PHI Seminar Speaker Series
The PHI Seminar Speaker Series launched in the fall of 2012 and is held many weeks throughout the academic year. Speakers include innovative thinkers in academia and the health and medical technology industries on topics ranging such as basic research that impacts PHI technology, development, deployment, and evaluation of PHI systems, innovations in related key technologies, and health technology innovation, dissemination, and entrepreneurship. You can receive notification of PHI seminar series events by subscribing to the PHI-Seminar announcement-only mailing list.
- Time and location for Fall 2016 TBD
- Open to the community
Schedule for Fall 2016
The schedule for Fall 2016 will be posted in September.
Schedule for Fall 2015
Privacy intact? Boundary management and why it matters for older adults
Clara Berridge, PhD, MSW
Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research, Brown University
September 14, 12-1 PM, Location: SH 415
The technological generational shift from active personal emergency response systems to passive continuous monitoring installed in the living spaces of older adults has raised concerns about the invasion of privacy, yet how do we ask questions about new technology-based care practices that appear to challenge existing expectations and meanings of privacy?In this presentation, I will describe findings from a study that examines the ways in which users and former users of a sensor-based remote monitoring system make sense of its relationship to their privacy. Forty-nine in-depth interviews were conducted with elder residents, family members, and staff of ethnically diverse, low-income independent living residence apartment buildings where the passive monitoring system had been offered for six years. Five diverse ways of articulating privacy emerged. These themes lend themselves to Julie Cohen’s boundary management framework, provoking the question of how the introduction of passive monitoring changes boundaries and tools for managing them. Analyses identify where boundary intrusion can occur in practice, as well as how changes to technology design and procedures could create opportunities for residents to manage their own boundaries according to their privacy needs.
The Health Innovations Program at Halmstad University: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Technology for Successful Aging
Ingela Skärsäter, RN, PhD & Margaretha Pejner, RN, PhD
School of Health and Welfare, Halmstad University, Sweden
September 21, 12-1 PM, Location: SH 415
Halmstad University in Halmstad, Sweden, much like Northeastern University, has taken on a strategic initiative in the area of technology for successful aging. Both universities are poised to be leaders in this multidisciplinary effort. Ingela Skärsäter, a professor of nursing at Halmstad University conducts research in digital home services for older adults to support aging in place, with a specialization on mental health. Dr. Skärsäter now directs Halmstad University’s Health Innovations Program, with an emphasis on aging and technology. Dr. Margaretha Pejner also works in the area of health and wellness for older adults and leads the EU-funded effort on exploring work competencies required for clinical services in the Halmstad region. She is a district nurse with both inpatient and home health experience in the municipality services in the Halmstad region. Drs. Skärsäter and Pejner are working in consultation with Misha Pavel and Holly Jimison from NU on coordinating multidisciplinary research projects that bring junior faculty from both clinical and engineering disciplines together to solve the challenge of helping older adults remain independent and able to age in place with a high quality of life.
An evidence-based adoption of technology model for the remote monitoring of elders’ daily activities
Diane Mahoney, PhD, ANP-BC, FGSA, FAAN
Jacque Mohr Professor of Geriatric Nursing Research
Director of Gerontechnology Research & Development
Senior Scientist, MGH Munn Center for Nursing Research
Massachusetts General Hospital, Institute of Health Professions
September 28, 12-1 PM, Location: SH 415
Academic researchers have highlighted the need for theoretical developments in technology-intervention research. Dr. Mahoney will discuss the studies from her program of gerontechnology research that provided the evidence for her Adoption of Technology Model for use with older adults and their caregivers. This model begins to respond to the theory-building need and establishes a conceptual foundation for future research. She will highlight practical issues and lessons learned for technology developers and interventionists to consider; because what benefit will occur from new technologies if end users don’t adopt or underutilize them?Dr. Mahoney is a geriatric nurse practitioner, senior social science researcher, and gerontologist who has been developing and testing innovative ways to use telecommunication and wireless sensor based technologies with frail and cognitively impaired older adults and their family caregivers for the last twenty years.
Technology in support of healthy living: What works, what doesn’t, and what we can do about it
Director of Health Department, Ambient Health Technologies
Oldenburger Institute for Information Technology (OFFIS), Oldenburg, Germany
October 19, 12-1 PM, Location: SH 415
It is a strange paradox that we are talking about health technology, but care much more about disease technology. We address chronic diseases, we want to change unhealthy behaviors, we aim to help careers and nurses – but we hardly ever look at those who are and want to remain healthy. This is strange, as times of health outnumber periods of disease in most person’s lifetimes. In my talk I will discuss some challenges related to technology for living healthy, e.g.:
- Why is there an inherent trade-off between quality of data and precision?
