communication · conference · EIT Health · EIT

About a rather unexpected impact of this blog…

When I started blogging a little more than a year ago I was, of course, hoping that some people would start following the blog, that I would get quite a few readers and that there would be some sharing going on via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (other than my own 🙂 ). At least up until today I have quite a few readers each day and most of my posts are shared at least a few times. I currently also have 8 followers. I kind of expected these results, but what I certainly didn’t expect, when it comes to impact, started happening after the first week of a summer school I participated in last summer.

As several of you probably already know, I blogged about the summer school activities on a daily basis. You can see posts from the first week here. About three weeks after the summer school week in Dublin I got a comment on the above mentioned post (the first comment I ever got) where a representative from EIT Health wanted to know if they could use material from my blog to show other interested students what goes on during the summer schools! A few days after I answered that it was ok, the blog was e.g. linked at this page and in a news letter with general information about EIT Health activities.

A similar thing happened after I had visited the events EIT Health Alumni Connect and INNOVEIT 2017 in Budapest. As was the case for the summer school I wrote about both events directly after they took place. While I was still in Budapest one of the organizers of EIT Health Alumni Connect asked if he could post material from this blog post in order to show what we did during the event. Some new pictures were added and some minor edits in the text was done before this was posted on the EIT Health Alumni news page. Later on the same post was also used by EIT Alumni. I’m quite sure the use of these posts by EIT Health is one of the reasons why I was asked if I wanted to support the communications manager at EIT Health Alumni.

I have no idea if similar things will happen again, but I will definitely keep blogging about events I take part in and I’m really happy that EIT Health (Alumni) found my posts valuable enough to link to or reuse them! I also hope that I can support EIT Health Alumni in the future by e.g. reporting from other events. I really believe in that network and think that the work performed there is very important.

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

Co-authored three submissions to Medical Informatics Europe (MIE) 2018!

MIE_submit

Since the conference Medical Informatics Europe (MIE) is held at the same time and place as Vitalis this year several of the researchers within the DOME consortium as well as in our HTO group at Uppsala University, have submitted quite a few papers to MIE and seminar proposals to Vitalis. In an earlier blog post I wrote about the two proposals I wrote to Vitalis, which both focused on different aspects of patients accessible electronic health records.

Aside from writing proposals to Vitalis, I also co-authored three MIE papers together with several DOME colleagues. One of those papers focuses on how patient access to medical records online is affecting the work environment for nurses and I wrote it together with Åsa Cajander. It’s actually based on an earlier master’s thesis which Åsa supervised. This paper was done quite a while ago.

The two other papers were based partly on results from the national patient survey study which I am currently leading (we have been at the analyses/reporting stage for quite a while). One of those papers focuses on delay periods (before patients can access information in their electronic health record) for signed and unsigned notes and how these differ between county councils. Maria Hägglund was the main author and Rose-Mharie Åhlfeldt and Isabella Scandurra were the other co-authors.

The second paper which was based on the patient survey focuses on psychiatry records online – an area which we will focus on much more in the near future. I will explain why in a later blog post about upcoming activities. I wrote this paper together with Gunilla Myreteg, who was the main author.

Here you can find an introduction of all researchers working with the national patients survey. I should not give any more details right now about specific analysis results or focus themes in the national survey study since that could interfere with later blind review processes. But I can tell you that the results covered in the very short MIE submissions (five pages is the limit!) are just small parts of the material we have regarding a few of the focus areas we are covering in that study. We are just getting started!  🙂

The deadline for MIE-submissions was last Sunday, November 12. January 20 the authors will get the verdicts (accept/reject). I can hardly wait!

 

communication · conference · Group work · Haptics · Multimodality

Paper and poster about haptic communicative functions and their effects on communication in collaborative virtual environments

HaptiCom

Yesterday I blogged about a poster and a conference paper that Emma Frid and I developed for the SweCog conference in Uppsala. In this post I will focus on the second poster and paper that Eva-Lotta Sallnäs Pysander and I developed for the same conference.

