Haptics · Human-Computer Interaction · Multimodality · sonification · Thesis defense

Recently attended Emma Frid’s thesis defense at KTH!

Disputationsbild_Emma

On Friday, January 10, I attended Emma Frid’s thesis defense at KTH. Emma and I collaborated in a research project a few years ago, and one of the major outcomes was this open access article presenting the results of an experiment with a multimodal interface including both haptic feedback and two different sonification models. Emma’s thesis work relates heavily to the research field of Sound and Music Computing (also the name of a sub-group at the department of Media technology and Interaction Design at KTH where I worked for more than a decade), and focuses specifically on (accessible) digital music instruments and interfaces. The main research question is “How can music interfaces be designed for inclusion?”. The thesis “Diverse Sounds – Enabling Inclusive Sonic Interaction” can be found here. The main supervisor was professor Roberto Bresin and co-supervisor was professor Eva-Lotta Sallnäs Pysander. Both of them work at the department of Media technology and Interaction Design at KTH. The opponent was Reader Andrew McPherson from the school of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at Queen Mary University of London. The examination committee consisted of senior researcher Elaine Chew from the French National Centre for Scientific Research and the Music Representations Team at the Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music, professor Rolf Inge Godøy from the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time and Motion at University of Oslo, associate professor Dan Overholt from the department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology at Aalborg University and professor Henrik Frisk from the department of Composition, Conducting and Music Theory at Royal College of Music in Stockholm.

After the introduction by associate professor Madeline Balaam, who chaired the event, the opponent held a presentation about Emma’s thesis for about 45 minutes. It was a very good presentation and it was interesting to listen to his interpretation of the work performed. He concluded his presentation by discussing the nine properties that according to Emma should be considered when designing accessible digital music instruments; expressiveness, playability, longevity, customizability, pleasure, sonic quality, robustness, multimodality and causality (see the thesis for a thorough coverage of these properties and the work that gave rise to them). After a short break the opponent, and later on the members of the committee, asked question that formed a good foundation for interesting discussions about the thesis work.

I think Emma did a really good job answering the questions and discussing her work. She elaborated a lot on the themes that were brought up to discussion and it was very clear that she knows a lot about this research field. She was also calm during the entire process and even helped out when the opponent and committee members e.g. needed headsets and/or microphones. One thing that was special about this defense is that the opponent, as well as all members of the grading committee, began their round of questions by congratulating Emma on the excellent job that she has performed! I have not seen that during other defenses I have attended. The defense was rounded off by a very long applaud – it was almost as if the audience expected some kind of extra performance on stage.  🙂

conference · DOME · eHealth · Medical Records Online · National patient survey · Pedagogy

Got three conference contributions accepted this week!

Swans

I just ended this year’s last week at Örebro University and it was quite an interesting week when it comes to research output – three conference contributions were accepted! Early Tuesday morning I got a notification from the International Technology, Education and Development Conference (INTED) that an abstract that I wrote with Pernilla Josefsson was accepted. The title of the abstract is “COMMUNICATION PATTERNS AMONG STUDENTS AND TEACHERS WHEN USING FACEBOOK IN A UNIVERSITY COURSE” and it focuses on experiences from using a teacher-administrated Facebook group in a university course in human-computer interaction. An accepted abstract means that an oral presentation during the conference is guaranteed. It also means that the authors get the possibility to write a full paper and I spent some time during the week to write a draft. Unfortunately, the deadline for submitting a paper is January 9th, so the time is very limited and I definitely need some days off work now. Anyway, I’m very happy about being able to visit my first international pedagogical conference!

Two days after the good news from INTED, I got notifications from the Medical Informatics Europe conference (MIE) that both my submitted full papers were accepted! The first one, which I wrote together with Hanife Rexhepi from the University of Skövde has the title “The Effect of Patient Accessible Electronic Health Records on Communication and Involvement in Care – a National Patient Survey in Sweden” and is based on results from the national patient survey which I have written about many times before on this blog. The other paper, which I wrote together with Åsa Cajander from Uppsala University has the title “On Patient Accessible Electronic Health Records and the Experienced Effect on the Work Environment of Nurses” and is based on results from interviews with physicians and nurses at Uppsala University Hospital. We now have around two weeks (until January 7th) to update the papers in response to the reviewers’ comments.

I’m quite excited about getting the above conference contributions accepted since that means a 100% hit rate on conference abstracts/papers (INTED and MIE), journal articles (Health Informatics Journal) and funding applications (Vinnova) since I started working as an assistant professor at Örebro University. Let’s see how long this lasts!

(I used one of my own nature pictures, taken at my countryside, as the blog image)

communication · Grant application · Group work · Haptics · Multimodality

Got funding from Vinnova!

