conference · Pedagogical development · Pedagogy

More conference papers coming up!

In my two latest blog posts I have written about conference papers that were presented at the Medical Informatics Europe (MIE) 2022 and subsequently published. MIE is not the only conference I have submitted papers to this year – three papers were also submitted to Frontiers In Education 2022 which will be held in Uppsala in October 8-11 this year. Two papers were accepted for presentation and publication and those will be published after the conference.

One of the papers, which I wrote together with my colleague Shang Gao, is titled “Awarding Bonus Points as a Motivator for Increased Engagement in Course Activities in a Theoretical System Development Course”. I led the work on this paper. It focuses on our efforts with implementing a gamification approach (bonus point awarding system) in the course “System development theory” which we have taught together during spring 2020 and spring 2021. When published, this will be my very first pedagogic article that focuses on gamification, but it will surely not be the last!

The other paper, which I wrote together with my colleague Ann-Sofie Hellberg is titled “An effective online learning for complex theoretical content: experience of Community of Inquiry”. Ann-Sofie led the work on this paper. It focuses on experiences with implementing a new theoretical course component, based on the Community of Inquiry, in a course in interaction design that we have been teaching on since spring 2020.

I’m really looking forward to come back to Uppsala to take part in the conference, and also to meet some colleagues from my time as a postdoc at Uppsala University. There is an “early bird” registration deadline on September 12 according to the web page, so it is still possible to register for a reduced fee in case you want to participate in the conference. I will write more about the conference and the above mentioned papers later on during the autumn.

eHealth · Medical Records Online · NORDeHEALTH

New conference paper on minor and parental access to electronic health records in four countries

As I wrote in my previous blog post, I was one of the co-authors of two papers that were submitted to and accepted by the Medical Informatics Europe 2022 conference. This blog post is about the second paper, with the title “Minor and Parental Access to Electronic Health Records: Differences Across Four Countries”. This paper is also based on results from the socio-technical analysis of patient accessible electronic health records (PAEHRs) in the four different countries Estonia, Finland, Norway and Sweden that was performed within the NordForsk-funded eHealth project NORDeHEALTH. Josefin Hagström, a doctoral student from Uppsala University focusing on PAEHR access for children and adolescents as well as their care givers (proxy access), was the main author and the other co-authors were Isabella Scandurra, Charlotte Blease, Barbara Haage, Iiris Hörhammer and Maria Hägglund.

Also in this case we did a cross-country comparison between the four countries, but for this paper the focus was on differences and similarities regarding access policies for children, adolescents and parents. We could identify many differences between the compared countries regarding for example at what age adolescents gain access to their PAEHR and for how many years (counted from a child’s birth) the parents have automatic proxy access to the child’s PAEHR. If we take Sweden as an example, we have quite a complicated situation regarding minor and parental access. Parents in Sweden have automatic proxy access to a child’s PAEHR until the child turn 13. The child then gets automatic access to his/her PAEHR from the age of 16. There is a gap here (13-16) where no one gets (automatic) access to the PAEHR. Both the adolescent and the parents can apply for access during this period, though. The implications of this, as well as of the corresponding policies in the other compared countries, are further discussed in the paper.

This paper has also been published Open Access and can be accessed here.

And here is the abstract:

An increasing number of countries are implementing patient access to electronic health records (EHR). However, EHR access for parents, children and adolescents presents ethical challenges of data integrity, and regulations vary across providers, regions, and countries. In the present study, we compare EHR access policy for parents, children and adolescents in four countries. Documentation from three areas: upper age limit of minors for which parents have access; age at which minors obtain access; and possibilities of access restriction and extension was collected from Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Estonia. Results showed that while all systems provided parents with automatic proxy access, age limits for its expiry differed. Furthermore, a lower minimum age than 18 for adolescent access was present in two of four countries. Differences between countries and potential implications for adolescents are discussed. We conclude that experiences of various approaches should be explored to promote the development of EHR regulations for parents, children and adolescents that increases safety, quality, and equality of care.

conference · DOME · eHealth · Medical Records Online · NORDeHEALTH

New conference paper on psychiatric records online in four countries

During late autumn 2021 and spring 2022 I collaborated with colleagues from the NORDeHEALTH project in writing two conference papers to the Medical Informatics Europe 2022 conference. Both papers were based on a socio-technical analysis of patient accessible electronic health records (PAEHRs) that was performed within the scope of the work package “National socio-technical contexts and policies” that Isabella Scandurra and I are co-leading. Both papers were accepted and presented at the conference in May and this blog post concerns the one focusing on psychiatric records online. The title of the paper is “Patients’ Access to Their Psychiatric Records – A Comparison of Four Countries”.

