Tag: connected health

NordiCHI Workshop – Call for Participation

Design Methods in Connected Health

We are excited to invite you to our interactive workshop, which will explore and advance design methods for Connected Health applications.

Full day on 13 October 2024, On-site at Ekonomikum, Uppsala University

The Design Methods in Connected Health workshop aims to bring together researchers, practitioners, and designers in eHealth to explore innovative design approaches and philosophies that can enhance the user experience, accessibility, and overall effectiveness of electronic health technologies. Connected health is a multifaceted concept encompassing technology to improve healthcare delivery and patient outcomes. Design methods are processes and tools for creating effective user experiences in technology development. 

This workshop will explore diverse design approaches from various fields, including Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Information Systems (IS), Health Informatics, and Healthcare. 

It aims to foster the exchange of ideas and methodologies across these domains. The aims and objectives include 

  • to explore the diverse design methods in the context of eHealth applications, 
  • to discuss the impact of design on user engagement, and overall health outcomes, 
  • to share best practices and case studies of eHealth design implementations, 
  • to foster collaboration between researchers and practitioners for future advancements in eHealth design, and 
  • to collaborate on drafting a joint paper for a scientific journal, drawing upon the collective insights gained. 

The workshop will explore design methods, analyzing their strengths and weaknesses to determine the most suitable approach for different situations. Through a mix of presentations, group discussions, and collaborative activities like a gallery walk (an activity where participants rotate through stations to evaluate and discuss ideas), participants will engage in a dynamic learning experience. The workshop culminates in a collaborative effort to draft a joint paper for a scientific journal, drawing upon the collective insights gained.

The workshop will be in person and will feature an introduction to various design practices used in the eHealth field using a fishbowl discussion method. This will be followed by discussions on these philosophies using an interactive method called Gallery Walk, which is an activity where participants rotate through stations to evaluate and discuss ideas. This is followed by a wrap-up session. 

Who Should Attend?

  •    Researchers in design and Connected Health.
  •    UX designers specializing in Connected Health projects.
  •    Healthcare professionals interested in developing Connected Health solutions.

What to Expect:

  • Interactive Sessions: Participate in engaging discussions and a “gallery walk” to critically assess and compare different design methods.
  • Collaborative Paper: Collaborate with other attendees to co-author a paper intended for publication in a scientific journal, leveraging the collective expertise and insights acquired during the workshop.
  • Sharpen Your Skills: Improve your understanding of Connected Health design methods and acquire actionable knowledge to create user-centric Connected Health solutions.


The submission should be a maximum of 3 pages long.

  • Format: Please use the old SIGCHI extended abstract format.
  • Title and Author Information: Clear and descriptive title of the submission. Name(s), affiliation(s), and email address(es).
  • Abstract: 100-150 words. A brief overview of the design method, its context, and the key takeaways.
  • Introduction: Provide background information and relevance of the design method to Connected Health. Outline the specific areas or challenges or issues the method addresses in Connected Health.
  • Design Method Description: Describe the design method in detail. Outline the steps, tools, and techniques involved. Mention any theoretical or conceptual frameworks underpinning the method.
  • Application and Context: Describe a specific use case or example where the design method was applied. Provide context about how the method was implemented, including settings, participants, and any technological tools used. Discuss any challenges encountered during the application of the method.
  • Outcomes and Lessons Learned: Summarize the outcomes or results achieved through the application of the design method. Share key insights or lessons learned from the experience. Discuss how the design method impacted user engagement, accessibility, or health outcomes.
  • Discussion: Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the design method. If applicable, compare with other design methods used in similar contexts. Suggest potential improvements or future applications of the method in Connected Health.
  • Conclusion: Recap the key points of the submission. Propose next steps for research or practice in Connected Health design.
  • Appendices (Optional): Any supplementary material, such as diagrams, detailed tables, or screenshots of the design method in action.

Important Dates:

  • Deadline for Abstract Submission – 10 August 2024
  • Notification of Acceptance – 20 August 2024
  • Workshop Date – 13 October 2024

Email your submissions to: Shweta Premanandan (shweta.premanandan@im.uu.se), Awais Ahmad (awais.ahmad@it.uu.se)

Workshop Organizers:

  • Åsa Cajander, Department of Information Technology, Uppsala University (asa.cajander@it.uu.se)
  • Sofia Ouhbi, Department of Information Technology, Uppsala University (sofia.ouhbi@it.uu.se)
  • Shweta Premanandan, Department of Informatics and Media, Uppsala University (shweta.premanandan@im.uu.se)
  • Awais Ahmad, Department of Information Technology, Uppsala University (awais.ahmad@it.uu.se)

E-Coaching for Informal Caregivers: Building Resilience and Well-being

Closeup of a support hands

As we navigate through the complex experience of caregiving, it is often the informal caregivers, such as close friends or relatives, who become the unsung heroes of caregiving at home. These caregivers are the ones who provide the much-needed support and assistance that patients require to live life with some semblance of normalcy.

