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.

eHealth · conference

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!  🙂

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!

 

conference · design · DOME · eHealth

Got a new paper published at Interact 2017!

Interact_published

As I have written in an earlier blog post, a paper on critical incidents and eHealth was submitted and later on accepted for presentation and publication at Interact 2017. Now our paper has been published in the conference proceedings and the presentation is coming up very soon! The full title of the short paper is “Using Critical Incidents in Workshops to Inform eHealth Design” and you can reach the paper here (page 364-373) if you (or a University you are affiliated with) have a Springer subscription. The authors are introduced in the blog post I link to above.

Christiane Grünloh, who is the lead author and the one who coordinated the entire writing process in a very good way, will present the paper at the conference tomorrow, September 27! The presentation concludes a session that focuses on Co-design studies, which starts at 1:30 PM in lecture hall 23. So, if you happen to be at the conference and want to attend her presentation about how one can utilize critical incidents to inform eHealth design you know where to go and when!  🙂

The workshop from NordiCHI 2016, on which the paper is based, was very special for me since I submitted my first research contribution from a patient’s perspective to that very workshop. That workshop contribution, entitled Making a case for easily accessible electronic health records – A patient perspective on lack of availability of health information in critical situations is not behind a paywall so if you are interested in how a patient contribution can look like you can find the paper directly by clicking on the title. It was a very interesting experience for me to use a critical scenario from my own life as a basis for discussion about how to inform eHealth design. The other papers, covering e.g. professionals’ perspectives and design were also very interesting and altogether the different contributions gave a good mix. You can find a collection of all workshop contributions here.

I usually write at least one blog post a week (usually two), but last week I didn’t post anything at all. The reason is a very bad inflammation in an eye. My contacts with healthcare, in different county councils, during last week (and the weekend before) proved to be very interesting most of all because county councils do not share patient record information. Interestingly enough, I had to use my patient accessible electronic health record to transfer important information between county councils! I will write a blog post about my experiences later this week, but since the paper I’m writing about here is to some extent about patient contributions to research I just want to point out that I now have several new ideas about real-life experience contributions based on my experiences from last week!

Cognition · conference · Haptics · Multimodality

Preparing submissions for the SweCog 2017 conference, held at Uppsala University!

SweCog2017_Uppsala

This week, I’m preparing submissions for this year’s version of the SweCog (Swedish Cognitive Science Society) conference. This conference covers a broad range of topics related to cognitive science. When I participated last year, when the conference was held at Chalmers, Gothenburg, I did not present anything (actually, none of the participants from Uppsala University did), but the situation this year is quite different since Uppsala University is hosting the event!

I really enjoyed last year’s conference much due to the large variety of topics covered and the very interesting keynote lectures. It was also (and still is, I assume) a single track conference, meaning that you will not have to choose which paper session to attend. As I remember there were ten paper presentations in total, three keynote lectures and one poster session during the two days conference. You can read more about my experiences from SweCog 2016 in this blog post, summing up that event. I also wrote summaries from day 1 and day 2.

Since the only thing that’s required is an extended abstract of 1-3 pages (and max 500 words), I’m working on several submissions. A topic that was not covered during last year’s conference was collaboration in multimodal environments and specifically how different combinations of modalities can affect communication between two users solving a task together. Since that is one of my main research interests, I now see my chance to contribute! The deadline for extended abstract submissions to SweCog 2017 is September 4, so there is still a lot of time to write. The conference will be held October 26-27 at Uppsala University. Since registration to the conference is free for SweCog members (membership is also free), I expect to see many of my old KTH colleagues at Uppsala University during the conference days! 😉  You can find more information about the conference here.

Before I started planning for contributions to SweCog 2017, I invited some of my “multimodal colleagues” from KTH to join the writing process. As a result, Emma Frid and I will collaborate on an extended abstract about a follow-up study to the study I present here. Thus, our contribution will focus on how multimodal feedback can affect visual focus when two users are solving a task together in a collaborative virtual environment. Since I have not yet heard from any other colleague, I plan to write another extended abstract on my own, about how multimodal feedback (or rather combinations of visual, haptic and auditory feedback) can affect the means by which users talk to each other while working in collaborative virtual environments. Maybe, I will also throw in a third one about the potential of using haptic guiding functions (see this blog post for an explanation of this concept) in situations where sighted and visually impaired users collaborate.

 

conference · Haptics · Multimodality · sonification

Got a new paper published, on the effects of auditory and haptic feedback on gaze behaviour!

SMC_published

About a month ago I wrote a blog post about a conference paper with the title “AN EXPLORATORY STUDY ON THE EFFECT OF AUDITORY FEEDBACK ON GAZE BEHAVIOR IN A VIRTUAL THROWING TASK WITH AND WITHOUT HAPTIC FEEDBACK” that had just been accepted for the Sound and Music Computing 2017 conference. Now, that paper has been formally published! You can find our paper here and the full conference proceedings here. The study leader, Emma Frid presented the paper last Thursday (6/7 2017) afternoon in Espoo, Finland. The other authors are Roberto Bresin, Eva-Lotta Sallnäs Pysander and I.

