Behavioral Science for Disease Prevention and Health Care

In this Focus Group, Rudolf Mößbauer Tenure Track Professor Nikhil Sudharsanan and his group study ways to improve the effectiveness of health systems by infusing insights about human behavior into the design and delivery of care and health messaging. The group aims to create health systems that engender trust, encourage individuals to seek essential care, and engage in preventive health behaviors.

The work focuses on three major research areas:

  1. Prevention of cardiovascular diseases in South and Southeast Asia
  2. Improving the effectiveness of health insurance for vulnerable populations in India
  3. Communicating health advice and information to the public in an age of misinformation and low trust in science

The group’s work draws heavily from behavioral science and economic theory. Using randomized experiments and evaluations, they investigate behavior change approaches that are low-cost and scalable, including interventions delivered through mobile phones and digital platforms, through design changes to the health care environment, and those that affect behavior through the framing and communicating of information to the public.