The poster shown in the picture above, and even more so the paper, summarizes some of the main points made from my doctoral studies. My main focus during those years was collaboration in multimodal virtual environments with special emphasis on how haptic feedback can be used for communicative purposes. Mediated haptic communication has been studied for quite some time, but my specific contribution here has been to develop and test new functions for two-way haptic communication (see short descriptions of the functions on the poster) and also adapt some already developed ones in order to make them work better in a situation when a sighted person is collaborating with a severely visually impaired one in a collaborative virtual environment. There is a real potential in these kinds of functions when it comes to collaboration between sighted and visually impaired – the haptic feedback does not only enable establishment of a common ground about the interface but also effective two-way communication (see examples of results on the poster above). This is very important for the inclusion of visually impaired persons in group work. The example study is reported in much more depth in this article.

Even though the poster and paper include summaries of work already performed and reported, we are in this case even more explicit about the connection to other kinds of haptic communicative functions. This conclusion also takes the work to the next level:

We argue that for effective collaboration and communication to take place in virtual environments by means of haptic feedback the haptic functions need to be designed as to allow for reciprocal exchange of information. That is, both users need continuous feedback from each other during e.g. a guiding process or joint object handling.

The conference paper, on which the above poster is based, can be found here.

conference · Haptics · Multimodality

Paper and poster about gaze behaviour during collaborative object managing

Eyetracking

As I wrote in an earlier blog post I got two posters accepted to the SweCog 2017 conference in Uppsala, October 26-27. Unfortunately I got sick right before the conference so I couldn’t attend myself. The posters were, however, shown during the poster session.

The image above shows one of the posters – the one I created together with my KTH colleague Emma Frid. The study presented in the poster is based on the study I wrote about here, where Eva-Lotta Sallnäs Pysander and Roberto Bresin also participated. In the original study we found indications that gaze behaviour could be affected by haptic and audio feedback in a single user setting. In this new collaborative study presented in the poster, where we used a similar interface, we wanted to investigate if gaze behaviour can be affected by haptic feedback during collaborative object managing.

We have not performed the real experiments yet, but results from a pilot study with a few pairs of users (some worked in a non-haptic version of the interface and some in a haptic version) indicated that haptic feedback could have an effect on gaze behaviour (see e.g. the figures presented on the poster above). The results are not significant, but still interesting enough to make it worth running similar experiments with many more participants. A future step to take could also be to investigated how audio feedback (and/or combinations of haptic and audio feedback) affect gaze behaviour during collaborative task solving.

The poster above summarizes the work done. More information can be found in the published conference abstract which you can find here.

conference · DOME · eHealth · Medical Records Online · Vitalis

Recently submitted two seminar proposals to Vitalis

The deadline for submitting seminar proposals to Vitalis 2018 was last Friday, October 20. I almost missed that deadline, since I was so focused on the Medical Informatics Europe (MIE) 2018 conference which is held at the same time and place as Vitalis. I was, however, reminded a few hours before deadline and managed to submit two proposals (this is the first year I submit anything to Vitalis). 

Vitalis is a great place to be at for everyone interested in eHealth and progress/innovation in healthcare in general. It is mainly a Swedish event and gather researchers, business leaders, politicians, healthcare professionals and several other visitor categories. Last year I participated in Vitalis for the first time and I really enjoyed it! My favorite part was of course the 1,5 hours session organized by the DOME consortium. I especially enjoyed the team work both during our event itself and during the planning. My best conference experience ever, by far! The focus of that session was the state of art regarding patient accessible electronic health records in Sweden. You can read my blog post about all parts of that session here

Hopefully, at least one of my proposals will be accepted. Both of them focus on patient accessible electronic health records. One of my proposed sessions focuses on a recent study about how these online health records affect the work environment for nurses. The other proposal focuses on results from my large ongoing studies within the DOME consortium. There will be a lot of interesting material from those studies to discuss when we reach Vitalis! DOME usually draws a big audience at Vitalis, so hopefully at least the second proposal will be accepted. If it is, I hope that many DOME colleagues will join me so we can throw a similar kind of party as we did last time!  😉

Apart from submitting proposals to Vitalis I will also co-author three full papers, together with several DOME colleagues, to the MIE conference and probably submit a workshop proposal to MIE. I will write about those later on. If all goes well, there will be some busy days for the DOME researchers during the Vitalis/MIE conference period, April 24-26 2018!

conference · eHealth · EIT · EIT Health

Some thoughts on this year’s INNOVEIT, in Budapest

INNOVEIT

In my last blog post I wrote about the EIT Alumni Connect event, which was held in Budapest October 15-16. As I mentioned here there was also a second event, INNOVEIT 2017, which started directly after lunch October 16 and lasted until lunchtime October 17. INNOVEIT focused even more on the innovation capacity of the EIT community (and it turn out to be considerable).

