Headshot of Adriana Arcia, PhD, RN, FAAN

Adriana Arcia, PhD, RN, FAAN

Professor, Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, University of San Diego

Dr. Adriana Arcia is a nurse scientist whose research focus is on using infographics and other information visualizations to make it easier for people to understand their personal health information, especially if they have low health literacy and/or limited English proficiency.

In projects funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), and the Alzheimer’s Association, she has led teams that developed visualizations on topics such as blood pressure, mental health symptoms, asthma, dementia caregiving, and COVID-19 testing and vaccination. These visualizations can be used in clinical care, in community settings, and to return research data to participants. She uses formative qualitative and participatory design methods to engage members of the target viewing audience in the infographic development process. In this way, she helps to ensure that the visualizations created by her team are addressing viewers’ health information needs in a way that is culturally congruent and health literate.

Dr. Arcia uses health informatics approaches to support her work. For example, she has led the development of bespoke software that automatically tailors infographics by incorporating information about the viewer into the image, such as their blood pressure or level of asthma control. She is currently developing an app to help family caregivers of people with dementia understand the functional stages of dementia so that they can connect to appropriate resources.

The Visualization Design Studio, led by Dr. Arcia, is a resource for students and faculty to increase their visualization-related competencies. In open monthly meetings, Studio members share best practices and give and receive feedback on work in progress. To learn more, visit https://vis-studio.mailchimpsites.com/.


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