Crossing the chasms in eHealth;

Aligning processes and motivations across sectors, disciplines and professionals and patients

Eric Hekler, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine & Public Health at the University of California, San Diego. His research focuses on how to design and evaluate health behavior change technologies that facilitate long-term health and wellbeing. His expertise lies in behavioral theories, intervention development, research methods for designing and evaluating behavior change technologies, and in the application of Agile Science.

Keynote summary:
The field of eHealth research is complex and includes an highly diverse range of meaningful stakeholders. While this diversity is one of the strengths of eHealth, it is also one of its weaknesses as it creates great challenges for working together. There is often a large chasm that exists between sectors, such as academia, industry, healthcare providers and policy makers; between disciplines, such as behavioral science, computer science, design, medicine, public health, and engineering; and even between professionals and the patients and citizens these professionals try to help. The focus of this talk is to discuss strategies for crossing the chasms across all of these areas. Central to this discussion will be an emphasis on coming to the conversation with the right frame of mind (e.g., humble, curious, and with creative confidence) while, simultaneously, empowered with methods and processes, such as experience-driven design and agile science, that can facilitate meaningful understanding and effective “turn-taking.” In this talk, Dr. Hekler will provide a conceptual overview of these issues and then describe prior and ongoing projects that he worked on that involved crossing chasms of mis-understanding to produce meaningful real-world outcomes.

Anna Pohlmeyer, PhD is assistant professor at the department of Industrial Design at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, co-director of the Delft Institute of Positive Design, and board member of the Design Research Society Special Interest Group on Design for Wellbeing, Happiness, and Health. Anna’s trans-disciplinary background combines studies in psychology, a PhD in engineering and years of teaching and doing design. Prior to her doctoral studies, she worked at MIT AgeLab on ideas and technologies that improve quality of life across the lifespan. Her research expertise includes Design for Happiness, Human-Centered Design Methodology, and Prolonging Positive Experiences with Design.

Keynote summary:
According to the World Health Organisation, health is more than the absence of disease – it is also a matter of mental and social wellbeing. While physical health has been addressed through design for decades, design for psychological wellbeing has only recently received explicit attention in design research. In this talk, Dr. Pohlmeyer will share challenges, opportunities as well as many examples of Design for Happiness. Some of these are behavioural intervention technologies in the form of personal apps that support people with trainings, and services to improve their health and wellbeing. However, despite scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of dedicated interventions, these face a number of challenges such as limited reach. In addition to supporting people’s wellbeing through specialised interventions, design can also have impact on people’s wellbeing through already existing routines of the everyday. Even simple interactions of preparing dinner and commuting to work can be designed with wellbeing principles in mind. Dr. Pohlmeyer argues that a key element of wellbeing promotion and bringing Design for Happiness to scale is weaving it into everyday practices.

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