In the paper we are doing a cross-country comparison between Sweden, Finland, Norway and Estonia (the countries that are represented in the NORDeHEALTH project), focusing on differences and similarities in what clinical information is shared in the PAEHR regarding psychiatric conditions. We found many similarities, but also some important differences regarding for example the type of notes shared in the different countries. Annika Bärkås, a doctoral student from Uppsala University focusing on patients’ access to mental health records, was the main author and the other co-authors were Maria Hägglund, Åsa Cajander, Hanife Rexhepi, Iiris Hörhammer, Charlotte Blease and Isabella Scandurra.

The paper was published Open Access (this is the case for all papers from this particular conference) and can be found here.

Here is the abstract:

Several Nordic and Baltic countries are forerunners in the digitalization of patient eHealth services and have since long implemented psychiatric records as parts of the eHealth services. There are country-specific differences in what clinical information is offered to patients concerning their online patient accessible psychiatric records. This study explores national differences in Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Estonia in patient access to their psychiatric records. Data was collected through a socio-technical data collection template developed during a workshop series and then analyzed in a cross-country comparison focusing on items related to psychiatry records online. The results show that psychiatric records online are offered to patients in all four countries, and provide the same functionality and similar psychiatry information. Overall, the conclusion is that experiences of various functionalities should be scrutinized to promote transparency of psychiatric records as part of the national eHealth services to increase equality of care and patient empowerment.

DOME · eHealth · Medical Records Online · NORDeHEALTH

International survey on experiences with patient accessible electronic health records

Today (January 24, 2022), an international survey was launched in Sweden, Finland, Norway and Estonia. Some of you may already have seen this press release about it from Örebro University that was published last week. The survey, that focuses on attitudes towards and experiences with patient accessible electronic health records (PAEHRs), is a part of the NordForsk-funded project NORDeHEALTH which I introduced in an earlier post. Citizens in the participating countries can access the survey by logging in to the respective national patient portal (the blog image above shows how it looked when I just logged in to the Swedish system, “Journalen”). The results will not only tell us about the citizens’ experiences with the PAEHR system in each respective country, but also enable us to do comparisons between the countries. During the last part of the NORDeHEALTH project we will, through a user-centered design process, prototype new eHealth services for patients – the results from the international survey will surely provide very valuable input to that work. So, please participate in the survey if you have the possibility.

If you want to know more about NORDeHEALTH, you can watch the short video below where some of my colleagues from Sweden, Finland, Norway and Estonia describe what the project is about and why it’s important.

DOME · eHealth · Medical Records Online · National patient survey

New article published about patients’ preferred ways of receiving bad health news in an era of digital health

As I wrote in this blog post, a conference paper that was submitted to and presented at the The International Symposium for Health Information Management Research (ISHIMR 2020) was selected for publication in Health Informatics Journal. The journal version was recently published with the open access option and is available here! The title of the publication is “Do you want to receive bad news through your patient accessible electronic health record? A national survey on receiving bad news in an era of digital health”. My colleague Hanife Rexhepi from University of Skövde is the main author and the co-authors are, aside from me, Isto Huvila from Uppsala University and Rose-Mharie Åhlfeldt from University of Skövde. All of us are members of the DOME consortium and the NORDeHEALTH project.