For informal caregivers, providing care for a loved one can be emotionally, physically, and mentally challenging. They often have to adapt to a new role as the primary caregiver, while also managing their own lives and responsibilities. Consequently, caregiving can take a toll on these caregivers’ well-being, with many experiencing stress and burnout. Interventions designed to provide support to these caregivers are thus crucial. To this end, our recent study identified important unmet needs of informal caregivers and provided design suggestions for a persuasive e-coaching application using the persuasive system design (PSD) model. The PSD model offers a systematic approach to designing IT interventions.

Using a qualitative research approach, we interviewed 13 informal caregivers and conducted a thematic analysis of the data. From this analysis, six needs were identified: monitoring and guidance, assistance in navigating formal care services, access to practical information without feeling overwhelmed, a sense of community, access to informal support, and the ability to accept grief. These needs formed the basis for suggested design features in an e-coaching application, using the PSD model.

However, we found that some needs could not be mapped using the existing PSD model. As such, we adapted the model to better address the needs of informal caregivers.

By identifying the needs of informal caregivers and providing design suggestions for an e-coaching application, this study offers support and hope for those navigating the challenging role of caregiving. The suggestions for e-coaching applications using the PSD model have the potential to ease the caregiving burden, as well as provide caregivers access to the support and resources they need to provide better care, which is an essential factor in improving both the caregiver’s well-being and the overall quality of care provided to patients. This study highlights the importance of providing support to informal caregivers and demonstrates the potential of technology-based interventions to improve caregivers’ lives. With further development and refinement, e-coaching applications designed based on the PSD model could become valuable tools for supporting and empowering informal caregivers.

Empowering People with Anxiety: Biofeedback-based Connected Health Interventions

In today’s fast-paced world, anxiety has become a prevalent and concerning issue affecting individuals of all ages. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated this problem, with feelings of fear, worry, and uncertainty becoming more common. As we strive to find effective interventions for anxiety, the emerging field of connected health, combined with biofeedback techniques, holds great promise.

Understanding Anxiety
Anxiety, a complex interplay of psychological and physiological factors, manifests as a state of fear, uneasiness, and nervousness. It is a natural response to stress, serving as a signal of potential danger. However, when anxiety becomes persistent and overwhelming, it may indicate the presence of an anxiety disorder. These disorders, such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, can significantly impact a person’s well-being and quality of life.

A person suffering from anxiety

The Rise of Anxiety
Anxiety disorders have been on the rise globally, and Sweden is no exception. Self-reported anxiety and nervousness have witnessed an 11% increase in the country between 2011 and 2021. Women tend to be more affected than men across all age groups. The contributing factors to anxiety disorders are multifaceted, including difficult life experiences, environmental influences, health behaviors, and various physical factors such as genetics and brain chemistry.

Connected Health Interventions for Anxiety
Connected health, the integration of information communication technology into healthcare, offers innovative solutions for managing anxiety. Among the various digital interventions, biofeedback stands out as a non-pharmacological and non-invasive approach. Biofeedback leverages the measurement of physiological changes associated with psychological states, enabling individuals to monitor and control their bodily functions influenced by anxiety.

Advantages of Biofeedback
Technological advancements have made biofeedback more accessible, affordable, and user-friendly. It allows individuals to gain awareness and insight into their physiological changes, empowering them to better regulate their mental states. Biofeedback can help individuals recognize internal states linked to arousal and relaxation, fostering a sense of self-efficacy and control. By addressing both psychological and physiological symptoms, biofeedback holds immense potential in anxiety detection and treatment.

Types of Biofeedback and Their Applications
Biofeedback utilizes various sources of biodata, including respiration, brain activity (neurofeedback), muscle tension, skin conductance, temperature, and heart rate variability. Our systematic literature review has revealed that biofeedback interventions for anxiety primarily leverage two types of feedback: modifications to user interface and experience or visual presentations of physiological changes. Virtual Reality (VR) has emerged as a powerful tool, enhancing the efficacy of biofeedback interventions by providing immersive exposure therapy experiences. Serious games coupled with biofeedback have also shown promising results, influencing behavior and facilitating learning.

Biofeedback is often combined with relaxation techniques, such as progressive relaxation, breathing exercises, and meditation. These practices have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing anxiety and stress. In biofeedback-based interventions, individuals receive real-time feedback on their physiological measurements, fostering a deeper understanding of the mind-body connection. Music therapy, coupled with biofeedback, has also yielded positive outcomes, regulating both physical and mental health.

The Road Ahead
As we delve deeper into the realm of biofeedback-based connected health interventions for anxiety, ongoing research and development are crucial. Further exploration of different sensors, treatment techniques, and physiological data collection methods will enhance the efficacy and accessibility of these interventions. Collaborations between researchers, clinicians, and technology experts hold the potential to transform anxiety management and empower individuals to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives.

Reference: Alneyadi, M., Drissi, N., Almeqbaali, M., and Ouhbi, S. (2021). Biofeedback-based Connected Mental Health Interventions for Anxiety: Systematic Literature Review. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 9(4): e26038, doi: 10.2196/26038