January NORC Spotlight: Oleg Zaslavsky
Dr. Zaslavsky (he/him/his) is an Associate Professor in Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Informatics Department at the University of Washington School of Nursing. He has a clinical background in gerontological nursing with specific training and expertise in digital interventions for older and vulnerable populations. Dr. Zaslavsky completed his doctoral studies in the University of Washington School of Nursing in Nursing Science focused on advanced statistics and frailty. He also completed NIH training in mobile health interventions, and a recipient of the NIA career development award that aims to develop digital tools in the health promotion context for older adults with frailty and dementia. Dr. Zaslavsky also completed several federally funded projects where he developed and deployed digital tools for people with comorbidities and their caregivers, including wearables, mobile, and web-based interventions. In parallel to the intervention work, he also extensively studied preventable hospitalizations in persons with dementia. The foundational experience in digital tools and avoidable admissions served as an impetus for several ongoing projects aimed to evaluate feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of a mobile intervention designed to promote healthy eating in persons with comorbid early frailty and dementia.
Dr. Zaslavsky’s work has had a significant impact on bridging the digital divide by enabling vulnerable older adults to use technologies to support their health. In the context of rapidly aging populations and an ongoing global pandemic that overwhelm our traditional clinical systems, this work has been timely and impactful. Specifically, digital interventions and support systems Dr. Zaslavsky’s lab developed for older adults offer alternatives for enhancing health services in these challenging circumstances. The work has also moved steadily from proof-of-concept in a controlled research environment to implementation within health delivery systems. Dr. Zaslavsky’s team is now pursuing opportunities to contribute evidence that supports ‘real world’ implementation of the digital interventions with a focus on integrating these solutions within our health care systems.
Dr. Zaslavsky work received support from the UW NORC pilot and feasibility program and analytical core for dried blood spot samples.