Council · eHealth · Medical Records Online

Experiences from my first meeting in the eHealth council

In a blog post from last spring I wrote about my new membership in the eHealth council, which belongs to the National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden. I missed the first meetings due to teaching activities and bad health respectively, but last week I finally made it to my first meeting with the council. It was a very interesting experience. The council meets four times a year, so this was the last meeting 2017. The main focus seems to be on information structures and how to make sure that different county councils e.g. use the same terminology and systems. I will here present some of my experiences from the meeting, without going into too much detail since it doesn’t seem right to blog publicly about what was discussed.

As I have mentioned earlier, many different areas are represented in the council. I currently represent Uppsala University and more specifically “Education”. I don’t really get why that is my main topic, since a representative for “Research” would be just as valuable. Anyhow, coming from a university I represent both education and research and as a matter of fact everything I said during this particular meeting was related to research and possible collaborations with academia.

In the blog post linked above I list more of the roles/organizations that were represented in the council. I think the diversity is one of the strengths of the council – since both healthcare organizations, a few government agencies, healthcare professionals and even patients are represented you can make sure that all important parties are involved when discussing important topics related to e.g. the future of eHealth solutions and how information should be structured in a way that would work for everyone. There was one exception, though. No one in particular seemed to represent “Research”. One could argue that I represent that domain, as I mentioned above, but it is not explicitly stated anywhere. I think a connection to research is extremely important in a council like this.

Several different projects were presented and discussed and I really liked the focus on the user (most often healthcare professionals). In most presentations it was highlighted that healthcare professionals play an important role in projects and policy decisions related to eHealth. This is exactly how it should be!

My input during the meetings mostly concerned the importance of bringing researchers into the different projects. I even suggested research collaborations in some cases, but we will see what happens with that. Since the projects discussed in the council (at least for the moment) focus a lot on user involvement in design and decision processes, I really think HCI researchers can support the projects and at the same time conduct research that will inform future design and decision processes. After the meeting I also brought up Journalen (the patient accessible electronic health record system in Sweden), which is the focus of my own research. When it comes to differences between county councils we have some issues there, like e.g. that the amount of information visible to the patient varies greatly between county councils and that the rules on when to present information differs. This really caught some participants’ interest, so we can definitely expect Journalen to be a topic at a later meeting!

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!

 

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.