Vinnova_funded

A few months ago I wrote in this blog post that a funding application, where I represented Örebro University as one of the co-applicants, had been submitted to Vinnova (Sweden’s government agency for innovation). And guess what, the project got funded! The name of the project is “Virtual environments supporting group work between sighted and visually impaired pupils”, and as the name suggests we will work closely with visually impaired and sighted pupils (as well as teachers) to develop new virtual learning environments that support collaboration a lot better than today’s special equipment used by visually impaired pupils in schools. My former supervisor at the Royal Institute of Technology, Eva-Lotta Sallnäs Pysander is the project leader and Örebro University, Axess Lab (a company division focusing on digital accessibility from numerous perspectives), The Swedish Association of the Visually Impaired and The National Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools (SPSM) are the other project partners. I will introduce the other project members and write more about the project as soon as press releases have been published by the Royal Institute of Technology and Örebro University.

This project is very special to me for several reasons. First and foremost, this is the very first time I have been contributing extensively to a project application that has resulted in external funding. Writing these kinds of applications requires a lot of work and collaboration between researchers and other stakeholders and it feels great when the efforts finally pay off! I’m also very happy about that I’m now able to focus more on the research field “IT and learning” again. It was quite a while ago that I worked on multimodal learning environments. The research area is really important and I’m glad that Vinnova has acknowledged that. Another reason why this project is special to me is that I started to work on the application shortly after I had started working as an assistant professor at Örebro University – one of the very first things I did within the scope of my new position actually resulted in external research funding! I think this is a very good start for me and I’m really excited about this new project.

If you want to read a short summary of the project, you can visit this page where Vinnova has published some short descriptions about the purpose, approach and expected results. I will write more in a later blog post as soon as I have some university press releases to link to. So stay tuned!  🙂

 

conference · eHealth · Medical applications · Medical Records Online · National information structure

Some reflections on this year’s national eHealth day, part 1

Earlier this week I attended this year’s version of the national eHealth day in Stockholm. It was a really inspiring day with many interesting talks. I’m very happy that I decided to join the event. In this post I will just give some comments on the overall organization and in later posts I will dig deeper into some specific topics that were covered during the day.

Quite a few topics were handled during the different sessions and a common focus was the national vision for eHealth 2025, “In 2025, Sweden will be best in the world at using the opportunities offered by digitisation and eHealth to make it easier for people to achieve good and equal health and welfare, and to develop and strengthen their own resources for increased independence and participation in the life of society.” There were 12 presentations in total and some of the presentations also transitioned into panels. You can find the entire schedule as well as recordings of the different sessions here.

The day started out with general introductions about the state of eHealth development in some key areas in Sweden. The consensus seems to be that we have come a long way, but we can get even better when it comes to for example infrastructure on the national level and collaboration between all relevant stakeholders. Examples of eHealth initiatives that were brought up were: the national medication list, the continuous development of the national eHealth portal 1177 (intended to be the first contact point with care in a not so distant future) and an upcoming national digital vaccination register (about time!).

During most of the day after the introductory presentations some specific areas, where eHealth development has had a large impact, were discussed. Examples of areas were the Swedish social services, self-care, monitoring of patients in their homes and doctor’s visits online. It is very clear that eHealth development has had major effects on these areas both when it comes to need for infrastructure and changes of work processes.

Some topics on a more general level were also discussed, like for example data protection, standards for interoperability and international initiatives on the EU level. I found the discussion on international initiatives extra interesting – some countries have already implemented cross-country medication lists and health record summaries, and Sweden will join quite soon! I will write more about this in a separate post.

I think the overall organization was great, even though the audience could have been involved more (the interaction with the audience mainly consisted of two mentimeter questions). Both the coffee breaks and the lunch were all vegan and there was also an exhibition as well as network activities (moderated by an app!) during all breaks. I especially enjoyed a booth where good examples of eHealth implementations in Sweden were showcased through short videos.

DOME · eHealth · Medical Records Online

Just submitted an abstract to a Frontiers research topic!

Frontiers_AbstractSubmit

Today was the last day to submit abstracts to the Frontiers research topic “Personalized Digital Health and Patient-centric Services”, which I introduced in this blog post. Earlier today I submitted an abstract for a theoretically oriented article on the use of patient accessible electronic health records that I will write together with some of my colleagues in the DOME consortium. Since there will be a rigorous review process I will not give any more details about it here and now.

The fact is that I will drive the work with yet another article that will be submitted to the same research topic and I will also be a co-author on a third one. Unfortunately, there was not enough time to submit abstracts for these (abstract submission is not mandatory). All articles focus on different aspects of patient accessible electronic health records. Obviously, there will be a lot of writing this upcoming spring!

The important deadline to remember is March 31st, when manuscripts should be submitted to the research topic. I think this is a very good opportunity for those who conduct eHealth research that fits the topic – and you still have about four months to write a manuscript! See the blog post linked above for some more details and a link to the submission site.

communication · conference · Pedagogy · Social media in higher education

Time to engage more in pedagogical research!

