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!  🙂

eHealth · DOME · 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.

DOME · eHealth · Haptics · Medical applications · Medical Records Online · National patient survey · Summer school

Today I celebrate my blog’s first anniversary!

Ren1

Exactly one year ago I wrote my very first blog post! You can read that short post here. From the beginning my intention was to write two posts a week, but for different reasons my average during this first year is 1.4/week. During this first year the blog has had 2782 views by 1466 visitors. During the first couple of months the number of views were under 100, but I’m glad to see that the numbers have kept increasing – the number of views in September was 491, and 53 views have been accumulated during the first days of October this year.

Since this is a special blog post, the picture I chose is not by any means related to my work. Instead, I chose one of the pictures I took while hiking in northern Sweden (Abisko) about two years ago – I just love the nature up there!

As a kind of celebration, I will here present a top 5 list with the five most read posts:

  1. My colleague, Thomas Lind, successfully defended his thesis today!

This is one of my latest posts, which I uploaded in the middle of September. Despite the short time frame this is, by far, the most read post! The post is about the defense resulting in my colleague, Thomas Lind, getting a Ph.D. degree.

  1. EHealth summer school in Dublin, day 5

Those who have followed my blog during the latest months know that I have been writing quite extensively about a summer school I attended – one week in Dublin and one week in Stockholm. I’m very happy to see that one of those posts is on this list, because it took quite a lot of time to write them. This particular post is also a kind of summary post which includes links to the other posts about the week in Dublin. The summer school was a nice experience in so many ways and I really encourage you to read those posts if you are interested in eHealth/mHealth design (the Stockholm posts, although not on the top 5 lists, can be found here).

  1. A very successful session about patient accessible electronic health records at Vitalis 2017!

This post is not only on the top 5 list regarding views, but it is, by far, the most shared post on social media. The post summarizes an 1.5 hours session hosted by the DOME consortium at Vitalis last spring. I really hope we will get the opportunity to do something similar at Vitalis 2018! Read this post if you want to know about the state of art regarding patient accessible electronic health records in Sweden.

  1. The team behind a new large patient survey on electronic health records in Sweden!

I’m also happy to see this one on the list – since this post represents one of the big studies I’m currently leading. This particular study is based on a large national survey focusing on patients’ experiences with and attitudes towards the patient accessible electronic health system Journalen. In this post I introduce all researchers that work with the study.

  1. Haptic feedback in medical applications

The fifth most read post belongs to the blog series on haptic feedback as an interaction modality, which I started last autumn. This particular one concerns how haptic feedback can be utilized in medical applications. In this post I also introduce my own work within this area, which I carried out as a Ph.D. student at KTH.

So, these were my five most read posts, and I’m glad to see that they relate to different areas. The only area not covered in this list is pedagogical development. This might change during the next year, however, since I will most probably get an extensive study on Twitter as a communication medium in higher education courses published and I will also write a series of posts about a basic course in human-computer interaction which I will be responsible for at Uppsala University (starting October 30).

I have really enjoyed the blogging activity and will definitely continue to update this blog regularly, so stay tuned for more!  🙂

eHealth · Medical Records Online

I recently used my patient accessible electronic health record as a communication tool during doctor’s visits!

Journalen

As I mentioned in my last blog post I got a pretty bad eye inflammation about two weeks ago which, among other things, prevented me from writing blog posts (or anything else for that matter) during last week. I will here write about two healthcare encounters during last week from a patient’s perspective, since I could make use of my patient accessible electronic health record, “Journalen”, in quite an interesting way as a kind of communication tool during the visits! I will write about this from a research perspective later on.