- How can we measure health beyond counting steps?
- Can we really design systems for life-long use, and what would they look like?
Based on these challenges I will provide insight into our work on usable and reasonable technology for holistic lifelong health.
Jochen Meyer studied Computer Science at the University of Oldenburg, Germany from 1989 to 1994. From 1994 to 1995, he worked as a software developer in Hamburg. Since 1995, he has worked at the research institute OFFIS in Oldenburg, where he first was active as a research assistant in the area of digital libraries and internet technologies. From 1998 to 2008 he was director of the division of Multimedia and Internet Information Services. Since 2008 he has been director of the Health department at OFFIS where he is responsible for about 30 researchers working in regional, national and international projects. His research areas include technologies for well-being and prevention, ambient assisted living, and personal use of multimedia data.
From Nursing Practice to Intervention Development: Lowering Urban Women’s HIV Risk with Love, Sex, & Choices, a Web-based Video Series on Smartphones
Rachel Jones, PhD, RN, FAAN
School of Nuring, Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University
October 26, 12-1 PM, Location: SH 415
This presentation will review a current, ongoing randomized controlled trial to evaluate an intervention utilizing Love, Sex, & Choices (LSC), a 12-episode, soap opera web series designed to promote reduction in HIV risk behavior and increase in HIV testing among high risk, young, urban Black women. Dr. Jones will discuss the theoretical framework and descriptive studies that led to the development of LSC, with additional emphasis on benchmarks to evaluate differences in risk and demographics between those recruited online and those recruited in traditional on-the-ground venue sampling. Technical matrices, performance matrices and video evaluation will be described. By integrating dissemination and implementation criteria into an efficacy trial as a hybrid model, LSC can feasibly and rapidly be scaled-up to stream 24/7 via Internet access.Dr. Jones is an Associate Professor at Northeastern School of Nursing and a Faculty Scholar at the Institute on Urban Health Research and Practice. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, and a former recipient of the Nurse Educator of the New York Times Tribute to Nurses award. Previously in clinical practice as a family nurse practitioner, a large proportion of her caseload was people with, or at risk, for HIV/AIDS.
Jintronix, an easy-to-use virtual rehabilitation platform
Chief Product Officer & Co-Founder, Jintronix
November 9, 12-1 PM, Location: Webinar
This presentation will describe the technologies utilized by Jintronix, an easy-to-use virtual rehabilitation platform designed for physical and occupational therapy. It combines common rehab movements, virtual games and motion sensing cameras to offer a fun and effective tool for physical rehabilitation. Jintronix is an application that may be downloaded and installed on a personal computer (PC). It contains all the activities that patients would engage in to participate in their physical therapy. Currently, the system requires that a clinician be monitoring the users, and prescribing the activities based on the client’s needs.Mark Evin is a multimedia producer and programmer driven to make great ideas fly. After graduating from Concordia University’s Communication Studies program in 2004, Mark worked in in television production at Apartment 11 Productions and music/sound production with YTV. Mark later turned his focus to multimedia and became CEO of Jin Motion Inc. in 2009. With Jin Motion, he worked on several projects including a haptics/VR system for McGill’s School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, as well as an interactive computer-vision display for the Montreal Science Centre, which he developed and produced. Together with Daniel Schacter in 2012, he co-founded Jintronix, which boasts over 5,000 patient users in post-acute facilities and from the comforts of their own living rooms.
Eric Anderson, PhD
Center for Applied Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Tufts University
November 16, 12-1 PM, Location: SH 415
There are many reasons why we’d like to measure and sense emotional feelings in other people: knowing when someone is depressed, anxious, or in pain would allow for intervention. Perceiving emotions seems like a simple issue–we plainly see emotions in other people, so sensors should have no problem. However, this simplicity is an illusion. In this talk, I will discuss some of the challenges of measuring affect and emotions using the current methods in psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Finally, I will touch on current theoretical perspectives on affect and emotions and the implications these have.Eric is an affective scientist who explores how feelings influence experience. In particular, his present research explores how the experience of eating is influenced by affective, moral beliefs. He is also interested in leveraging technology to link basic lab science to societal issues in the real world.
