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.

conference · eHealth

Participating in EIT Alumni Connect and INNOVEIT in Budapest!

Budapest

Yesterday I spent about 3.5 hours in the air, going from Stockholm/Arlanda, via Frankfurt, to Budapest, where I will participate in the EIT Alumni Connect and INNOVEIT events (the picture was taken from the plane a few mintues before we landed at Budapest Airport). This is yet another spin-off result from the EIT Health/ACM SIGCHI summer school I participated in this last summer (one week in Dublin and one in Stockholm/Uppsala). After that summer school we were offered membership in the EIT Health Alumni network and I’m really glad that I decided to join. The reason why I’m here in Budapest right now is that I got an email about that I had been selected for participation (not mandatary of course 🙂 ), based on the information I entered during the EIT Health Alumni registration!

The EIT Alumni event will gather participants not only from EIT Health, but also from InnoEnergy, EIT Digital, Climate-KIC, EIT Raw Materials. Several participants from EIT Health Alumni will be joining, but most of them did not participate in the summer school. It will be very interesting to see how they will form discussion groups based on the different competences present (I assume groups will consist of at least one from each of the above-mentioned networks). I have never been to one of these events before so I’m note sure how EIT Alumni Connect is going to play out, but I’m positive it will be a very interesting experience. This event will go on until noon tomorrow.

After lunch tomorrow (October 16) the INNOVEIT event will start and this activity focuses more on innovation, as the name suggests. The focus will be on shaping innovation in Europe and participants will actually be able to influence the EIT Strategic Innovation Agenda 2021-2027! A few weeks ago I got to choose an area which I wanted to focus on during a breakout session at INNOVEIT, and I chose “Education” since this is an area where you can do a lot especially with regard to healthcare. During the first hour of INNOVEIT we will join the EIT Awards ceremony – a yearly event that aims to reward and recognize entrepreneurship and innovation. The INNOVEIT event will end after lunch on Tuesday (October 17) and the last activity will be the breakout sessions, where we discuss concrete project ideas.

It will definitely be interesting to take part in EIT Alumni Connect and INNOVEIT during these few days in Budapest. I will of course write about my experiences afterwards, so stay tuned!  🙂

DOME · eHealth · Medical Records Online

Took part in yet another rewarding DOME consortium meeting!

HIBA_workshop2

During Tuesday and Wednesday this week we had this autumn’s DOME consortium meeting. This time we met at Uppsala University. As always, it is nice to meet the DOME colleagues from other universities in person after a longer period of meetings only through Skype. Those who were (physically) present during the first day were Åsa Cajander, Thomas Lind, Gunilla Myreteg and I from our HTO group at Uppsala University, Rose-Mharie Åhlfeldt from University of Skövde and Bridget Kane from Karlstad University (our newest member). Christiane Grünloh from KTH and Hanife Rexhepi from University of Skövde joined us through Skype during parts of the meeting. Åsa, Christiane and Hanife were not joining the second day, and the afternoon was spent with Isto Huvila from Uppsala University and some other members from his project HIBA (more about this below).

The first day started out with a follow-up discussion about the workshop performed at the last DOME consortium meeting in Skövde (see this blog post). Unfortunately, I missed that part since I had an overlap with a pedagogical course I’m taking. I could, however, join during a discussion about planned and ongoing activities. It was really inspiring to take part in that discussion – there are several studies up and running and there are so many things we want to do in the future! The ongoing studies that we discussed cover all of DOMEs workpackages which cover healthcare professionals, patients/relatives and IT development, respectively. One of the new areas discussed, brought up by Bridget, was tele-conference solutions in healthcare. We have both been studying that area in the past and a new project related to e.g. Skype meetings with physicians would be super interesting (but, then again, that goes for all the planned activities).

Other topics that we covered during the Tuesday were e.g. marketing strategies – how can we make sure that news about the consortium and our ongoing activities as well as results are spread to a wide audience. I think everyone who knows about DOME realizes that what we are doing is important. Anyhow, I will try to do my part by e.g. writing on this blog about the parts of DOME that I’m involved in and have a lot of knowledge about. Since the research is focused on different aspects of patient accessible electronic health records (and sometimes also other eHealth services) the research really concerns all of us, so I really encourage you to check out the DOME website. The consortium also has a Twitter handle, DOME_co.