Unfortunately, I missed a large part of the opening keynote since I attended a lunch meeting with the EIT Health Alumni board, where we had very interesting and most of all important discussions about our main goals and future board positions which needed to be filled with EIT Health Alumni participants. When I entered the big hall (with hundreds of places) where the INNOVEIT plenum sessions were held, the ongoing talk focused on carrier choices (there are of course risks involved as well as great learning opportunities when breaking e.g. an ongoing academic carrier to focus on a start-up idea) and the need to spot unicorns early on and help them grow.

There were three panels, each with 3-4 participants, during the INNOVEIT days. Two of these focused on the topics “Shaping innovation in Europe” and “Building a strong basis for Europe’s future” and the third one was based on a workshop activity which I will write more about below. The idea that at least some level of entrepreneurship should be covered in schools (on most levels) was brought up to discussion in several panels and being able to “encourage the young” was also seen as an important drive for innovation. Not surprisingly, the role of the EIT KICs (Knowledge and Innovation Communities) in driving and supporting innovation was also discussed. The final takeaways from the first two panels were that 1) education needs to be strengthened when it comes to entrepreneurship, 2) the EIT community needs to be further expanded and 3) EIT need to be better at reaching people who are not scientists.

During the last part of the first INNOVEIT day, there was an event called the “innovation tour”. This was a very interesting activity, where we, in small groups, got the opportunity to meet representatives for 22 companies which have been supported by at least one of the EIT KICs! We stayed on each station for about 10 minutes and then followed a guide to the next one. During the 10 minutes, the representative (often the CEO) first presented the product (or sometimes the process) briefly, after which the participants asked questions. It was very inspiring to take part in this innovation tour – so much potential and talent! During this tour it also became clear to me what an impact EIT can have through the different support solutions for start-ups. All the companies that were showcased were nominated for the EIT Awards in the categories “Change”, “Venture”, “Innovators” and “Public award”. One of the main ideas with the innovation tour (apart from showcasing the companies, of course) was to make it possible for all participants to make an informed decision about who should get their vote in the “Public award” category. After the tour 9 companies were selected (3 in each category), for which the representatives should give 3 minute pitches. After some coffee the winners were then announced. These were the winners in each category (follow the links for more information about these very promising companies):

Change: Chrysalix Technologies

Venture: Ontoforce

Innovators: STHLM3

Public award: ColdPlasmaTech

The second day started with a keynote from EIT Interim Director Martin Kern, who also spoke at the beginning of the EIT Alumni Connect event a few days earlier. He addressed the same issues as he did at the Alumni event and stressed even more the successful history of EIT (e.g. about 6000 jobs and 400 products). He also highlighted that EIT was ready to take the next step and be a global (not only European) innovation leader. At the end of his talk Martin mentioned a few areas on which the participants should provide input – areas which should be covered in the next EIT strategic innovation agenda. These areas were “Future societal challenges”, “Education for innovation and entrepreneurship”, “Delivering innovation to the citizens – the EIT way” and “Boosting regional excellence”.

