Pioneers in Healthcare Voucher for Wearable Breathing Trainer

Screen Shot 2018-08-31 at 18.13.41The Pioneers in Health Care (PIHC) Innovation Fund (a joint fund by UT, MST, ZGT, Deventer Ziekenhuis, Saxion and Menzis) aims at faster introduction of innovative technology in clinical practice by bottom-up collaboration between the world of new technology and medical practice. On December 11, we received a voucher of 70.000 euro from this fund for the further development of a Wearable Breathing Trainer for children with respiratory problems.

Respiratory disorders such as asthma and dysfunctional breathing (DB) are common in childhood. Exercise challenge tests can assess both the asthmatic and DB component of symptoms. However, exercise tests are hospital-based and expensive. Analysis of respiratory symptoms and assessment of efficacy of therapy in the home environment could provide the paediatrician and child an objective tool to acquire relevant data. We will study how a Wearable Breathing Trainer can signal respiratory parameters, detect and analyze respiratory disorders and provide real-time feedback to the child. The Wearable Breathing Trainer uses sensors and robotic textile and will be designed to support self-management. This project is a continuation of our Textile Reflexes project that created a first prototype of a posture correction vest. A first prototype of the Wearable Breathing Trainer was developed supported by a fund from the Innovatiefonds Creatieve Industrie awarded to Hellen van Rees. Lara Siering made a first design for the interaction with the Wearable Breathing Trainer during her bachelor final project.

This project moves care closer to home by connecting (wearable) electronics to healthcare professionals (e-health). This more general development is relevant for the target group:in the standard current care, children with dysfunctional breathing interact regularly with healthcare professionals in hospitals and labs. Moving care ( in this case monitoring and coaching of breathing) will benefit this target group and will invite them to regularly train with confidence while having fun.

The partners for the PIHC project are:

  • Boony Thio & Pascal Keijzer, paediatrics, MST.
  • Eliza Bottenberg & Carlos Kuhlmann, Smart Functional Materials, Saxion.
  • Geke Ludden & Lara Siering, Interaction Design, UT
  • Angelika Mader, Human Media Interaction, UT
  • Jean Driessen, sports medicine, ZGT
  • Hellen van Rees, MA, textile and fashion designer.



Funding for Connecting Industry project with Philips VitalMinds

We have been collaborating with Philips VitalMinds for a while now in students projects. We can now continue this collaboration with funding for a PhD student from the Top Technology Twente Connecting Industry program that is supported by the Topsector HTSM.

FundingVitalMinds Sky was granted for the proposal entitled Digital Nature – Enhancing Patient Care and Control.  This project is aimed at investigating how novice users (patients at the IC environment) can use an advanced lighting device, the VitalSky, in order to control and manage their recovery process. Furthermore, we will develop, test, and implement evidence-based nature-inspired content as it can prevent delirium and facilitate and speed up the recovery process.

This means that we will be looking for a PhD student to work on this project. A profile will be online soon but don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions now. Collaborators on the project are dr. Thomas van Rompay (UT) and  prof. dr. Bart Verkerke (UT/UMCG). Prof. dr. Sophia de Rooij (UMCG) is advisor for the project.

Read the abstract and aims of the project below:

Digital Nature – Enhancing Patient Care and Control.

To prevent delirium, non-pharmacological, psychological strategies that reduce a.o. a disrupted sleep-wake cycle are particularly effective. The Philips VitalMinds venture has developed a luminous ceiling called VitalSky that provides not only circadian-effective lighting to support the sleep-wake cycle of patients in the IC environment, but also has the possibility of rendering coloured lighting content, allowing for presentation of nature-based scenes facilitating patient recovery.

The project aims are:
1) Acquiring fundamental knowledge on specific nature features and their effects on patient experience.
2) Investigate how physiological patient data can be used to steer device functioning.
3) Integration of fundamental knowledge on nature features and relevant physiological data to optimize VitalSky.
4) Developing the interaction protocols via which patients and other stakeholders in the IC context can interact with device and contents.

