Ebenezer Aidoo

Ebenezer Aidoo, PhD student, communication studies

Examines healthcare technology adoption

“I am nominating Ebenezer Aidoo for his contributions to community and his research in technology adoption and use…He won the prestigious Stanley Awards for International Research and conducted research using the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) to assess the technological adoption for healthcare among Kenyan citizens.” – Kate Magsamen-Conrad, professor

Tema, Ghana

Faculty mentor/advisor:  Kate Magsamen-Conrad, PhD, professor, communication studies

What is your degree program and anticipated graduation date?
  PhD in communication studies – May 2025

Please describe your research:
My research focuses on the utilization and adoption of technology in health care. I investigate the dual role of technology as an enabler and potential barrier for effective health management. Additionally, I also focus on using behavior change theories to help design messages for preventative health care. I am currently involved in a study employing the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) to evaluate the adoption of healthcare applications (i.e., Mtiba) among the people of Kenya.

In simple terms, why does this research matter?
While it may seem that everyone is proficient in using technology for healthcare, particularly in the US and parts of Africa with high mobile technology usage, it’s important to employ a theoretical framework to comprehensively assess how people are actually utilizing and adopting technology. Doing so will enable us to enhance service delivery and address obstacles that hinder its usability. This approach can significantly contribute to policy development and enhance healthcare, particularly for vulnerable populations.

How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research?
As soon as I started at the University of Iowa, I got involved in research. During my first semester I worked with my advisor, Professor Kate Magsamen-Conrad, and community partners to develop resources to help families with the shift to online learning due to the pandemic. I also played a key role in a project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where I used my communication skills to assist in creating messages to encourage rural Iowans to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa?
Engaging in research has empowered me to grasp the intricacies of designing, executing, and sharing research findings. It has also helped me to understand the grant application process, better preparing me for a successful future as a researcher. The hands-on experience of conducting research enables me to put into practice the concepts learned in class, deepening my comprehension of the coursework.

What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation?
After my graduation, I aspire to continue in researching the adoption and utilization of technology in healthcare, with a particular focus on vulnerable populations in the USA and Africa. My goal is to secure a research-oriented position, either as a tenure-track professor or in an industry role. I have a genuine interest in teaching and mentoring students as well.

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