Virtual Health (Promotion & Care)

VR digital health

The Center for Digital Health Innovation Virtual Health Promotion and Care programming provides students and professionals the opportunity to use a variety of technologies to exchange information. The use of telecommunications in these settings aims to improve access, quality, and outcomes of care.

The Center has a physical space where faculty and students can engage in state-of-the-art telepractice modalities. This facility is equipped with telepractice rooms and a home demonstration room for the use of at-home smart devices (home sensors and monitors) in the care of clients and patients. All rooms are equipped with the high-tech HIPAA compliant  VALT system.

Telepractice Overview

Why Study Telehealth and Digital Health at UNH?  

Studying telehealth at UNH provides students with the knowledge and practice needed to provide distance healthcare in their careers. They will learn from an interprofessional group of faculty who are passionate about the topic of telehealth within their disciplines and who are connected to a network of local digital health innovators. 

Our curriculum offers a cross-listed elective course which is online only.  Other courses across the health disciplines at UNH incorporate aspects of digital health into the classroom. For example, we use an augmented biofeedback tool, the Hand Tutor, for hands-on learning about game-based telerehab. The nursing department educates students about virtual nursing by using a telepresence robot. 

Ask your advisor for more information related to your discipline! Courses such as Introduction to Telehealth (HHS 798/898), Practicum in Nutrition and Wellness (NUTR 758), Behavioral Nutrition and Counseling (NUTR 860), CSD course here, OT course here, and Marriage and Family course here allow students the opportunity to explore the Center for Digital Health Innovation space and apply their counseling skills to the telehealth model.

Introduction to Telehealth

This course is taught by an interdisciplinary team and focuses on the ever-changing landscape of telehealth through the lens of various health disciplines. Students will explore topics such as the digital divide, telepresence, ethics, telehealth technology, and current practices in telehealth. In addition to completing weekly modules that span a variety of key telehealth topics, students will work collaboratively at a distance to create a multi-media project focused on a telehealth topic of interest. This course uses Open Educational Resources (OER). No textbook is required.

Upon completion of this course, students will:

  • Describe telehealth and how it is utilized in their field of study/practice.
  • Identify benefits, challenges and opportunities related to the integration of telehealth.
  • Apply key concepts of ethical practice in their discipline to considerations for the use of telehealth.
  • List important considerations for successful telepresence.
  • Apply their understanding of the roles and responsibilities of other healthcare professionals to discussions and assignments focused on telehealth practice.
Telehealth Internships

After taking our introductory course, many students want to continue this experience out in the field. With an internship focused on telehealth that it coordinated with your academic department; you’ll gain experience while making a difference at a distance through a Telehealth field internship. Our faculty offer independent studies on the topic of telehealth. Reach out to your department internship coordinator to find out what telehealth internships may be available to you.

Teleprecepting for Nursing

The dynamic field of Teleprecepting – a fusion of telehealth and clinical precepting for advanced practice nursing and medical trainees- sharpens communication skills, emphasizes body language, eye contact, and speech patterns. Whether engaging in telehealth or in-person care, teleprecepting students are guided by experienced providers to learn the crucial role of communication in building therapeutic relationships and gathering diagnostic information. Join us in leading the future of patient care across the continuum, whether in emergencies or as a regular practice tool.

Telehealth Professional Development

The CDHI provides a Telehealth Certificate Program that offers training and professional education for healthcare providers. The program models an interdisciplinary team-based approach to care, and the curriculum covers a range of topics with elective modules that can be selected by the learner based on their area(s) of interest. The modules are developed and taught by UNH interprofessional TPC faculty and other experts in the field. The online courses combine a variety of learning modalities and are delivered asynchronously.

UNH Center for Digital Health Innovation facilitates virtual care and promotion of community engagement through a variety of programs, including those offered through the Speech Language Hearting Center, USDA Distance and Telemedicine Program, and the UNH ECHO Hub.


The Speech-Language-Hearing Center (SLHC) offers evaluations and interventions to individuals within the community. Under the supervision of faculty, graduate students in the Communication Sciences and Disorders program can gain clinical experience in a variety of settings, including telepractice. Learn more about the Speech-Language-Hearing Center.

Speare Memorial Hospital Telehealth Experience

Two years ago, a partnership emerged between the Communication Sciences and Disorders' (CSD) program and Speare Memorial Hospital in Plymouth, NH to serve their community’s need for a speech-language pathologist and offer students an enriching clinical experience. The partnership was developed to provide telehealth swallow assessments to their patients conducted by CSD students and Keri Miloro, Clinical Assistant Professor in CSD and a speech-language pathologist who specializes in the management of swallow disorders in adults. The partnership has resulted in helping serve patients in a rural area of New Hampshire by harnessing digital technology and presenting students with a high-impact and interprofessional education and learning opportunities. The success and effectiveness of UNH and Speare’s partnership provide potential for future connections with other New Hampshire facilities in similar need.

