• 1933 Citations
  • 25 h-Index
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Personal profile


Professor Petra Wark is a nutritional and chronic disease epidemiologist with an additional background in applied statistics as well as learning and teaching. 

Her research focuses on the use, development, characteristics and validation of digital health technologies (e.g. wearables, apps, platforms) for enhancement of wellbeing or disease prevention or management. She focuses on making use of the additional data digital technologies provide, the validity of such data, and the efficacy and effectiveness of interventions using digital technologies (whilst considering health and wellbeing outcomes). She is also interested in the setting in which such technologies are used, and thereby their practical applications in research, health promotion and health care.

Examples of her work include leading the validation study of myfood24, a new online dietary assessment tool for the UK; leading the validation study of new technology for blood pressure measurement and management; and systematic review of mobile apps.

Earlier in her career, she aimed to gain a better understanding of the causation of chronic diseases by using data of large cohort studies. She did so whilst combining research with a role of MSc course organiser, running several epidemiology and chronic disease modules and co-founding and running a leading short course. 

Within the Centre for Innovative Research Across the Life Course, she is leading the "Innovation, Design and Technology" (IDT) theme and supervises PhD students. She is also an officer for the e- & mHealth Special Interest Group (SIG) of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA), and Associate Editor of the Nutrition Journal

Research Interests

  • Efficacy and effectiveness of digital health technologies in primary and secondary chronic disease prevention; and methodological aspects thereof
  • Validation, evaluation and assessment of diet, lifestyle, wellbeing and health status using new digital technologies (including other aspects of health)
  • Additional insight gained from the additional data that digital health technologies provide, how to make use of the new technologies and embed them in practice
  • Nutritional and chronic disease epidemiology
  • Interdisciplinary and innovation research projects

Vision Statement

New digital health solutions and technologies emerge daily. Several of these developments are very exciting. They have potential to improve one’s wellbeing or health. Many others are not yet optimal and/or do not meet society’s, the health care system’s or the user’s needs. A technological solution is also not always the most appropriate.

It is important to optimise the chances of making a true impact. I believe that technologies should be validated /evaluated throughout their lifecycle, and should be evidence-based. Sometimes my work starts while the technology is being developed or improved. My work can also start after the technology is being implemented, or when already on the market. Doing so requires insight and methods from several disciplines. I thus collaborate with people from different backgrounds. I also collaborate with industry. 

Education/Academic qualification

Postgraduate Certificate, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Sep 20108 Jun 2012

Doctorate, Wageningen University and Research Centre

May 200016 Jan 2007

MSc, Radboud University Nijmegen

1 Sep 199527 Apr 2000

External positions

Honorary Senior Lecturer in eHealth, Imperial College London

1 Jan 2017 → …

Assistant Director of Global eHealth Unit, Department of Primary Care and Public Health, Imperial College London

1 Apr 201431 Dec 2016

Research Fellow, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Imperial College London

5 Jan 200931 Mar 2014

Research Fellow, Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

15 Oct 200531 Dec 2008


  • RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
  • digital health
  • mHealth
  • wellbeing
  • prevention
  • chronic disease
  • validation
  • evaluation
  • diet
  • lifestyle
  • physical activity
  • epidemiology
  • study design
  • data analysis
  • technology
  • apps
  • wearables
  • dietary assessment
  • interdisciplinary
  • transdisciplinary
  • quantitative research

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Research Output 2002 2019

Estimating blood pressure trends and the nocturnal dip from photoplethysmography

Radha, M., De Groot, K., Rajani, N., Wong, C. CP., Kobold, N., Vos, V., Fonseca, P., Mastellos, N., Wark, P. A., Velthoven, N., Haakma, R. & Aarts, R. M. 30 Jan 2019 (Accepted/In press) In : Physiological Measurement. (In-Press), p. (In-Press)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Blood pressure
Blood Pressure
Long-Term Memory
Short-Term Memory
3 Citations

A bibliometric analysis of physical activity, sedentary behavior and diet related e-  and mHealth research

Müller, A. M., Maher, C. A., Vandelanotte, C., Hingle, M., Middelweerd, A., Lopez, M. L., De Smet, A., Short, C. E., Nathan, N., Hutchesson, M. J., Poppe, L., Woods, C. B., Williams, S. L. & Wark, P. A. 18 Apr 2018 In : Journal of Medical Internet Research. 20, 4, 18 p., e122

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Open Access
Mobile Applications
Cell Phones
Qualitative Research
Health Behavior
Mobile Applications
Cell Phones
Qualitative Research
Health Behavior
Qualitative Research
Equipment and Supplies
Mobile Applications
Cell Phones

Activities 2015 2018

Workshop on Innovative Technologies for Dietary Intakes Measurements

Wark, P. (Participant)
17 Sep 2018

Activity: Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Faculty of Business and Law annual Internal Research Conference 2017

Wark, P. (Panel Member)
29 Jun 2017

Activity: Participation in conference

1st GetAMoveOn Symposium

Wark, P. (Participant)
24 May 201725 May 2017

Activity: Participation in conference

Roberta Santos

Wark, P. (Host)
1 Sep 201728 Feb 2018

Activity: Hosting an academic visitor