The study presented in the article focuses on results from two questions in a large Swedish patient survey on patients’ attitudes towards and experiences with the patient accessible electronic health record service Journalen. The questions in focus were: “How do you receive bad news about your health from your health care provider?” and “How would you want to receive bad news about your health?” The response options were (short versions): “Phone”, “During visit”, “Physical letter”, “Journalen”, “Other”. The results were quite interesting, especially when it comes to the proportion of patients who received bad news by reading about them in Journalen (~2.0%) compared with the proportion of patients who want to receive bad news by reading about them in Journalen (~17.7%). There is a big difference here, even though the majority still wants to receive bad news via phone or during a visit. It is important to note here that patients who get notified about bad health news through Journalen have not yet discussed the results with e.g. a physician.

Even though healthcare professionals generally have a more positive attitude towards Journalen nowadays, physicians, especially within oncology, worry about patients finding out about bad health news on their own through this e-service. This is interesting to relate to the findings from the newly published study. We are definitely living in an era of digital health, and maybe this has changed, and will continue to change, how we want to receive bad news about our health.

Earlier today, a Swedish news article as well as a press release about the study was published by Örebro University. You can find the news article here.

I also want to mention the following article that was published in the same special issue in Health Informatics Journal (Hanife is first author even on this one, and Isto and Rose-Mharie co-authors!):

Here is the abstract of our newly published study:

Despite the fact that patient accessible electronic health records (PAEHRs) have been around for many years in several countries, there is a lack of research investigating patient’s preferences for receiving bad news, including through PAEHRs. Little is also known about the characteristics of the patients who prefer to receive bad news through the PAEHR in terms of, for example medical diagnosis, age and educational level. This study, based on a national patient survey in Sweden (N = 2587), investigated this. Results show that, generally, receiving bad news by reading in the PAEHR is still among the least preferred options. Additionally, a higher proportion of men want to receive bad news in the PAEHR compared to women (p = 0.001), and the same goes for those who are not working/have worked in healthcare (p = 0.007). An effect of disease groups was also found, showing that diabetes patients in particular, want to receive bad news through the PAEHR.

eHealth · Haptics · Medical Records Online · Multimodality · Pedagogy

Publications from the first half of my assistant professorship at Örebro University

In my previous three blog posts I have written about my research on 1) eHealth services for patients, 2) accessible digital collaborative learning environments and 3) teaching in higher education. This blog post collects the publications I have worked on in these areas during the last two years. Most of the articles are published with the open access option, meaning that you can read the entire articles by following the links in the lists below.

eHealth services for patients

Most of the publications from my first two years at Örebro University have focused on eHealth services for patients. The patient accessible electronic health record solution in Sweden, Journalen, has been the primary focus. These are the published journal articles that I have worked with in this area:

  • Huvila, I., Cajander, Å., Moll, J., Enwald, H., Eriksson-Backa, K., and Rexhepi, H. (2021). Technological and informational frames: explaining age-related variation in the use of patient accessible electronic health records as technology and information. Information Technology & People. DOI: 10.1108/ITP-08-2020-0566. [Link to open access publication]. This article is one of many articles that is based on a national patient survey where patients were asked questions about their attitudes towards and use of Journalen. See this blog post for more info on this publication.
  • Moll, J., and Cajander, Å. (2020). Oncology health-care professionals’ perceived effects of patient accessible electronic health records 6 years after launch: A survey study at a major university hospital in Sweden. Health Informatics Journal (Vol 26, No 2). pp: 1392-1403. [Link to open access publication]. This article was also based on a survey, but this time around the respondents were physicians and nurses with a specialization in oncology. See this blog post for more info on this publication.
  • Nurgalieva, L., Cajander, Å., Moll, J., Åhlfeldt, R-M., Huvila, I., and Marchese, M. (2020). ‘I do not share it with others. No, it’s for me, it’s my care’: On sharing of patient accessible electronic health records. Health Informatics Journal. DOI: 10.1177/1460458220912559. [Link to open access publication]. This article was also based on the national patient survey, as well as interviews with cancer patients. I realize now that I never wrote any blog post about this specific publication. I will write such a post later on during this autumn.
  • Rexhepi, H., Moll, J., and Huvila, I. (2020). Online electronic healthcare records: Comparing the views of cancer patients and others. Health Informatics Journal. DOI: 1460458220944727. [Link to open access publication]. In this article, which was also based on results from the national patient survey, we looked specifically at differences between answers from cancer patients and the other respondents. See this blog post for more info on this publication.