After a rather long discussion about studies and other activities a few of us had dinner at a restaurant in central Uppsala. That was a very nice round-off of the first day.
The second day began with discussions about the overview article about the national patient survey which is now very close to being finalized. Then we continued talking about possible funding opportunities. Several DOME members are currently involved in research projects, but the consortium as such is not funded. Just before lunch, however, we may have found a very good option. There are also e.g. interesting EU funding opportunities coming up within the next couple of years.

After lunch we joined Isto and his colleagues Kristina Eriksson-Backa, Heidi Enwald and Noora Hirvonen – all from the HIBA (Taking Health Information Behaviour into Account: implications of a neglected element for successful implementation of consumer health technologies on older adults) project. It was interesting to meet that group and it turned out that we have quite a lot in common! You can read about the HIBA project here. Isto started out by introducing the HIBA project (see picture above), after which Rose-Mharie briefly introduced the DOME consortium. After this I presented results from the national patient survey, especially regarding differences between patients belonging to different disease groups. It turns out that there are several noticeable differences for several of the topics covered in the survey! I will of course get back to that in later blog posts.

After the presentations we then had a discussion about the similarities between the research performed in HIBA and by the DOME consortium, respectively and we also discussed an extensive literature review conducted within the HIBA project. After this session everyone seemed to feel that we should collaborate when possible.

These two days were very rewarding and I’m already looking forward to the next meeting. There will be two important DOME events next spring. Hanife will defend her thesis and Christiane will have her final seminar! Most probably, we will combine the next DOME consortium meetings with one of those events.

conference · Haptics · Multimodality

Got two posters accepted to SweCog 2017!

SweCog_accept

In an earlier blog post I wrote about my preparations for the Swedish Cognitive Science Society (SweCog) 2017 conference. My plan was to submit at least two papers to that conference and that was exactly what I did. One of the papers, “Using Eye-Tracking to Study the Effect of Haptic Feedback on Visual Focus During Collaborative Object Managing in a Multimodal Virtual Interface” I wrote together with Emma Frid and the other “Haptic communicative functions and their effects on communication in collaborative multimodal virtual environments” I wrote together with Eva-Lotta Sallnäs Pysander. I was first author on both since I led the work and did most of the writing. Earlier this week I got two emails from the conference organizers confirming that both papers had been accepted as posters!

When Eva-Lotta and I submitted the papers (you could only submit one per person) we indicated that we were aiming for oral presentations, but they were both “downgraded” to posters after the reviews. When it comes to first paper, written with Emma, I can understand it, since we were reporting on a pilot study and there were quite a few papers submitted by other researchers which reported on full-scale experiments and evaluations. The other one, on haptic communicative functions, were more theoretical in nature and in that case I think the main problem was the 500 words limit – we couldn’t really elaborate enough on our main findings, when most of the space had to be used to define and explain haptic communicative functions. Anyhow, I’m very happy that the papers were accepted and that we will be able to discuss our work with others during the conference.

The second confirmation email, about that paper on haptic communicative functions, actually included an interesting twist – one of the reviewers of that paper recommended that the paper should be presented by means of a live-demo during the poster session! That really came as a surprise (a positive one) and the organizers were really willing to work with us to make the live-demo happen. Unfortunately, one problem is that the studies referenced in the paper (about an evaluation and an experiment, respectively, during which pairs of users were collaborating by means of haptic and audio communicative functions – see this and this preprint article) used virtual environments based on outdated API:s that no longer work. I’m not sure that I can implement the environments using the newer haptics API Chai3D in time for the conference. But, no matter what, will still have the poster and the possibility to discuss and explain our findings.

So, the only thing remaining now (apart from trying to get a demo working) is to create two informative posters. After the conference I will get back to this topic and elaborate some more on the work presented on the two posters, so expect more posts about SweCog 2017 and my contributions two it!