Computational epidemiology does more than forecast
Alessandro Vespignani, PhD
Sternberg Family Distinguished University Professor
Department of Physics, College of Science
College of Computer and Information Science
Bouvé College of Health Science
November 30, 12-1 PM, Location: SH 415
Recent years have witnessed the development of data driven models of infectious diseases rooted in the combination of large–scale data mining techniques, computational approaches and mathematical modeling. Although these models are increasingly used to support public-health decisions they are often under debate by only considering their value as forecasting tools. Here I will discuss, by using specific modeling examples of the H1N1 pandemic and the West Africa Ebola epidemic, how computational models can be used in real time to provide situational awareness, intervention planning and projections, and the identification of factors that fundamentally influence the course of an outbreak.
Prof. Vespignani’s research activity focuses on the interdisciplinary application of statistical and numerical simulation methods in the study of biological, social and technological networks. Vespignani has interdisciplinary appointments in the College of Computer and Information Science, College of Science and the Bouvé College of Health Sciences. Prior to joining NU, he was J.H. Rudy Professor of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University and serving as the Director of the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research and the Associate Director of the Pervasive Technology Institute (2004-2011). Prof. Vespignani is serving in the editorial board of several journals and is editor in Chief of EPJ Data Science (Springer). He is president elected of the Complex Systems Society, and in the board of the Institute for Scientific Interchange Foundation. Vespignani is an elected fellow of the American Physical Society, elected member of the Academy of Europe, and fellow of the Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences at Harvard University.
Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior and the Workplace
Dinesh John, PhD
Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University
December 7, 12-1 PM, Location: SH 415
Prolonged sedentary behavior characterized by long bouts of sitting increases the risk for premature mortality and chronic health hazards including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and musculoskeletal disorders. This increased risk is present even among individuals who regularly engage in moderate-vigorous physical activity. More than 50% of the American workforce is employed in office jobs involving prolonged sitting and are therefore at risk for these health hazards. Ergonomic sit-to-stand and dynamic treadmill workstations are innovative workplace interventions that allow office workers to decrease sedentary behavior and engage in light activity and standing while working. A goal of Dr. John¹s work is to decrease workplace sedentary behavior to improve overall health in office workers. He has demonstrated that overweight office workers using treadmill workstations for 9-months replace an average of 2.5 hours of sitting with slow walking and standing while minimally affecting work productivity. This increase in light intensity activity resulted in significant weight loss and improved cardiovascular and metabolic health. Similarly, office workers using sit-to-stand workstations reduced their average sitting time by 2.6 hours during the workday over the course of 8 months. Dr. John uses commercially available sensor-based devices to measure and motivate behavior change to maximize intervention efficacy among office workers. Dr. John is currently collaborating with Massachusetts General Hospital/Partners Health Care and is conducting a cluster-randomized control study aiming to compare the health benefits of decreasing sedentary behavior at work using treadmill and sit-to-stand workstations on various markers of health. This work is funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The talk will discuss findings from his previous work supporting the health benefits of engaging in light intensity activity at the workplace and the future directions of this line of research.
Dinesh John, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Health Sciences Department at Northeastern University. He earned his doctorate from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and received postdoctoral training at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Dr. John’s research examines the effects of physical activity and sedentary behavior on various health outcomes. His interventions mainly target the workplace and focus on modifying the office space to promote physical activity and decrease sedentary behavior. These interventions include treadmill and sit-to-stand workstations that allow sedentary office workers to alternate between sitting, standing and slow walking while simultaneously performing work.
Previous schedule for Fall 2014
Uncovering the Narrative Code: Interactive Stories for Youth Health
Amy S. Lu, PhD
College of Arts, Media & Design and Bouvé College of Health Sciences
October 16, 4-5 PM, Location: BK 105
One of the oldest forms of communication, the narrative is pervasive across digital media. Recent studies have shown that narratives can serve as powerful tools for health promotion. The more a story “transports” or “immerses” a person into the narrative world, the more story-consistent beliefs and thoughts will be afterward.Persuading youth to adopt a healthy lifestyle requires creation of effective health messages through interdisciplinary collaboration. Digital media are especially important when trying to reach this age group, who are active media users and early adopters of new technologies. Young people are also highly imaginative and may be more receptive than adults to entertainment narratives with fictional elements.This talk will discuss a series of empirical research projects exploring the narrative in the context of blogs, animation, and health video games.