These last couple of weeks I have been working on different pedagogical papers together with my colleague Pernilla Josefsson from Södertörn University. The first concrete research outcome from the work is a conference paper which was submitted to a pedagogical conference last Thursday.

The paper focuses on the results of a study performed within the scope of the pedagogical project course, introduced here, that I took during my time as a postdoc researcher at Uppsala University. The study focused on how a teacher-administrated Facebook group could be used as a complementary communication channel in one of my own courses. I will write more about this in case the paper is accepted.

We have also worked on a journal paper about the study on the use of Twitter in one of my courses in communication at KTH, which I have mentioned in several earlier blog posts. We will most probably be able to submit the manuscript to a pedagogical journal within the next couple of weeks. When published, this will most definitely be my largest contribution to pedagogical research to date!

We also plan to submit a pedagogical conference paper about research on the use of social media in higher education courses (theoretical paper, including some concrete examples). An additional conference paper based on data from the above mentioned Twitter study will also be submitted to a conference later in spring 2020.

The research contributions mentioned above focus mostly on data which has already been gathered. I don’t think we can do much more with this earlier data, so it’s about time that we start looking for opportunities for gathering of new data. One possible option would be to conduct a new study on the use of Twitter or Facebook groups within the scope of a course in interaction design which I will lead at Örebro University during May and June 2020. I will write more about this possibility, as well as other possibilities for pedagogical research on course development and design, when I introduce the course in a later blog post.

conference · DOME · eHealth · Grant application · Medical Records Online · Vitalis

New DOME conference and a visit from University of Iowa!

Last Thursday evening I returned home to Stockholm after some very rewarding days at University of Skövde, where we had this fall’s DOME conference. Before travelling to Skövde Tuesday morning, I also spent a day at Uppsala University where I met Carolyn Turvey from the department of psychiatry at the University of Iowa. Carolyn has, like the researchers in DOME, a research focus on eHealth and patient portals. Thus, this has been a week with a heavy focus on eHealth research in different contexts. There is a lot to say about what was going on during these days so I will just bring up some general points here and then focus on different parts in later blog posts.

During the Monday, Carolyn came to the department of Information Technology at Uppsala University to meet me and another colleague (visiting researcher) from the same research group – Magdelena Stadin. When it comes to eHealth and patient portals, Carolyn’s focus is on the My HealtheVet portal for the Veteran Affairs in the United States. The original idea was that I should meet Carolyn only during the morning, but because of different unforeseen events we spent the entire day together discussing different projects and implementations of patient portals. It was very interesting to discuss Sweden’s version of the patient accessible electronic health record and compare it with My HealtheVet. The basic ideas behind these systems are similar – that patients should be able to access e.g. visit notes, test results and medication lists online – but the implementations are totally different! I will write more about this in a later blog post. During the last hour at Uppsala University Carolyn held an interesting guest presentation, about an evaluation of My HealtheVet, which some other members of my former department joined.

During the Tuesday and Wednesday, the DOME researchers gathered for this fall’s two-day conference. Rose-Mharie Åhlfeldt hosted the conference at the University of Skövde. Unfortunately, Carolyn and I were the only researchers who could actually travel to the university and be present during both days. Several others, however, joined us via Zoom. The first day started with lunch, after which Carolyn held a short presentation about her work with My HealtheVet. Her presentation was, once again, very appreciated and it is clear that we have many shared research interests! I will write more about these in other blog posts. During the rest of the afternoon Maria Hägglund led a discussion about a new research grant application to NordForsk which we will write during the fall, together with partners from other Nordic countries (Norway and Finland, among others). The focus will of course be on different aspects of patient portals. We came up with several interesting ideas for future research in the area so I think we will end up with a strong application! We ended the day by going to dinner at a very interesting restaurant where you order everything on your phone!

During Wednesday morning, after some additional discussions about the NordForsk application, I held a presentation where I showed some results from the large inteview/survey/observation study at Uppsala University Hospital. I will get back to that in a later blog post. You can also read about the survey study, on the effects of patient accessible electronic health records on the work of oncology professionals, in this blog post. During the rest of the time before lunch Isabella Scandurra led a discussion about next year’s DOME session at Vitalis. I think we ended up with a very interesting agenda, including some presentations, panels, some role play (of course!) and strategies for involving the audience. I will get back to this later on (you can read about an earlier DOME session at Vitalis here). This was the last point on this fall’s DOME conference agenda.

During the late Wednesday afternoon and most of the Thursday I met with another DOME colleague in Skövde – Hanife Rexhepi. Since she couldn’t attend the conference we decided to meet afterwards instead. We have a lot of things going on related to planned grant applications and ongoing work with several journal manuscripts. We had interesting discussions which, among other things, resulted in a version of a journal manuscript which I could submit to a journal the day after! During most of the time we took some longer walks in Skövde – a really nice town! During one of those walks I took the above blog image.