Collaboration with medical experts will ensure that the developments contribute to treatment planning and workflow efficiency. By contributing to patient health and wellbeing as well as to treatment planning, decision making and reduced labor time by medical staff and experts, our project will stimulate quick recovery after treatment, thereby shortening hospitalization and facilitating early rehabilitation and a rapid return to normal daily activities.

4TU – Pride & Prejudice

Screen Shot 2018-03-31 at 21.22.20Happy and proud to be able to share that ‘Pride & Prejudice’, the proposal that we submitted for the 4TU call High tech for a sustainable future has been awarded funding. During the next 4 years, Pride & Prejudice will connect researchers (consortium members and 10 to be appointed tenure trackers and post docs) from the 4TUs (Wageningen University & Research, Technical University of Eindhoven, Technical University of Delft and University of Twente) to collaborate on tackling chronic disease prevention through real-life monitoring and context-aware intervention design.

In other words, this is the programme that will bring together and strengthen the efforts of the 4TUs to contribute to the significant challenges our society faces when it comes to our Health & Vitality. Physical activity and diet are two key lifestyle factors for sustainable health, which are also strongly linked with each other. Pride & Prejudice will seek to combine innovative technology, new frameworks for behaviour change, systems to monitor health parameters and behaviour, and design approaches to develop interventions that persuade people to make healthy choices about what they eat and to what extent they are physically active.

The strength of this programme lies foremost in the variety of disciplines that it brings together, researchers connected to three existing 4TU centres are represented in the consortium: Humans & Technology, Ethics & Technology and Design United. Moreover, our colleagues from WUR bring in valuable expertise on eating behaviour, consumer and health psychology. Very much looking forward to this collaboration and to meeting the 10 new 4TU colleagues who will join us!

Congres Positieve Psychologie – 9 maart

IMG_6659[2]Op 9 maart as vindt het landelijk congres Positieve Psychologie plaats in Hotel en Congrescentrum de Reehorst in Ede.

Het thema van het congres is dit jaar Positieve Psychotherapie en Coaching. Inzichten uit de positieve psychologie worden steeds vaker gebruikt in psychotherapie en coaching omdat we uit onderzoek in dit domein leren dat positieve emoties, cognities en gedrag niet alleen bijdragen aan welzijn, goed functioneren en veerkracht, maar ook aan een afname van psychische klachten en disfunctioneren. Met een zeer divers programma zal dit congres laten zien hoe gebruik kan worden gemaakt van bewezen effectieve en theoretisch onderbouwde strategieën.

Ik ben uitgenodigd om tijdens het congres een lezing te geven over hoe (interactieve) technologie ingezet kan worden om savoring te ondersteunen. Savoring is het reguleren (ontwikkelen, vasthouden of versterken) van positieve emoties en gevoelens door bewust aandacht te geven aan positieve ervaringen uit het verleden, in het heden of in de toekomst. Van savoring is bekend dat het veerkracht bevorderd. Veel mensen savoren uit zichzelf maar er zijn ook mensen die dit niet vanzelf doen. Voor hen zou ondersteuning bij savoring kunnen bijdragen aan hun veerkracht. Deze ondersteuning kan de vorm hebben van simpele maar effectieve oefeningen zoals het invullen van een dagboekje dat je vraagt naar dingen waar je blij van werd of wordt (zie foto bij deze tekst). Maar het kan ook op vele andere manieren. De afgelopen twee jaar hebben studenten die deelnamen aan het vak Multisensory Design innovatieve savoring concepten ontwikkeld. Een aantal hiervan werden al op de Dutch Design Week getoond. Tijdens het congres Positieve Psychologie zal ik verder ingaan op hoe juist multi-zintuiglijk ontwerp savoring kan ondersteunen.