The following conference papers were also produced during the period:

  • Moll, J., and Cajander, Å. (2020). On Patient Accessible Electronic Health Records and the Experienced Effect on the Work Environment of Nurses. Studies in Health Technology and Inforamtics (Vol. 270). pp. 1021-1025. [Link to open access publication]. This paper is based on preliminary results from a large interview study with oncology healthcare professionals. I have not written any blog post about this publication, but I will do that later on this autumn.
  • Moll, J., and Rexhepi, H. (2020). The Effect of Patient Accessible Electronic Health Records on Communication and Involvement in Care-A National Patient Survey in Sweden. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics (Vol. 270). pp. 1056-1060. [Link to open access publication]. This paper is also based on the results from the national patient survey. Even in this case, I will write a separate blog post later during the autumn.
  • Rexhepi, H., Moll, J., Huvila, I., and Åhlfeldt, RM. (2020). Do you want to receive bad news through your patient accessible electronic health record? A national survey on receiving bad news in an era of digital health. Proceedings of the Eighteenth International Symposium for Health Information Management Research (Kalmar, Sweden, September 17-18). pp. 169-178. This one is also based on results from the national patient survey and was among the highest rated papers after the review rounds. As a result, we were provided the possibility to get our contribution published in a special issue of Health Informatics Journal. I will write a separate blog post about that article, which was published last week.

Accessible digital collaborative learning environments

This heading is listed here mostly for completeness. The Vinnova project I have written about many times before has led to many interesting ideas for publications, and work has started on some of them. We are still on the manuscript stages, so none of these have been published yet. An article based on a project from my last year at the Royal Institute of Technology was however published during autumn 2019 (no learning environment in focus, but combinations of visual, haptic and audio feedback still played important roles):

  • Frid, E., Moll, J., Bresin, R., & Pysander, E. L. S. (2019). Haptic feedback combined with movement sonification using a friction sound improves task performance in a virtual throwing task. Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces, 13(4), 279-290. [Link to open access publication].

Teaching in higher education

I still don’t have any journal articles related to this area, but I do have some conference papers. Quite a few journal articles related to this area of research are however planned for the second half of my assistant professorship. Some of the conference contributions were published during these last two years:

  • Moll, J., and Josefsson, P. (2020). Communication patterns among students and teachers when using Facebook in a university course. Proceedings of the 14th annual International Technology, Education and Development Conference (INTED 2020) (Valencia, Spain, March 2020). This full paper is based on an analysis of the interaction among students and between students and teachers in a teacher-administrated Facebook group that I used in my course in interaction design at Uppsala University. See this blog post for more info on this publication.
  • Wistrand, K., Moll, J., Hatakka, M. and Andersson, A. (2020). Improving Writing Skills Among Information Systems Students: Guidelines for Incorporating Communication Components in Higher Education. Proceedings of the 2020 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE 2020), (Uppsala, Sweden, October 21-24), IEEE. This full paper is based on an analysis of two different ways of introducing scientific writing components in higher education. This one will also get a dedicated blog post during the autumn.
Academic writing · communication · Distance work · Pedagogical development · Pedagogy · Teaching

Looking back at the first two years of research at Örebro University, part 3: teaching in higher education

This is the last one of my research posts in my blog series about the first half of my assistant professorship at Örebro University. This post focuses on pedagogical research and the earlier ones were about my research on eHealth services for patients and accessible digital collaborative learning environments, respectively. My next blog post will focus on publications from the last two years.

I have always been interested in conducting research based on my own teaching experiences – it forces me to reflect thoroughly on how I conduct my teaching, and it also enables me to make theoretically grounded improvements to my teaching. I have mainly conducted pedagogical research within three different areas during my time at Örebro University:

  • Scientific writing in higher education
  • Virtual teams in interaction design
  • The effects of the Covid-19 on teaching

