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)
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! 🙂
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.