Raina Merchant is the director of the Center for Digital Health. She is also the chief transformation officer and vice president at Penn Medicine and a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine. She has secondary appointments in the Department of Internal Medicine and the Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care and serves as co-director of the Penn National Clinician Scholars Program.
Raina received her bachelor's degree from Yale University, her medical degree from the University of Chicago, and her master's in health policy research from the University of Pennsylvania. Her work focuses on the intersection of digital media and health. She has conducted projects evaluating health behaviors and communication on digital platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Instagram, and Google.
One of Raina's projects involves "banking language" through a unique longitudinal database of social media data merged with health record data. Much of her work bridges technologies in the field of cardiovascular health and resuscitation science. In this context, she serves as the director of the MyHeartMap Challenge, a social media and crowdsourcing project aimed at improving automated external defibrillator (AED) access and awareness by engaging the public to serve as citizen scientists.
Raina is currently funded by the NIH and has over 180 peer-reviewed publications in journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Circulation, and Health Affairs. Her work has been featured in Wired, the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, and others. She is a member of the editorial board of JAMA, an Aspen Health Innovators Fellow, and was recognized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as one of 10 young investigators likely to significantly impact the future of health and health care in the United States.