Verification of the Daily Activities of Older Adults: A Simple, Non-intrusive, Low-Cost Approach
Charles Consel, PhD
Professor of Computer Science
University of Bordeaux, Talence, France
October 27, 3-4 PM, Location: WVH 366
This talk will present an approach to verifying the activities of daily living of elders at their home. We verify activities, instead of inferring them, because our monitoring approach is driven by routines, initially sketched by users in their environment. Monitoring is supported by a lightweight sensor infrastructure, comprising non-intrusive, low-cost, wireless devices. Verification is performed by applying a simple formula to sensor log data, for each activity of interest.
Charles Consel is a professor of Computer Science at University of Bordeaux. He served on the faculty of Yale University, Oregon Graduate Institute and the University of Rennes. His research contributions cover programming languages, software engineering, operating systems, pervasive computing, & assisted living.
PHI Usability Evaluation Practicum
Zessie Zhang and Shuo Zhou
Grad Students, PHI Program, Northeastern University
October 30, 4-5 PM, Location: BK 105
Description: The two presenters spent two weeks at Boston Medical Center to understand the experience of hospital patients, interact with doctors and nurses, and try to identify opportunities for technology-based improvements. They will present their observation findings, qualitative analyses, and design recommendations for future studies.
Combining Real-Time Measures of Health Behaviors, Exposures, and Symptoms
Genevieve Dunton, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine and Psychology
University of Southern California
November 7, 2-3 PM, Location: 315 SH
Unhealthy lifestyle behaviors and exposures such as poor diet, physical inactivity, poor air quality, and ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun have severe health consequences. Using retrospective questionnaires to measure these behaviors can introduce errors, biases, and fallacies. This presentation will highlight the cutting-edge research being conducted in Dr. Dunton’s Real-Time Eating Activity and Children’s Health (REACH) lab at the University of Southern California. It will describe how Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) can be combined with other mobile sensing technologies such as accelerometers, GPS, instrumented asthma inhalers, UV dosimeters, and ambulatory cortisol assessments to examine psychological and contextual correlates of health behaviors, environmental exposures, and illness symptoms. The findings will be discussed in terms of methodological and theoretical contributions to our knowledge of how momentary experiences and decisions affect health.
Keeping the “Patient” in “Patient-Centric Care”: Preserving the Relational Aspects of Doctor-Patient Interactions
Timothy Hoff, PhD
D’Amore-McKim School of Business
School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy
November 13, 4-5 PM, Location: BK 105
There is a meaningful management and policy focus on making US health care delivery more “patient-centric”. New models such as the medical home place a greater focus on patient needs and expectations at the center of their philosophy. That said, the current health care system appears to moving away from traditional relational elements of doctor-patient care delivery, creating new health care interactions that rely on the use of information technology, the Internet, new health workforce models, and more population-based management of health needs. While advancing the transactional abilities of the care delivery system, these innovations may undermine or transform aspects of doctor-patient relationships in ways not anticipated, and which have implications for key system outcomes. This talk will discuss the factors promoting these transformations, the ways in which to conceptualize their possible effects, and the key research and policy questions that emerge from this understanding.
In Vivo Assessments of Human Behavior & Health: A Methodological Perspective
Mariya Shiyko, PhD
Department of Counseling and Applied Educational Psychology
Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University
November 20, 4-5 PM, Location: BK 105
In social & behavioral sciences, intensive longitudinal data are frequently collected with mobile phones that prompt participants to respond to a series of questions that focus on momentary experiences. Assessments include reports of environment (e.g., Right now, are there in a company of other smokers?), behaviors (e.g., Are you smoking right now?), and related psychological constructs (e.g., On a scale from 0 to 10, how much do you want to smoke right now?). Collected data contains missed assessments, irregular spacing of observations, unique scheduling of assessments across participants, and complex relational patterns between variables. The talk with describe two methodological approaches, the time-varying effect modeling (TVEM) and varying-coefficient regression (VCR) that were developed to address challenges of intensive longitudinal data. Both methods can be used to investigate dynamics of relationships between variables expressed as parameter functions that change continuously over time (or another important contextual domain). Empirical examples from smoking-cessation studies will be used to highlight uniqueness of the analytical methods and their contributions to smoking-cessation research.
