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Dr Mark Merolli

Academic Director of Digital Health & Informatics


Dr. Mark Merolli is our Academic Director of Digital Health & Informatics. His focus at Swinburne is to build digital health and informatics research capacity as leader of the Digital Health Research Network and drive curriculum development in digital health and health informatics. Prior to coming to Swinburne, he was a lecturer and researcher in health informatics at the University of Melbourne, the institute where he gained his PhD. Dr. Merolli developed a framework for generating evidence about social media use in chronic disease management. His particular interest was in understanding the unique therapeutic affordances of social media platforms in generating different health outcomes. He is also a physiotherapist. His clinical background merged with digital health expertise has advantageously placed him at the forefront of advances in 21st century healthcare.

Dr. Merolli’s personal research interests cover two fronts:

  • Firstly, technologies that enable active particpation in healthcare - understanding how technology and data can engage people to be empowered participants health management, change beahaviours, and influence health outcomes (e.g. internet, social media, apps, wearables, sensors, virtual/augmented reality and games). His research interests are broadly across digital health. However, his primary active research is in the areas of pain and chronic conditions
  • Secondly, health informatics and digital health education - ensuring the health workforce of the future is skilled in working in an increasignly technological age

He is currently supervising two PhD students: one examining person-generated health data using simulated rehabilitation in stroke rehabilitation, and another examining the therapeutic affordances of social media in mental wellbeing of young adults. 

Dr. Merolli is heavily engaged in the health informatics and digital health community. He is a Certified Health Informatician Australasia (CHIA) and was accepted into the Australasian College of Health Informatics (ACHI). He is also a member of the Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA) – Clinical Informatics Leadership Network, Victorian Branch Council and, CHIA examination committee. Internationally, he is the Chair of the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) Participatory Health and Social Media Working Group.

Research interests

Health Technology Assessment; Human Computer Interactions; Digital Health; Health Informatics; Participatory Health; Health Education; Social Media; Health Technology; Health Data Analytics; Quantified Self; Physiotherapy; Chronic Pain; Chronic Disease; Pain; Big Data; Sensors; Health Outcomes; Chronic Ilness; Healthcare

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Associate students as Masters & Doctoral Supervision.


Available to supervise honours students.

Honours topics and outlines

An investigation of digital health technologies used to manage injured workers return to work : We aim to explore what digital technologies are currently in play in the return to work rehabilitation landscape to better understand how use of technology can improve management of injured workers and health system performance

Exploring the therapeutic affordances of mobile health apps in the management of chronic conditions: This study builds on research that developed a theory of the therapeutic affordances of social media for chronic disease management.  By exploring nuances of human-computer interaction and the way users perceive the different uses of mobile applications, we may be better able to understand their usage behaviours and resulting health outcomes

IT and Me: Technology use by people living with chronic disease: This study builds on an online survey of the relationships between people’s use of information technology and their health and wellbeing.  We explore perceptions of digital technologies as part of managing illness.  This project will build our understanding of what technologies people use to manage chronic illness, leading to more tailored management

The dark side of social media and body image: This study will investigate the role and influence of social media in the onset and course of orthorexia (eating disorders). What must we be aware of to avoid negative consequences of social media use. Equally, what are the positives we learn and leverage to improve safety and effectiveness of social media?

Fields of Research

  • Health Informatics - 080702
  • Public Health And Health Services - 111700
  • Medical And Health Sciences Not Elsewhere Classified - 119999

Teaching areas

Health Technology Assessment;Human Computer Interactions;Digital Health;Health Informatics;Physiotherapy;Health Technology;Health Communication;Health Research Design

Further information



Also published as: Merolli, Mark; Merolli, M.; Merolli, M. A.; Merolli, Mark A.
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