Fair Fashion Tech at University of Twente Designlab


On Thursday February 8, we will celebrate the presentation of the Textile Reflexes prototype (funded by WEAR SUSTAIN). This hi–tech robot vest for posture correction is developed by Hellen van Rees (Fashion Designer), Angelika Mader (University of Twente) and me. And because celebrating alone isn’t any fun, we have invited some guests to join us:

Marina Toeters will present Closed Loop Smart Athleisure fashion;  Troy Nachtigall will present Solemaker; Kristin Neidlinger and Edwin Dertien will present their new project Flexo and Pauline van Dongen will present Issho.

We will also take the opportunity to discuss a sustainable future for wearable technology. Joining us for this discussion will be Oscar Tomico and Valérie Lamontagne of 3lectromode.  Looking forward to welcoming everyone!

You can still sign up for this event.

Symposium at IDE TU Delft

IMG_6536January 11th, I will be at Delft University of Technology to act as an opponent in the PhD defence of Jay Yoon. I am looking forward to discussing his thesis “Escaping the emotional blur: Design tools for facilitating positive emotional granularity” with him!

Preceding the defence, the Faculty of Industrial Design has organised a symposium where three of the committee members (including me) will be speaking. The title of the symposium is ‘What can the social sciences learn from design research’ . I am absolutely thrilled by this title, not in the least because 12 years ago (!), while I was a PhD students at IDE TU Delft, I co-organised a symposium with almost the reverse (sub)title – ‘How the human sciences infuse design’ (see image for the poster that was made for this symposium). This was when Donald Norman received an honorary doctorate from TU Delft.

Apparently, the field of design (research) has matured over the past 12 years and has come to the understanding that the discipline can do more than borrowing and adapting existing methodologies; it also has something to offer to other disciplines. The unique ways of working and thinking in design can help society make the changes we need to make.

Please join the discussion tomorrow or some other time!


MinD exchange in Barcelona

IMG_6218Over the last two weeks I was in Barcelona, experiencing all the joys and all the challenges of this city while working with a dedicated team on idea generation for our MinD EU project. The team with members from University of Wolverhampton, Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust, DUIT and the University of Twente visited our Barcelona partners Eurecat, Picharchitects and Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (BarcelonaTech).

Picking up on where the last exchange in Germany left the idea generation phase, we further developed ideas for four of the important transition areas in early stages of dementia. We now have a list of 12 ideas that will be evaluated by health and dementia experts as well as by end users before the management team of MinD will make a decisions on which ideas we want to bring forward. Read more about what we did during this exchange in the blogpost on the project website.

For me personally, it was great to see how research topics can come together; exploring how savouring could support people in early stages of dementia is one of the idea areas where we could definitely expand on.

Dutch Design Week – DRIVE and Mind The Step

Oktober 21-29 is Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. At the University of Twente we are preparing our contributions to the DRIVE Design Research and Innovation Festival and to the Mind The Step 4TU exhibition at the Klokgebouw.

At DRIVE (Okt 25+26), Ingeborg Griffioen of Panton and me will talk about the Mind – Designing for dementia project at the Create Health track. Also, in a session on nature inspired design, I will join Karin Tanja-Dijkstra, Thomas van Rompay and Dana Weideman in presenting highlights  of our work on this topic. You can still join the DRIVE festival!

At the Mind The Step exhibition, three student groups who have worked on ‘Smart savoring’ (in the IDE master course on multi sensory design) will showcase their work. Within the theme smart savoring we have explored how technology could support the conscious enjoyment of wonderful moments. Through demonstrators Bloom-e, Felicia and Cloud Out visitors will be able to experience three different types of interaction with technology that might support savoring. Next to this, Merlijn Smits, an IDE master graduate whom I supervised will present the ‘Offlight’, an idea that was developed during her work on her master thesis at Philips Design.


Design for Behaviour Change book – now available!

front pageThe book I co-edited with Kristina Niedderer and Stephen Clune on Design for Behaviour Change is now available from the publisher Routledge as well as from Amazon and (for Dutchies) Bol! Well.. actually, the hardcopy is currently sold out on Bol and Amazon only has 10 copies left… But I’m sure they will be fully stocked again soon 🙂

So great to see how our efforts and that of all contributors led to this wonderful and tangible result.