Health and Well Being

Healthy Interaction Image

Health is a domain of immense significance to society, and of great strategic importance. The use of interactive technologies in clinical practice, preventative education and the treatment of chronic conditions has become pervasive. However, there is compelling evidence that current healthcare systems are under-performing: often unreliable, difficult to use, and failing to address the needs of clinicians and patients adequately. Surprisingly little attention has been paid to people's interactions with those technologies and designing effective interactions. The Health & Well Being theme includes research aimed at reducing errors with medical devices; investigating the positive and negative impacts of technology on work-life balance, and supporting those suffering from chronic pain to maintain a regular exercise programme.

CHI+MED: Computer Human Interaction for Medical Devices

PI: Ann Blandford


CHI+MED (Computer-Human Interaction for Medical Devices) is an EPSRC-funded project to improve the safety of interactive (programmable) medical devices, such as infusion pumps. By understanding more about device design and human factors, medical errors can be reduced thus saving lives. Our goal is to learn more about medical devices and how people design, buy and use them in the real world. From this understanding we will investigate how to reduce the likelihood and consequences of human error. We are working with patients and their carers, nurses and other medical practitioners, manufacturers who create medical devices, NHS staff who purchase them and regulatory bodies who oversee patient safety.
In CHI+MED, we are studying the situated use of interactive medical devices, such as infusion pumps, home haemodialysis machines and vital signs monitors, in hospitals and homes. We are also developing new theoretical approaches, based on Distributed Cognition and Resilience Engineering, to the study of these devices.

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PI: Yvonne Rogers, Co-I: Ann Blandford, Nadia Berthouze
UCL Steering committee member: Nadia Berthouze

Pervasive Healthcare is focused on working out how to cope with the next generation challenges in healthcare. Addressing these challenges will require expertise and knowledge exchange with countries beyond European borders as well as training of the next generation of researchers in order to gain the expertise necessary to be able to address the upcoming challenges. The objective of this project is to create a research exchange foundation that will equip students from different continents with expertise in Pervasive Healthcare. The knowledge of requirements and available technologies for healthcare will be shared and become complementary between students, researchers and host institutions from Europe and the associated third countries including Mexico, Chile, China and the USA. The exchange foundation will allow students to put this knowledge in use in their own countries, improving healthcare provisioning and impacting on both preventative medicine and alternative means of treatment.

UbiHealth Logo

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Pain Rehabilitation: E/Motion-based automated coaching

PI: Nadia Berthouze

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Farr Institute

PI: Ann Blandford 

The Farr Institute Logo

The Farr Institute is one of four E-Health Informatics Research Centers funded by the Medical Research Council. The Farr Institute will bring together clinical science, informatics expertise and educational strengths to drive the next generation of population-wide translational research, from discovery through trials to clinical practice, service delivery, patient outcomes and public health. It will drive data integration across clinical conditions, in primary and secondary care, to improve clinical practice and transform the relationship between clinician, patient and citizen and their health data.

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The Hearing Body

PI: Ana Tajadura-Jimenez

Hearing Body Picture

The Hearing Body is a project investigating how altering self-produced sounds in real-time may change the sense of one’s body. Systematically induced changes in the sense of one’s body may promote healthy behaviour and social interaction, which are central for enhancing the wellbeing of the general population, given that the sense of one’s body is tightly linked to action-awareness (which actions can I perform with my body?) and self-esteem (how I feel about my body). The Hearing Body will ultimately guide the design of audio-based applications that can improve body-image, self-esteem, movement patterns and social interactions to support wellbeing and rehabilitation for people with movement impairments.

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PI: Ann Blanford

ECLIPSE (Exploring the Current Landscape of Intravenous Infusion Practices & Errors) is a research project funded by NIHR (2014-2017) studying medication practices with infusion devices, to document the variety of existing practices and deliver recommendations for best practice in different situations.

For more information visit the project website at www.eclipse.ac.uk

Completed Projects

Healthy Interactive Systems: Resilient, Usable and Appropriate Systems in Healthcare

PIs: Ann Blandford and Harold Thimbleby
Completed 2014

Healthy Interaction Image

The focus of this grant is on "Healthy Interactive Systems in Healthcare", and it is concerned with designing effective user interactions with a variety of systems in healthcare, from the mundane (e.g. infusion pumps) through information systems to novel technologies (e.g. for pain management).  Our current work covers a breadth of topics including projects investigating how videogames can be used to maintain the traditional boundaries between work and personal-life, and how to embed UCD methods in organizations developing Medical Information Technologies.

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Digital Epiphanies

PI: Anna Cox

Completed 2014

The advances in technology in recent years have had many positive effects on the ways in which people can combine work and personal life. For example, being able to access email via a smartphone means that many can work from home, or work a flexible work pattern that successfully fits around caring responsibilities. However, the resulting "always-online" culture in which people expect almost instant responses to email messages, brings stresses and strains to those who feel under pressure to respond immediately and be available on a 24/7 basis.  This project will explore the impact of a range of digital technologies and practices on work-life balance across a range of individuals and households and whether existing technologies can be used to support and enable reflection on technological and work-life practices, and to bring about sustainable changes in practices

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Page last modified on 17 dec 14 13:46 by Rowanne Fleck