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UC Berkeley


Nikkil Sudharsanan - Health and Development

After graduating in 2010, Nikkil enrolled in a Master’s of Public Health program at Emory University. While at Emory, he worked on two main projects; the first examined chronic disease and migration in urban India, and the second examined the relationship between population aging, macroeconomic changes, and global diabetes prevalence. He is currently a PhD student in Demography at the University of Pennsylvania, where his research interests are in measuring the contribution of early childhood health, education, and health behaviors to adult morbidity and mortality.
Nikkils research area was Technology, Energy, and Health, and he provides us with this summary of his research for his thesis:
My thesis examined the modern and historical relationship between technology and health. Historically, technology was responsible for tremendous improvements to individual and population health. However, the continued use of technological innovation to improve health may increase social inequality, as more educated and well off individuals are more likely to benefit from innovation in health. I review examples of technological interventions that have increased health inequalities and argue that common statistical metrics used to evaluate health often over represent the positive benefits of improved technology on health. I argue that these metrics often fail to capture the externalities and regressive consequences of technologically driven interventions. I conclude by calling for a more careful utilization of technology for improving health.

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