As I wrote in the earlier blog post, this particular paper is based on a small part of an extensive experiment. The experiment, which 20 participants took part in, was based on a simple task – picking up a ball and throwing it into a goal area at the opposite side of a virtual room. After 15 hits the task had been solved. The same task was solved in several different conditions of which some included haptic rendering and some included movement sonification (two different sound models were compared) of the throwing gesture. During all interaction with the interface, different parameters, including gaze data collected through an eye-tracker, were continuously logged. In the part of the experiment on which the published paper is based we wanted to find out if the participants’ visual focus in the interface changed depending on experiment condition (e.g. if participants looked more at the goal when haptic and/or auditory feedback was presented). Due to bad quality of the sampled gaze data for some of the participants (< 80% of the gaze points had been registered), only gaze data from 13 participants could be used in the analysis.

Much due to large inter-subject variability, we did not get any significant results this time around, but some interesting patterns arose. Results e.g. indicated that participants fixated fewer times on the screen when solving the task in visual/audio conditions compared to a visual-only condition and fewer times on the screen when solving the task in the visual/haptic/audio conditions than when doing it in the visual/haptic condition. The differences between haptic conditions were, however, small especially regarding one of the sound models presenting a swishing sonification of the throwing gesture. When considering total fixation duration (for how long the participants focused on the screen) the tendency was that participants focused less on the screen when this sound model was used (indications were stronger when haptic feedback was not provided). Even though these results were not significant they indicate that movement sonification has an effect on gaze behaviour. When looking at gaze behaviour for each participant individually we could also see that the participants could be divided into a few clusters in which the participants showed similar behaviour. Although the large inter-subject variability did not make it possible to find any general patterns, we could find indications of effects of auditory feedback within the clusters. See the article linked above, for a more detailed analysis, illustrations and discussion.

Even though we did not get any significant results, the indications we got that movement sonifications can affect visual focus are still interesting. If it is true that you look more on the screen when you do not have access to movement sonification, this can mean that you can focus on different parts of an interface, maybe solving different tasks in parallel, when having access to movement sonification in this kind of environment. It is definitely worth conducting similar studies with a lot more participants in order to see if the indications we got would become significant. Experiments with more users could also show if participants focus more on the goal when having access to movement sonification and/or haptic feedback – if so, this would indicate that the information provided by haptic and audio feedback, respectively, is enough to understand that you are performing an accurate throwing gesture (you don’t need to look at the ball to confirm it). Results from interviews held at the end of the test sessions already indicate this!

This is the very first paper Eva-Lotta and I have gotten accepted to the Sound and Music Computing conference. Emma and Roberto, however, have gotten papers accepted to that conference numerous times. Check out their Researchgate accounts for their earlier contributions to this conference and so much more related to e.g. sound design.

conference · eHealth · Interact

Paper on critical incidents and eHealth design accepted to Interact 2017!

Interact_accept

Months ago I wrote a blog post about a workshop at NordiCHI 2016, to which I submitted my first ever research contribution from the patient’s perspective. You can find the workshop position paper here. After that workshop the participants decided that we should continue our discussions and also do research together when possible. The first result of our collaboration, a short paper submitted to Interact 2017, has now been accepted for publication and presentation at the conference (was conditionally accepted about a month ago)!

Christiane Grünloh is the lead author of this paper, and the others are (in order) Jean Hallewell, Bridget Kane, Eunji Lee, Thomas Lind, Jonas Moll, Hanife Rexhepi and Isabella Scandurra. The title of the Interact paper is: “Using Critical Incidents in Workshops to Inform eHealth Design”.

The paper is focused on the workshop and especially on how this kind of workshop, gathering both researchers, practitioners and patients (me, in this case) who all contribute with a critical incident related to eHealth, can be used to generate ideas that can inform future eHealth design. More details about the format can be found in the paper when it’s published and in the blog post which I linked to above. Christiane will present the paper at the conference and it seems like the presentation (as well as most other presentations) will be broadcasted!

Here is the abstract, summarizing the main points:

Demands for technological solutions to address the variety of problems in healthcare have increased. The design of eHealth is challenging due to e.g. the complexity of the domain and the multitude of stakeholders involved. We describe a workshop method based on Critical Incidents that can be used to reflect on, and critically analyze, different experiences and practices in healthcare. We propose the workshop format, which was used during a conference and found very helpful by the participants to identify possible implications for eHealth design, that can be applied in future projects. This new format shows promise to evaluate eHealth designs, to learn from patients’ real stories and case studies through retrospective meta-analyses, and to inform design through joint reflection of understandings about users’ needs and issues for designers.