communication · design · DOME · eHealth · EIT · EIT Health · Grant application · Human-Computer Interaction · Medical Records Online · National patient survey · Social media in higher education

Looking back at 2017!


A new year has just begun and before I start blogging about current activities, I will take this opportunity to look back at some of the important things that happened last year. If you have been following this blog regularly, you have probably already read about the last summer’s adventures at the ACM SIGCHI/EIT Health summer school in a number of different posts so I will not get into any detail about that school here. If you want to read about what went on during this eHealth/mHealth design summer school you should read this post and all the posts it links to. The same goes for the very successful DOME session about patient accessible electronic health records at Vitalis, which I describe here.  As in all other of my meta-posts, I have chosen one of the nature pictures I took myself during the year.

Selected research activities

There was quite a lot of research going on last year. The research activities related to all of my focus areas eHealth, multimodal communication and social media in higher education courses. Naturally, most of my activities were connected to eHealth. Primarily, I continued working with the national patient survey on patient accessible electronic health records in Sweden (introduced here) and the interview/observation/survey study with physicians and nurses (introduced here). Last year’s work with the national patient survey resulted in four submitted manuscripts (to one journal and two conferences) and there is a lot more we can do with that study! It became especially interesting when we started comparing responses from different disease groups during the end of 2017. I will tell you more about these results later on when we have some publications. In the other study we conducted several interviews with physicians, about the effects of patients accessible electronic health records on their work environment, during the autumn. Most of the surveys have also been handed in. I will not discuss the results before they get published but I can tell you that both the qualitative and quantitative data gathered this far show that this study was very much needed! During the autumn I also started to, with my DOME consortium colleague Gunilla Myreteg, follow the implementation of psychiatry records online in Region Uppsala. I will write more about that in later posts.

I also started on another track related to eHealth – how we can make use of data from different sources for better diagnoses and treatment of cancer. This topic is also connected to big data and happens to be one of the themes covered in the 2018 version of Uppsala Health Summit. I am one of the organizers behind a workshop there and I also submitted a workshop proposal to a conference on the same theme. It remains to be seen if this will become one of my main research focuses in the future. It’s definitely and interesting and very important topic.

My work on multimodal mediated communication during 2017 focused primarily on revising a journal manuscript (presenting a study I was a part of during my last year at KTH) and submitting two posters to the Swedish Cognitive Science Society conference which was held in Uppsala in October. The accepted submissions are more thoroughly presented here and here.


During autumn I was, together with Mohammad Obaid, responsible for a master level introductory course in Human-Computer Interaction. I really enjoyed that and I think the changes made to the course before it started really made a positive difference. One of the new parts we introduced to the course was a very appreciated creative prototyping session which I describe here. The students presented their final results in the middle of December and those results were very good. I describe the final presentation sessions here and the four finalists (which will compete for the winning team award) in these four blog posts:

  1. HCI course finalist 1: enhancing and simplifying the biking experience through augmented reality!
  2. HCI course finalist 2: utilizing haptic feedback for alerts and navigation cues!
  3. HCI course finalist 3: a solution for finding bikes to rent at your destination!
  4. HCI course finalist 4: a device presenting real-time and easily read navigational cues!

My research on the use of social media in higher education courses was also combined with my teaching in this course. The focus of that research is a teacher administrated Facebook-group which has been used as a complementary communication channel during the course. I explain the basic idea here.

Some other activities

Other activities worth bringing up here are my participation in the EIT Health Alumni Connect and the INNOVEIT events in Budapest in October. It was a great experience being there and my blog posts about Connect and INNOVEIT as well as those about the summer school also resulted in me being asked if I wanted to work with the EIT Health Alumni communication manager! Of course I accepted, but it remains to be seen exactly how that work should be carried out and what the tasks will be.

In November, I also took part in the first meeting as a representative in the eHealth council at the National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden. I wrote about some of my experiences from that meeting here. I think many interesting collaborations can be found here!

In April I also submitted my first ever VR (the Swedish Research Council) application, which focused on support for collaboration between sighted and deafblind pupils in school. I wrote about that here. Unfortunately, we did not get a grant this time, but we got a “Very good” ranking on all criteria related to the content and feasibility so we will definitely move on with our ideas!

communication · conference · EIT · EIT Health

About a rather unexpected impact of this blog…

When I started blogging a little more than a year ago I was, of course, hoping that some people would start following the blog, that I would get quite a few readers and that there would be some sharing going on via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (other than my own 🙂 ). At least up until today I have quite a few readers each day and most of my posts are shared at least a few times. I currently also have 8 followers. I kind of expected these results, but what I certainly didn’t expect, when it comes to impact, started happening after the first week of a summer school I participated in last summer.

As several of you probably already know, I blogged about the summer school activities on a daily basis. You can see posts from the first week here. About three weeks after the summer school week in Dublin I got a comment on the above mentioned post (the first comment I ever got) where a representative from EIT Health wanted to know if they could use material from my blog to show other interested students what goes on during the summer schools! A few days after I answered that it was ok, the blog was e.g. linked at this page and in a news letter with general information about EIT Health activities.

A similar thing happened after I had visited the events EIT Health Alumni Connect and INNOVEIT 2017 in Budapest. As was the case for the summer school I wrote about both events directly after they took place. While I was still in Budapest one of the organizers of EIT Health Alumni Connect asked if he could post material from this blog post in order to show what we did during the event. Some new pictures were added and some minor edits in the text was done before this was posted on the EIT Health Alumni news page. Later on the same post was also used by EIT Alumni. I’m quite sure the use of these posts by EIT Health is one of the reasons why I was asked if I wanted to support the communications manager at EIT Health Alumni.

I have no idea if similar things will happen again, but I will definitely keep blogging about events I take part in and I’m really happy that EIT Health (Alumni) found my posts valuable enough to link to or reuse them! I also hope that I can support EIT Health Alumni in the future by e.g. reporting from other events. I really believe in that network and think that the work performed there is very important.

conference · eHealth · EIT · EIT Health

Some thoughts on this year’s INNOVEIT, in Budapest


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


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.