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Funded projects

U-PHIT: Understanding and designing for the long-term acceptance of Personal Health Informatics Tools

Funding source: Cyprus University of Technology (Starting Grant), 2017-2018
Role: Principal Investigator

Despite the wide acceptance of wearable activity trackers, researchers have raised concerns over their long-term effectiveness and a recent survey has found that over half of the owners of commercial trackers have discarded them within six months. Building upon a recently completed project funded by Carnegie Mellon Portugal, this project will seek to expand our understanding of the long-term adoption of wearable activity trackers and their impact on human behaviour, as well as to design new tools that sustain users’ engagement and prolong their impact on users’ health behaviours.

 

ENJECT: European Network for the Joint Evaluation of Connected Health Technology

Funding source: EU COST, 2014-2018
Role: Member

ENJECT is a 4 year research coordination programme funded by COST- the longest running European framework that supports trans-national cooperation among researchers, engineers, and scholars across Europe. ENJECT falls within the realm of Connected Health Research which focuses on a new technology-enabled model of healthcare delivery and encompasses terms such as wireless, digital, electronic, mobile, and tele-health. All stakeholders in the process are ‘connected’ by means of timely sharing and presentation of accurate and pertinent information regarding patient status through smarter use of data, devices, communication platforms, and people. ENJECT brings together an international network, including business and revenue modellers, clinicians, technologists, engineers, economists, ethnographers and health researchers, to help society to answer one question – how to connect therapies, patients and care-givers to deliver optimum health results in an era of stretched resources and increasing demands

 

Studying the factors that drive users’ long-term engagement with personal health informatics

Funding source: CMU Portugal, 2014 – 2015
Role: Principal Investigator (PI), Co-PI: Jodi Forlizzi (Carnegie Mellon University)

With chronic diseases accounting for nearly 40% of mortality cases and 75% of health care costs, policy makers are calling for a health care model that stresses patient-driven prevention. Wearable activity trackers have recently gained substantial interest as they can provide many benefits, ranging from increased awareness of one’s behaviors, to taking agency to manage one’s health and to even prevent hospital readmission. Yet, a recent survey has found that over a third of owners of activity trackers have discarded them within six months, and researchers have raised concerns over the plausible wear-off of any initial effects. This project will inquire into the long-term effects of wearable activity trackers on individuals’ physical activity and identify the factors that drive users’ engagement with these tools. This knowledge will then be fed into the design of novel solutions.

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Web Security and Privacy – Weaving together technology innovation with human and policy considerations

Funding source: CMU Portugal, 2011 – 2012
Role: Principal Investigator (PI)

With the Web mediating an ever wider range of services, with the proliferation of access channels and with the increasing complexity of underlying Web technologies, providing users with the functionality, security and privacy they have grown to expect is becoming more challenging every day. Increasingly, users are expected to control a broad range of security and privacy policies, from security settings on their cell phones and computers all the way to privacy policies that control who can access their data on social networking sites, Yet, studies have shown that both lay and expert users often have great difficulty specifying their policies using existing policy authoring technologies. This in turn results in user frustration and major sources of vulnerability. Over and over again, studies have shown that humans, whether as users or administrators, are often an important factor in many security breaches. This project brought together three Portuguese Universities (University of Madeira, University of Mihno, and Instituto Superior Técnico), a multi-disciplinary team from CMU, and a Portuguese end-user organization, namely SAPO/Portugal Telecom, on the development and validation of novel policy authoring and auditing tools along with novel machine learning algorithms aimed at empowering users to more effectively control their security and privacy settings, and effectively decide whether or not to trust different types of mobile and pervasive computing.

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Sustainable Interaction with social Networks, context Awareness and Innovative Services

Funding source: CMU Portugal,  2010 – 2012
Role: Co-PI, PI: Nuno Nunes

Environmental sustainability is an increasingly important global issue. Quite simply, humans, particularly those in the western world, use resources far faster than they can be reproduced. This behavior is arguably a consequence of the seductive vision of “wellbeing” afforded, enabled and encouraged by industrialization; a vision based on personal ownership and mass consumption. A society expressing wellbeing in this way is intrinsically unsustainable and the research challenge addressed in this project is the creation and discovery of methods for people to achieve self-fulfillment sustainably. The work is situated in the multi-disciplinary field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and has three major foci: (i) use of sensors and machine learning to monitor and make sense of human behavior; (ii) application of motivational theory to intentionally influence people’s behavior; and (iii) use of a design mode of inquiry to address “wicked problems,” such as sustainability. The practical work takes place in two key areas of human activity: resource use in the home and transportation. A major theme throughout the project is the use of social networking services as an enabling technology.

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Logica Service Design Lab

Funding source: Logica & Regional Government of Madeira, 2011 – 2013.
Role: Co-PI, PI: Monchu Chen

The Service Design Logica Lab was a partnership between Madeira-ITI, Madeira Tecnopolo, and the company Logica Iberica. Its aim was to develop new methods, processes that support design teams in industrial settings to conceptualize technological products as services and design the service experience.

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DELUX – Delightful Long-Term User Experience: Creating Customer Loyalty

Funding source: TEKES – Finish funding agency for Technology and Innovation, 2011 – 2013
Role: International Partner, PI: Sari Kujala

DELUX was a two-year research project, funded by TEKES, and run by the Unit of Human-Centered Technology in Tampere University of Technology in collaboration with the industrial partners Nokia, Fiskars, Suunto and PAF. DELUX aimed at investigating the long-term user experience in order to understand how to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty in prolonged product use. The objective was to develop methods, tools, and practices for measuring how users experience interactive products over the long-term.

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EU Cost Action TwinTide – towards the evaluation of transectorial IT design and evaluation

Funding source: EU COST, 2011 – 2013
Role: Member

The main objective of the Action is to harmonise research and practice on design and evaluation methodologies for computing artefacts, across sectors and disciplines.

Third-wave human computer interaction (HCI) is characterised by a diversifying user base and use contexts, new emphasis on user experience and new interaction styles. This implies a need for informed method choice sensitive to domains, user groups and system objectives. Effective method use requires complex judgments about applicability across applications and genres, with failure implying significant financial and human costs. The adoption of ICT across ages and abilities further increases the need for sound D&E methods, which bring about useful, usable, desirable computing artefacts that improve life quality. Effective cross-sectorial transfer of design and evaluation (D&E) methods is plausible and demonstrable. Relevant research work, however, is fragmented and scattered.

The Action aims to provide harmonization and leadership currently lacking in this field by bringing together researchers and D&E professionals. Their broad experience of D&E methods deployed in different sectors and disciplines enables comparison of method applications, assessing transferability of both established and novel approaches. These collaborative activities in Working Groups and open Workshops will facilitate production of a generic D&E method selection and application framework and scientific publications reaching the wider research community. The Action will also provide young interdisciplinary researchers with systematic training and networking opportunities such as STSMs and Training Schools.