Scientific writing in higher education

Before I started to work at Örebro University, I led a communication course for first year computer science students at the Royal Institute of Technology for several years. One of the main aims of the course was to improve the students’ writing skills especially when it comes to scientific writing. The dedicated communication course was meant to prepare the students for upcoming writing tasks and especially the bachelor and master thesis reports. The main reason for developing the course in the first place was that the quality of the students’ writing was generally low and the students were never really taught how to write scientifically sound reports and essays. Giving a communication course in the beginning of the study program is not the only solution to this kind of problem, it is also possible to incorporate writing instruction and increasingly complex tasks in already existing courses. This solution, also commonly called Writing Across the Curriculum, was implemented at my current department at Örebro University just before I started working here. After realizing that we had two different solutions to a very similar problem – we need to find means of helping our students to be better writers – I started up a new research collaboration with my colleagues Kai Wistrand, Annika Andersson and Mathias Hatakka who were very much involved in the WAC initiative at Örebro University. We used constructive alignment and curriculum theory to compare our two different cases (dedicated course and WAC) and developed a set of guidelines that other universities can get inspiration from. I will link to the resulting conference paper in my next blog post, which collects all publications that I have worked on during these last two years.

During spring 2021, I continued working with Kai in this area. We are now conducting a literature review where we, among other things, look deeper into theoretical concepts related to scientific writing (like e.g. critical thinking and lifelong learning) and models for pedagogical development in the area. It is super interesting to delve into this area and I have already learned a lot. Empirical material from e.g. interviews and texts will also be collected further on. One of the main aims of this research is to increase our understanding of what factors that contribute to high proficiency in scientific writing in higher education. The work will of course lead to scientific publications in the area, but hopefully also to concrete pedagogical development initiatives. I will of course write more about this interesting research when we have reached further in the process.

Virtual teams in interaction design

Yet another pedagogical research initiative was initiated during spring 2021. This time the research is mainly based on experiences from a course in interaction design that I have held online the last two spring terms. The course’s examiner Ann-Sofie Hellberg and I are investigating, among other things, how virtual teams can be used to successfully implement online versions of project based courses in which communication and collaboration in student groups are key components. We are currently analyzing a large sample of scientific articles that were gathered during an initial literature review. The material will be used as a theoretical ground for future publications in the area. I will get back to this when we have some clear results.

The idea to start studying virtual teams in depth actually came from a popular science book chapter that Ann-Sofie and I wrote last year. The book chapter was partly based on results from a survey that we handed out to students that took the 2020 version of the interaction design course, and we used the concept of virtual teams as a theoretical base when discussing own experiences from the course and the results from the survey. I will write more about the survey and the book chapter later on.

The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on teaching

During spring 2020 I took the lead on a department-wide initiative to study the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on our teaching at all levels. We collected several proposals for possible research angles regarding for example examinations and online seminars. Some articles, and even book chapters, have already been written and published and soon work will commence on journal articles looking back at the whole period of distance education from different angles. I’m really looking forward to our continued work in this area!

Grant application · Group work · Haptics

Looking back at the first two years of research at Örebro University, part 2: accessible digital collaborative learning environments

This research area is related to my first success when it comes to research grant applications. As I have mentioned in an earlier blog post I drafted a Vinnova application for their call “Digital tools” during my first weeks at Örebro University. The first sentences on that application were actually written during my very first day at the university! The application was entitled “Virtual environments supporting group work between sighted and visually impaired pupils” and focused on designing and evaluating new digital learning environments partly based on the results from observations and interviews with both pupils and teachers during the first part of the project.

This is a perfect continuation of my earlier work within the area – my entire doctoral project was focused on designing and evaluating collaborative virtual environments based on combinations of visual, haptic and auditory feedback. You could say that my research career started here. This article summarizes my earlier work in this area, which included design and evaluation of new learning environments in which sighted and visually impaired pupils could work together to solve tasks related to geometry and the concepts of area and volume. The new learning environments were then evaluated in different elementary schools. You can read more about this earlier study in this blog post. When working with this study I also came into contact with the concept of haptic feedback for the first time and since then I have developed and evaluated several haptic applications that provide feedback to your sense of touch through special hardware. You can read more in my blog series on haptic interaction design.