Everything started when I was at my country side at Gräsö in Uppsala County Council two weeks ago. I felt more and more pain in one of my eyes. After lunch I had no other choice but to visit an emergency ward close to Gräsö (also in Uppsala County Council). Quite soon I got the chance to discuss my current condition with a physician and of course my health history and current medications were important topics. As I have written in e.g. this earlier blog post I have a history of regular hospital visits due to a couple of auto-immune diseases and the immunosuppressive medication I need to take. There is quite a story to tell, and it’s hard for me as a patient, as well as for the physician who had never met me before, to know which parts of my medical history are the most important in this particular case. And it doesn’t really help that I’m a “Stockholm patient” – there is really no easy and fast way in which a physician in another county council (like Uppsala, in this case) can access most of my medical history. In the middle of the discussion I came to think about my patient accessible electronic health record – the physician cannot access any part of my health record, but I can do it from my phone! So, I asked if it would help if I showed an example note from my physician in Stockholm, summarizing who I am as a patient. After we had reached a consensus that it was a good idea, I logged in and opened an old note summarizing my health conditions and current medications. The physician read through the text and then we discussed a few of the points mentioned in the old visit note. I’m not sure if the outcome of the visit was affected by the discussion around the old visit note, but one conclusion drawn was that the condition in my eye could be linked to my other health conditions. But the story doesn’t end here – they didn’t have access to the right equipment at the emergency ward, so the antibiotic salve (prescribed in most eye infection cases) I got might not help. Thus, we concluded that I must seek hospital care in Stockholm if I noticed that the salve had no effect. Before I left I brought up the topic of health record access again and asked the physician to document my visit in the record as soon as possible, so that I could show his notes in Stockholm if needed (physicians in Stockholm cannot reach health data recorded in Uppsala). He agreed to do that.

It didn’t take many days until I realized that the salve indeed had no effect and I needed to go to an emergency ward in Stockholm where they had the right equipment. When I met the physician I was of course asked when and how everything started and after giving a brief summary I showed the recently registered (but yet unsigned) notes made by the physician in Uppsala! Once again, we had a short discussion based on the content of the note I showed. The conclusion made in the end was that the eye inflammation was indeed connected to my other auto-immune conditions and the new treatment with cortisone drops seems to work.

I’m not sure how much my use of the patient accessible electronic health record Journalen helped during the above mentioned visits, but two things seem very clear:

  • I could use my access to Journalen to transfer important information about my own health, not easily accessible by the physicians, between county councils.
  • Journalen could definitely be used as a tool to support communication between me and the physicians in a way that was beneficial for us both.

Later on, I will try to put this in a research context. Right now, I just want to give these examples of how a patient accessible electronic health record can be used as a communication tool during doctor’s visits!

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!

Academic writing · eHealth

A very productive week at Uppsala University!


This week has been very eventful and productive, which is one of the reasons why this is my first blog post for this week. 

First of all, I submitted, according to plan, two papers to the SweCog 2017 conference at Uppsala University. The title of the first one is “Using Eye-Tracking to Study the Effect of Haptic Feedback on Visual Focus during Collaborative Object Managing in a Multimodal Virtual Interface”. I wrote that together with my KTH colleague Emma Frid and it’s about a pilot study based on a collaborative version of the application described here. The other paper’s title is “Haptic communicative functions and their effects on communication in collaborative multimodal virtual environments”. I wrote this one in collaboration with my KTH colleague and former supervisor Eva-Lotta Sallnäs Pysander and it containes a short summary of our work on haptic communicative functions. If these are accepted I will present the first one and Eva-Lotta the second – I really hope we will get this opportunity to do something together at that conference! I will of course write more about this when I find out if the papers have been accepted or not. 

During this week I have also worked on a workshop proposal for Uppsala Health Summit, together with my colleagues Åsa Cajander and Christiane Grünloh. The focus of the workshop is the usage of data for diagnoses and treatment of cancer. We are not entirely sure the workshop will happen, but I think changes are good. It would definitely be a great experience to organize a workshop at Uppsala Health Summit! I will of course keep you updated on the development. 

And the writing activities did not end there – I’m very happy to conclude that a journal manuscript, based on a master’s thesis, is now very close to a submittable state! I spent several hours moving everything to a Latex template (some of those templates are hopeless!) and if nothing unexpected happens the manuscript can  most probably be submitted next Monday if everyone is ok with it! I will write a new post about it, and introduce all authors, after submission. 

I also went to some very fruitful meetings – one about the observation/interview/survey study at the Oncology department which I have been writing about before and two about a very interesting opportunity to follow the implementation process of a new feature in Journalen, the patient accessible electronic health record system in Sweden. I will be more specific later on when information has been made public. 

Aside from the research activities mentioned above I also started the planning process for my department’s introductory course on HCI, which I will be responsible for this autumn, together with my colleague Mohammad Obaid. I will write a separate post about our plans for the course later. 

So, a very productive work week indeed which ended at KTH, where Susanna Heyman defended her thesis in style! So I guess it’s safe to conclude that her week was quite productive as well :). The picture to this blog post was taken by me in Öregrund last Friday, on the way to our country side on Gräsö.