Exploring the efficacy of using a social game for health behavior change
Magy Seif El-Nasr, PhD
Director of Game Educational Programs and Research at Northeastern
Director of the Game Design Program
College of Arts, Media, and Design
College of Computer and Information Sciences
December 4, 4-5 PM, Location: BK 105
Recent reports show that about 34.4% of the U.S. adults above 20 years old are overweight; it is projected that 86% of the adult population will be either at risk for obesity or obese by 2030. Major causes for such epidemic are a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet. Persuasive health games have a potential to impact this problem. And, similar to other types of interventions, adherence and engagement in health games is the keystone for examining their short- and long-term effects. However, according to many reports, only 41% participants are retained in single player games and 29% in social games after 90 days. These statistics raise multiple questions about factors influencing adherence and engagement.
In this talk, we discuss a study we conducted to explore these variables in the context of a commercial health social game called SpaPlay. SpaPlay (IgnitePlay, 2011) was built based on theoretical principles of Self-Determination theory. Players build and run a virtual “health Spa resort,” and its growth and success is tied to health-based activities that players undertake in real life. Examples of activities include choosing a healthy snack, including vegetables in a diet, climbing stairs, and walking. Players engage in quests, which include long chain of activities taken alone or in a group. The online community of fellow players creates opportunities for vicarious learning, motivation, and mutual support.
In this talk, we specifically ask the question of what design parameters in the game affect adherence and engagement? As a start to unpack these variables in the design of pervasive social games for health.
Previous schedule for Summer 2014
The InterWalk Project: Implementing Interval Walking Training (IWT) in Type 2 Diabetes Treatment at the National Level
Mathias Ried-Larsen & Henning Langberg
Centre for Physical Activity Research, Rigshospitalet, Denmark
CopenRehab, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
June 2, 10-11 AM, Location: Room 366 WVH
Physical activity is included in the first line treatment in Type 2 Diabetes (T2D). However, evidence supports supervised exercise and little evidence indicates that current un-supervised physical activity regimens are effective in TD2 rehabilitation. As the numbers of T2D patients increase and supervised exercise regimens labor intensive and expensive, novel effective unsupervised exercise are pivotal in prevention of morbidities and treatment of T2D. We have shown that the novel exercise mode, interval walking training (cycle of three minutes of slow walking followed by three minutes of fast walking) delivered by a small training computer (JD mate), is more efficient in improving physical fitness and glycemic control and reduce central fatness compared to continuous walking in T2D patients independent of the overall volume during walking. However, delivering interval walking on a large scale still remains a challenge as the training computer was expensive and frequently malfunctioning. New approaches are needed in order to ensure an effective implementation. Information technology (IT) has shown promising results in T2D self-management. Therefore, we developed an application (app) for smartphones to promote interval walking in the T2D population – the InterWalk app. The app serves as a personal trainer and provides feedback on the quality of interval walking by engaging the onboard sensors in the smartphone. Uniquely, we can combine exercise data from the app with the large Danish health and disease registers allowing us to evaluate the effect on a large scale. Although several applications to promote physical activity and exercise exist, none have been developed especially for T2D patients with a focus on individualized exercise and been systematically investigated effectiveness in T2D rehabilitation. The project consists of several sub-projects including testing of the effectiveness of the app in increasing physical activity compared to standard municipal setting in a large scale randomized controlled trial and evaluating the effect of nation-wide release of the app on glycemic control, morbidities, medication usage and contact to the treatment system in T2D patients. The latter is obtained by linking data from the app to the Danish registers. It is of utmost importance that we understand and are able implement and evaluate a feasible concept which is readily available for clinic and long-term therapy. Therefore, special attention is paid to develop novel tools for motivating the users to increase their habitual physical activity level. At the same time we intend develop feasible support frames for the municipalities to use directly in their prevention programs. The results from this project will potentially provide evidence to support implementation of a high quality intervention tool for use in the general public and specifically for rehabilitation of T2D patients at low cost, thus hopefully increase quality of life, decrease contact with the public care system and reduction of medication usage in the patient group. Since the release of the first version in November 2013, the app has been downloaded more than 10,000 times from app-store. Therefore, I expect that the results and experiences from this project will provide evidence that exercise can be effectively implemented at low costs on a large scale. Furthermore, I expect that this tele-medical approach is more effective compared to the municipal standard care implemented currently, thus will impact the way rehabilitation is implemented. Overall this project could potentially form ground for new approaches of rehabilitation, nationally as well as internationally, at reduced personal and societal costs.