The Vinnova application was handed in around a month after I started at Örebro University and after a few months of waiting, Vinnova sent us the accept message! I wrote this blog post, where I introduced the project partners, shortly after Vinnova made their decision public. I have really enjoyed working in this project, which is the result of my first ever accepted research grant application (co-applicant). As I write in this blog post we have experienced some problems due to the pandemic (e.g. observations in schools could not be carried out and all interviews needed to be carried out online), but the project was mostly a success. The blog image above actually shows my work set-up at my country side, where I was carrying out all my parts of the project.

My main responsibility in the project was to design and implement one of the project’s new digital collaborative learning environments. My application focused on the coordinate system concept and should be used to teach pupils about for example points and the equation of straight lines. The visual part was not that hard, but the haptic implementation was a real challenge. Let’s take the straight line as an example – how would you design the line so that it is clearly felt and possible to follow while at the same time making sure that it does not interfere too much with the exploration of the coordinate system? Keep in mind that severely visually impaired pupils should be able to use the application. It took several iterations before I ended up with the slightly magnetic line that was used in the final application. I will write more about the many interesting technical aspects in a later blog post, where I will also write about how I worked remotely with my KTH colleague Kjetil Falkenberg to synchronize his sound model with my visual and haptic model. I wasn’t the only one developing applications in the project – my former KTH colleague Jonas Forsslund (now Forsslund Systems AB and Haptikfabriken AB) developed another application based on exploration of maps. Also based on this application we had many interesting design-related discussions about the haptic and audio designs. I will come back to some of those later on as well.

After several iterations of development and user testing with users we ended up with two applications that I think we should be very happy with, especially since the whole idea with the Vinnova call was to develop prototypes and/or proof-of-concepts (not applications that are ready for implementation). I will describe the applications more thoroughly when the first results are about to be published. One risk with Vinnova projects is that they are often a lot more focused on development than on research, but in this case we have plenty of material from the design process and the interviews that we can publish and/or use as a basis for future research. This concerns for example interesting design dilemmas, the overall design process and support for collaboration between visually impaired and sighted pupils in general. All project partners are very interested in continuing to collaborate and I’m quite sure that this Vinnova project will not be the last externally funded project we will be engaged in. This time around, we did not include any colleagues from Örebro University, but I have every intention to include more of my colleagues in future projects in this area.

As I have written earlier, I recently bought new haptic devices to be used in research at my department. I’m still at my countryside due to the pandemic, but as soon as I get back to my office it is time to start discussions on how we can make use of the haptic dimension in our future research!  🙂

DOME · eHealth · Grant application · Medical Records Online · NORDeHEALTH

Looking back at the first two years of research at Örebro University, part 1: eHealth services for patients

In my last blog post I began my summary of the first half of my assistant professorship at Örebro University. In this blog post I will write more about the research part. During these last two years I have conducted research within these three different areas:

  • eHealth services for patients
  • accessible collaborative digital learning environments
  • teaching in higher education

My initial idea was to write one single blog post where I would summarize my research activities within all these areas, but I soon realized that the blog post would be too long. Instead, this post will focus on the first area, and the next two posts will focus on the second and third area, respectively.

eHealth services for patients

Just like I was before I started working at Örebro University, I have been a regular member of the DOME (Development of Online Medical records and E-health services) research consortium. This consortium gathers researchers from several Swedish universities and I have really enjoyed the collaboration with other DOME-researchers ever since I joined 2016. At the time I started up my assistant professorship, DOME was not externally funded (members were involved in e.g. Forte projects, but the consortium was not funded as a whole). During the first months at Örebro University I was one of many DOME researchers who wrote an application to NordForsk, in collaboration with partners from Finland, Norway, Estonia and USA. This was of course a great opportunity to fund the consortium as well as strengthening the collaboration with researchers in other countries who also focus on the implementation and effects of eHealth services for patients. The result of this hard work was the NordForsk-funded project NORDeHEALTH (Nordic eHealth for Patients: Benchmarking and Developing for the Future)! You can read more about the partners and the focus of the project in this blog post and of course on the official project webpage. The three-year project has now been running for around 8 months. Our project leader, Maria Hägglund from Uppsala University, leads management meetings each month, where most researchers participate, and we also have shorter informal “coffee and chat” sessions twice a month.

