Faculty & Staff

Gerald Douglas

Assistant Professor
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Biographical Info

Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Informatics
Director of Center for Health Informatics for the Underserved
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine


Since 2001, Gerald (Gerry) Douglas, PhD has been leading research efforts that contribute to the elimination of health disparities, improve health care quality, encourage the adoption of personal wellness strategies, and provide support for the development and advancement of underserved communities. Dr. Douglas implemented several innovative approaches to using technology in health care, including the use of a low-power, robust and inexpensive touch screen clinical workstation appliances for clinicians at the point of care in Malawi, Africa. This system, installed in more than 200 health facilities in Malawi, guides low-skilled health care workers with little or no computer experience through the diagnosis and treatment of patients according to national protocols.

In 2016 Dr. Douglas established the Global Health Informatics Institute (GHII), based in Lilongwe, Malawi. GHII’s mission is to train the next generation of biomedical informaticians using a unique service learning approach to develop interventions at the intersection of science, engineering and global health that address problems of global health importance and improve the delivery of healthcare for all.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Dr, Douglas pivoted the GHII team to focus on increasing the availability of oxygen for patients in Malawi, establishing the OpenO2 initiative. Now maintaining roughly 3,000 oxygen concentrators across 80+ health facilities in Malawi the OpenO2 leadership started looking for ways to empower the government of Malawi to strengthen its capacity to maintain biomedical equipment.

To further leverage its impact, in 2021 GHII combined forces with Sanrai International to found the Oxygen Alliance, with the goal of changing the equipment maintenance culture. The Oxygen Alliance is now working in six countries, with the target of fifteen countries by 2025.

In 2024, working at the intersection of biomedical informatics and biomedical engineering, Dr. Douglas is launching a new initiative focused on improving childhood pneumonia outcomes in Malawi.

Categories: Primary Faculty