Report available at

Hesse, B. W., Ahern, D. K., & Beckjord, E. (Eds.). (2016). Oncology Informatics: Using Health Information Technology to Improve Processes and Outcomes in Cancer exit disclaimer Boston, MA: Elsevier.


Robin Vanderpool, Dr.P.H.

Robin Vanderpool, Dr.P.H.

BRANCH CHIEF, Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch

Last Updated
August 19, 2021