During most of the remaining time on INNOVEIT participants split into four workshop groups, each focusing one of the themes (the groups had been formed already prior to the event). I ended up in the “Future societal challenges” workshop, where I focused on inclusion and integration. The task for every group was to brainstorm around a few key questions related to their assigned theme and then come up with recommendations about future directions of EIT in relation to those questions. After the workshops the one who led the respective discussions summarized the recommendations in plenum and after each presentation a panel asked clarifying questions. The overall aim of this activity was to work together to shape the future directions of EIT in the above mentioned areas – the recommendations will most probably be integrated in the next strategic innovation agenda for 2021-2027!

conference · eHealth · EIT Health · Group work

Some remarks on EIT Alumni Connect 2017, in Budapest

Connect

As I wrote in my last blog post the EIT Alumni Connect event was hosted in Budapest October 15 –  October 16. I really had a great time during this event and if I should choose one word to describe the overall impression I got from the event it would be “Inspiring”! There were a lot of inspiring and thought provoking talks/keynotes spread over these two days and the hands-on activities provided learning as well as networking opportunities. A lot happened during these days and I cannot cover everything in the blog post, but I will at least make a few important points.

First of all, I really liked the setting in the room we all gathered in during the event. There were around 100 participants and 16 round tables and the activities performed especially during the first day made sure that there were representatives from several alumni networks (EIT Health, EIT Digital, EIT Raw Materials, Climate-KIC and InnoEnergy) by each table. This gave an excellent opportunity to develop an understanding of the different main areas where EIT is involved. One of the main aims of the event was to provide an opportunity to connect with other alumni and the setting ensured that networking could be performed both within and across the represented areas.

One especially interesting group activity was performed during the last part (before dinner) of the first day. The main aim was to work on real problems identified by the participants – problems related to the main areas of EIT. The group work activity started out by a discussion among the participants at the respective tables, about different project ideas that we would like to work with. My idea was, of course, based on patient accessible electronic health records and more specifically means of using these systems as mediators during patient visits. The ideas presented at my table were very different from one another since the participants represented different alumni networks. The next step was a very short pitch, given on stage so that everyone could hear. About 20 participants pitched ideas. Based on the pitches the rest of the participants should decide which idea they wanted to work with for the rest of the day. I never pitched my own idea, since I was really curious about another participant’s idea (about developing a system to enable digital consent for use of health data in research) and hence wanted to work on that instead. During the following 1.5 hours we discussed the respective projects within the newly formed project groups. The focus was to develop the idea and to develop a pitch which should be presented to a jury. This step was really important, since the three top groups would get a grant of 5000 Euros from EIT, which they should use to implement the ideas! Just before lunch the second day the three winners, named EIT Workshop, Impact and EIT Chaos, were announced.

The gamification component introduced in the group work activity was really working. Everyone gave great pitches and there were so many interesting ideas represented in the room. I’m quite sure the jury had a tuff choice to make. I also think it’s great the EIT actually give grants to promising projects. EIT support for projects and most of all start-ups was a theme that was covered in almost all keynotes and activities. The communities really support entrepreneurship and innovation. The different EIT KICs (Knowledge Innovation Communities) have supported several startups and projects through grants, accelerators and incubators. Some of these startups, which have become real success stories, were show cased during one of the presentations.

The keynotes covered EIT in general as well as different opportunities and challenges when it comes to most of all innovation and entrepreneurship. Some lectures also covered successful spin-offs of the kind of group project activities I described above, from earlier years  of EIT Alumni Connect. One of this spin-offs was the new group Women@EIT. The opening keynote showed that many good things have come from the EIT KICs during the recent years. E.g. several companies supported by EIT have great impact in many different areas and more and more students graduate from EIT master programs. A few challenges were, however, also mentioned. One identified need was that end users should be involved to a higher degree (HCI researchers really have an opportunity to contribute here!). EIT also wants to add new KICs so that all major issues we face today are covered (integration, security and water protection are a few areas that are not covered today). The board also wants to create even more collaborations across KICs. I really think the last point is important, since key challenges must be addressed from several different angles.

I really enjoyed being a part of the EIT Alumni Connect activity and I’m really considering applying for one of the open positions at the EIT Health Alumni board. (as I said earlier EIT Health Alumni is fairly new). I think I can make important contributions since I’m both a chronic patient and a researcher – maybe it would be beneficial to have a patient representative on the board? There were quite a few open positions to choose from (they were all presented during a lunch meeting with the current board members earlier today).

I will end this post by some words different participants used to describe EIT Alumni Connect during the first session today. I think they summarize what EIT is about in a good way: networking, explosive, fun, collaboration, innovation, inspiration.