Project ECHO

UNH is a Project ECHO® Hub led by the NH Citizens Health Initiative, a program of the UNH Institute for Health Policy and Practice. The UNH ECHO Hub launched in 2018 with the goal of sharing knowledge and increasing expertise throughout New Hampshire communities. Since then, the UNH Project ECHO Hub has launched a variety of ECHO programs on a range of topics and has expanded our reach to northern New England and nationally.

Additional Resources:


The Center for Digital Health Innovation received the US Department of Agriculture Rural Distance and Learning Telemedicine grant in 2018. Funds were used to increase New Hampshire’s access to medical care and capacity to serve rural and underserved populations through telehealth equipment. Additionally, the grant provided funding for equipment to rural partners in order to make distance learning possible for UNH students. The communities partnering with CDHI include the Family Resource Center in Gorham, NH, Mid-State Health Center in Bristol and Plymouth, NH, and the North Country Health Consortium. It is estimated that 86,000 rural residents were served by this funding.

Strengthening NH’s rural Jails and Recovery Network

CDHI received another USDA Distance and Learning Telemedicine grant in 2020 to help meet the complex needs of residents in (MISSING END OF SENTENCE HERE). As individuals transition from the institution back into the community, finding the resources to maintain treatment and healthily reunite with families can be extremely challenging. This is especially difficult for those in rural communities. Through this project the University of New Hampshire College of Health and Human Services (UNH CHHS) Center for Digital Health Innovation supported: Sullivan County Department of Corrections; Merrimack County Department of Corrections; The Center for Recovery Resources in Claremont, NH; SOS Recovery Community Organization in Somersworth, NH; the North Country Serenity Center, Littleton, NH created a stronger system of connectivity among these organizations through the purchase and installation of needed technologies for distance health and student involvement. Over 80,000 rural residents have been served by this project.

Scholarship within the Center for Digital Health Innovation focuses on developing evidence-based practices and healthcare management in the digital health arena. This includes the study of human skill and interaction as well as information technologies and devices that are used to share information.

Marcy Ainslie, EdD, APRN, FNP-BC, Department of Nursing
Dr. Ainslie is an Assistant Professor in Nursing and Family Nurse Practitioner. Dr. Ainslie has been researching the implementation of telehealth to better prepare the next generation of healthcare providers. Her research has explored the utilization of telehealth in education, the influence and perspective of the provider using telehealth in clinical practice, and the impact on continuity of care for patients. The triangulation of data from multiple perspectives optimizes the integration of technology and informatics training in the family nurse practitioner program.

  • Ainslie, M., Corvini, M., & Chadbourne, J. (2023). Assumptions, Perceptions, and Experiences of Behavioral Health Providers Using Telemedicine: Qualitative Study. JMIR Formative Research, 7(1), e48232.
  • Ainslie, M., Brunette, M. F., & Capozzoli, M. (2022). Treatment interruptions and telemedicine utilization in serious mental illness: Retrospective longitudinal claims analysis. JMIR mental health, 9(3), e33092.
  • Ainslie, M., & Bragdon, C. (2018). Telemedicine simulation in online family nurse practitioner education: Clinical competency and technology integration. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 30(8), 430-434.

Sajay Arthanat, Department of Occupational Therapy
Dr. Arthanat’s research is focused on examining and optimizing the interaction of individuals with disabilities and the aging with assistive and mainstream technology.

Sarah Smith, DSc, OTR/L, Department of Occupational Therapy
Dr. Smith is an associate professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy. Dr. Smith is a pediatric occupational therapist with over 25 years’ experience and she is the director of the Healthy Families Research Program. Dr. Smith conducts telehealth research examining the effect of the Healthy Families Flourish Program she developed which is a 10-session telehealth coaching intervention for parents of children with special health care needs. The program is designed to support a family’s ability to participate in everyday activities such as having a meal, playing, or going on community outings. Dr. Smith publishes and presents nationally on her telehealth research.

Chad Killian
Chad Killian’s scholarly thinking revolves mainly around conceptualizing physical education as a primary venue for the promotion of positive behavior change in school-aged youth. His research specifically explores innovative ways to expand and enhance school-based physical activity opportunities through the use of digital technologies. He has expertise in the ecological factors associated with the design, adoption, and use of these technologies across face-to-face, hybrid, and fully-remote school contexts. His current focus is on the continued development of myPE — a web-based online physical education platform created as a flexible tool for virtual school-based health promotion and designed to help students navigate the identification of personally meaningful, sustainable physical activities.

Visit our "people" page to learn more about research in the this area.