I really enjoy being a part of the NORDeHEALTH project and we have a really nice mix of researchers from several different disciplines! The only real down side up to this point is related to the pandemic – we have been working together for several months and we have still not gotten the opportunity to actually meet in person. Hopefully, we will be able to meet for the first time in December.

My responsibilities in the project are to lead the team at Örebro University and to co-lead the work package “WP 2 – National socio-technical contexts and policies” together with Isabella Scandurra. In this blog post you can read about the first months of work in our work package. We are currently working with collecting data related to the Swedish patient portal 1177 and the Swedish patient accessible electronic health record system Journalen. It will be very interesting to compare the results from the different countries later on during the autumn! Quite soon, large surveys will also be distributed in the participating Nordic countries and interview studies with both patients and healthcare professionals will be carried out. I will get back on this later on. There is no doubt that this project will play an important role when it comes to for example the understanding of the implementation and effects of eHealth services for patients, as well as future development of these kinds of services (at least) in the Nordic countries.

Before NORDeHEALTH started, I mostly worked with data from the large national patient survey that I have been writing about many times on this blog, and I was also part of a smaller research collaboration with my colleague Gunnar Klein and Region Örebro regarding the region’s implementation of video visits in primary care. Hopefully, new funding will come in making it possible to study both the implementation and initial effects of engaging in video visits, in depth. I would definitely welcome such a research project. I mentioned the successful research application above, but of course some unsuccessful ones were handed in as well. Four applications (one to the Swedish Research Council, one to AFA Insurances and two to Forte) were declined. Three of them were focusing on different aspects of patient accessible electronic health records and shared decision making and the fourth, to AFA Insurances, focused on how digital technology could be, and should be, used when relatives communicate with dying relatives without being able to meet in person. I assume that we will be making new rounds with the applications during this autumn and next year.

When it comes to conferences I have participated in both Vitalis and The International Symposium for Health Information Management Research (ISHIMR), which were both held online. You can read about my online Vitalis experience here and you can actually find the video presentation that Hanife Rexhepi and I used for the ISHIMR conference here.

Distance work · DOME · eHealth · Grant application · Haptics · NORDeHEALTH

Just reached half-time of my assistant professorship at Örebro University!

In the beginning of August 2019 I started off my work as an assistant professor in Informatics at Örebro University. The assistant professorship is a four year position, and towards the end you will, in most cases, be promoted to a senior lecturer or associate professor after an application procedure. Since I have now reached half-time, I think it’s reasonable to summarize what I have done this far and discuss what lies ahead.

Overall, I’m very happy with how the first two years played out when it comes to both research (~80%) and teaching (~20%), even though the pandemic posed some difficult challenges in both areas. I have gotten the opportunity to participate in some very interesting research collaborations. The funded Vinnova project I drafted the application for during the first weeks at the university ended just before summer 2021 and the collaboration that was built with the involved stakeholders was really fruitful. Representatives from both The Swedish Association of the Visually Impaired and The National Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools (SPSM) want to continue the collaborations and we are already looking for new funding opportunities in the area of accessible digital collaborative learning environments. The national and international collaborations in the NordForsk project NORDeHEALTH, which started up formally in January 2021, have also been fruitful and I look forward to another two years of research on personal eHealth services in the Nordic countries. Aside from working in externally funded projects, I also started up some internal collaborations, mostly related to pedagogical research. I will write more about the first two years of research, and the publications published, in my second and third posts about the first half of the assistant professorship.

The teaching has been more of a challenge than I expected when I stared working as an assistant professor two years ago. I know the courses, but being thrown into digital teaching mode made the teaching more difficult than ever before, especially since I have been course responsible for the courses I have been involved in (Interaction design and System development theory). Despite this, the courses worked really well and the students seemed to be happy with them. I will write more about these courses, and the challenges associated with digital teaching and examination, in my fourth and last blog post about the first two years of my assistant professorship.

I really hope, and also believe, that the second half will be just as rewarding as the first one. Hopefully, I will be able to start even more internal research collaborations, especially now when I have made sure that we have two brand new haptic devices at the department – this should open up several new research opportunities within, for example, the areas of digital learning environments and multimodal data exploration and analysis!