• 2684 Citations
  • 30 h-Index

Research output per year

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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 "Digital Health and Innovative Methodologies" (DHAIM) theme. She supervises PhD and MRes students, being a UKCGE Recognised Research Supervisor. She is also an officer for the e- & mHealth Special Interest Group (SIG) of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA), Associate Editor of the Nutrition Journal and a Steering Committee member of the International Conference on Diet & Activity Assessment Methods (ICDAM 2020)

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

Applied Statistics and Biostatistics (15 modules, equivalent to 53 weeks at MSc level), University of Hasselt

1 Oct 200131 Mar 2003

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
  • applied statistics

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Research Output

  • A systematic review of reviews identifying UK validated dietary assessment tools for inclusion on an interactive guided website for researchers: www.nutritools.org

    Hooson, J., Hutchinson, J., Warthon-Medina, M., Hancock, N., Greathead, K., Knowles, B., Vargas-Garcia, E., Gibson, LE., Bush, LA., Margetts, B., Robinson, S., Ness, A., Alwan, NA., Wark, PA., Roe, M., Finglas, P., Steer, T., Page, P., Johnson, L., Roberts, K. & 4 others, Amoutzopoulos, B., Burley, VJ., Greenwood, DC. & Cade, JE., 18 Mar 2019, In : Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    13 Downloads (Pure)

    Do South Asian Communities ‘Act FAST’?

    Coleby, D., Taub, N., Mistri, A., Turner, A., Coad, J., Wark, P., Bhatti, K., Chahal, K. & Teo, W-P., Jun 2019, In : British Journal of General Practice. 69, suppl 1, p. bjgp19X702989

    Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstract

  • 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., 25 Feb 2019, In : Physiological Measurement. 40, 2, 025006.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 10 Citations (Scopus)
    5 Downloads (Pure)

    Protocol for a Systematic Review and Qualitative Synthesis of Information Quality Frameworks in eHealth

    Fadahunsi, K. P., Akinlua, J. T., O'Connor, S., Wark, P. A., Gallagher, J., Carroll, C., Majeed, A. & O'Donoghue, J., 5 Mar 2019, In : BMJ Open. 9, 3, e024722.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 2 Citations (Scopus)
    10 Downloads (Pure)


    Workshop on Innovative Technologies for Dietary Intakes Measurements

    Petra Wark (Participant)
    17 Sep 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    International Conference on Diety & Activity Methods (Event)

    Petra Wark (Member)
    23 Jan 2018 → …

    Activity: MembershipMembership of committee

    International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA) 2018 Annual Meeting : Advancing Behaviour Change Science

    Petra A Wark (Contributor)
    3 Jun 20186 Jun 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

    Faculty of Business and Law annual Internal Research Conference 2017

    Petra Wark (Panel Member)
    29 Jun 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

    Nutrition Journal (Journal)

    Petra Wark (Associate Editor)
    23 Mar 2017 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity