Presentation by Åsa Cajander and Jonas Moll at Medical Informatics Europe

During the first day of the Medical Informatics Europe (MIE) Conference Åsa Cajander and I presented the paper that was introduced in this blog post. Actually, this was the first presentation held by representatives from the HTO group during this year’s combined MIE/Vitalis event, but certainly not the last – we were active on stage, or as workshop leaders, during each and every day!

This particular presentation was based on a study that was conducted within the scope of a master’s thesis project at Uppsala University by Sara Englund and Anastasia Hansman. The project focused on the Swedish patient accessible electronic health record system Journalen (and hence was tightly connected to the DOME consortium) and more specifically on how nurses see that Journalen has affected their work environment and their communication with patients.

The result of the semi-structured interviews conducted with the nurses at a primary care center in Region Uppsala, first of all showed similar as our earlier interviews with physicians – Journalen has changed the interaction with patients, created an increased workload and created uncertainty regarding when to inform patients of results now that the patients can read even unsigned notes. Even though most of the results were in line with results from our earlier research in DOME, one new theme arose from the interview analysis – the need for new knowledge. Several nurses indicated that education was needed, focusing on how Journalen should be used both by patients and in the clinician-patient relationship. This is an important result, which should be taken very seriously.

All conference papers are published open access, so you can find all research presented at MIE here. You can find the paper that Åsa and I presented here.

Stay tuned for more posts about the HTO activities at MIE/Vitalis 2018! 🙂

Cognition in the Wild – Halfway PhD Seminar by Rebecca Andreasson

Rebecca Andreasson from the Department of Information Technology, Uppsala University, held her halfway seminar this week. She did an excellent presentation and many from the HTO group were there and listened to the presentation and discussion with Professor Henrik Artman from KTH. Rebecca started off her presentation with a description of what her papers included in her thesis have in common. The questions that she is addressing in her work are:

  • How do humans accomplish daily work activities in complex work environments?
    • How do we use tools and artefacts in practice?
    • How do we coordinate internal (memory, attention etc.) and external structures (tools, computers etc.) to accomplish a task?
  • How can workers be supported in their execution of tasks? 

Rebecca’s work is based on the theoretical framework of Distributed Cognition (DCog), introduced by Ed Hutchins, which emphasizes that thinking/cognition does not take place in isolation, but is the result of the interactions between the human, and his/her social, physical and cultural environment. All elements of the cognitive system are considered equally important.

Rebecca identifies four of her (numerous) publications as the foundation for her continuing work towards a PhD. :

  1. A study on interruption handling at an assembly line in a manufacturing company:
    Andreasson, R., Lindblom, J., & Thorvald, P. (2017). Interruptions in the wild: Portraying the handling of interruptions in manufacturing from a distributed cognition lens. Cognition, Technology & Work, 19(1), 85-108.
  2. A study on collaboration and tool use in dock assembly:
    Andreasson, R., Lindblom, J., & Thorvald, P. (2017). Tool use and collaborative work of dock assembly in practice. Special Issue in Production and Manufacturing Research, 5(1), 164-190.
  3. A study on the need for a system perspective in railway HF:
    Andreasson, R., Jansson, A. A., & Lindblom, J. (accepted for publication). Past and future challenges for railway research and the role of a systems perspective. To be published in Proceedings of the 20th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association. August 26-30, Florence, Italy.
  4. A study on coordinating activities in operational railway traffic:
    Andreasson, R., Jansson, A. A., & Lindblom, J. (under review). The coordination between train traffic controllers and train drivers: a distributed cognition perspective on railway. Cognition, Technology & Work.

Rebecca’s overall aim, in her own words, is to: enhance the understanding of the distributed work practices of cognitive cooperative work and to explore the interaction between human beings, tools, and technology in complex work settings where the theoretical framework of DCog has previously not been applied in depth.

Her contribution to the field, thus far, is the ethnographically founded descriptions of real work practices in real work situations and the application of DCog to new domains of complex work. This includes creating new concepts as well as complementing on existing concepts. She introduces DCog to the theoretical “toolbox” of Human Factors and Ergonomics (HF&E) research.

Her ideas for the future are:

  • To investigate how the results of a DCog analysis could be used to (re)design a socio-technical system through workshops and/or vision seminars with examples from real situations (based on the DCog analysis made).
  • To provide a structured “how-to” method for DCog users through analysis of comparison of current DCog methods (e.g. by analysing the same empirical material with the use of multiple DCog methods) and iteratively developing and validating a new (or modified) method. A final validation could potentially be done with students or practitioners in a HF&E domain.

With this account of her research and progress so far, Rebecca finished her presentation and the seminar continued with a critical discussion by invited guest Henrik Artman from KTH. Overall, Henrik was quite impressed and opened the discussion by relating that in his experience Rebecca is already way ahead of the halfway mark for her PhD. He then guided the discussion into the details of the foundation Rebecca has laid and suggestions on  how to strengthen it in Rebecca’s final sprint towards her PhD.

With such an impressive start, we certainly look forward to seeing what Rebecca will have achieved and contributed with to the field when it is time for her dissertation a few years from now!

Physicians, Patients and the Patient-Accessible EHR

Christiane presenting her draft of her doctoral thesis on April 17, 2018

Christiane Grünloh, one of the members of our research group, will soon be defending her PhD thesis. Last week, it was time for her to present a draft of her work, which she plans to defend by the end of the year. I jump on the opportunity to write of few lines on her research, which revolves around the Patient-Accessible Electronic Health Record online.

Christiane is one of the researchers of the DOME Consortium, working on the Development of Online Medical records and E-health services. She has been focusing on investigating the perspective of, respectively, physicians and patients on the EHR online – “Journalen” in Swedish. Research about this topic is particularly important since the implementation of Journalen in Sweden has been a very controversial project. Indeed, while patient organizations predominantly were in its favour, caring professionals were, for the most part, against it.

In her research, Christiane was able to look more closely at the reasons behind physicians’ strong opposition to the idea of enabling patients to access their EHR online. She was also able to investigate what was the value of this service from the patients’ point of view. In doing so, she found that physicians and patients had very different perspectives on the topic, and reflected on ways to bridge the gap between those two groups in order to improve the quality of the patient-physician relationship.

You can find Christiane on Twitter (where she is a very active user!) and LinkedIn. If you were attending the Vitalis / MIE 2018 conference in Gothenburg, you maybe also were able to attend her workshop on “Identifying the Need of Self-reported Data and Self-measurements for Diagnosis and Treatment of Cancer”, which she is held together with Jonas Moll, Isabella Scandurra and Åsa Cajander last Thursday.

Vad kan vi lära av Ladok?

Nya Ladok har nu införts på Lunds universitet. Med denna milstolpe avslutas projektet.  (Grattis till alla inblandade!) Arbetet tar inte slut utan övergår istället i en utvecklingsfas, som hanterar fortsatt utveckling och driftsättning. 

Vi har följt förberedelserna för det lokala införandet vid Uppsala universitet. Under våren 2018 kommer jag att vidga perspektivet för att försöka se vilka lärdomar som kan dras. Min förhoppning är att jag ska hinna intervjua både en del av dem som arbetat i projektet och en del av dem som arbetar med lokala införanden.

Det kan finnas anledning att understryka att jag inte gör någon utvärdering av projektet utan att det handlar om just att fånga upp goda och mindre goda erfarenheter. Det är onekligen ett intressant projekt, när ett så komplext system rullas ut till så många verksamheter. Det faktum att förutsättningarna varierar så mycket gör inte heller att det går att tala om rätt eller fel. Däremot är det väldigt intressant att förstå olika vägval och strategier, både i projektet och i de lokala införandena.

Att lärosätena befinner sig i olika faser ger också en ögonblicksbild av utmaningar i olika skeenden av ett införande.

Den första intervjun ägde rum idag och om allt vill sig väl följs den snart av fler. Alla kommer jag inte att hinna intervjua, inte ens alla projektledare. Därför ska jag komplettera intervjuerna med en mindre enkät eller rundfråga. Men – finns det mer att berätta om arbetet med nya Ladok än vad som ryms i enkäten får du förstås gärna kontakta mig.

Automated Bots – the Mission of Creating Filter Bubbles

Are you aware of that even the smallest actions you do and the likes you give online, can put you into a filter bubble? In our investigation of filter bubbles we use automated bots as our own test subjects. If you don’t know what a filter bubble is, read our first blog post to find out more ( This Wednesday, 14th of March, we are speaking at the Women in Data Science conference in Stockholm about our work.

For the mission of creating filter bubbles we are using a large social media platform as our tool. A user of this platform has access to a flow of information. This flow is individualized for each user based on its actions and behavior on the platform. We are creating 14 unique accounts on this site, extremely similar to one another, with the exception of username, email and IP address. The purpose is to have the individualized flows exactly alike in the beginning. For each of the 14 accounts, we are creating a bot (total of 14 bots). A bot is an automated software, designed to click and use the website just like a human would. In this case, each bot is hitting a like-button for a certain type of information, a certain amount of times per day. This is simulating a real user’s actions on the site. The information that is liked by the bot, is uploaded to a storage on the cloud, that we are using to investigate the behavior, potentially leading up to a filter bubble.

In order to get the data from the individualized flow, we use a crawler. The crawler go through the individualized flow and save the important parts to a file which is then uploaded to the cloud. The data is later used to evaluate the content of the flow to establish whether the user is put in a filter bubble or not. To get a deeper understanding of filter bubbles and whether they can be harmful, we conduct a literature study as well.

Our names are Anna Normark and Rebecca Oskarsson. We are two master students in the IT engineering programme, currently working on our master thesis. Our thesis consists of investigating filter bubbles and their effects, and have the title “Individualizing Without Excluding: Ethical And Technical Challenges”. We are invited to write some blog posts here by our reviewer Åsa Cajander and this is our second part.

Åsa Cajander interviewed about our HTO hosted workshop at Uppsala Health Summit!

The HTO group is presently involved in many different activities and one of the latest additions to the list is a workshop at Uppsala Health Summit, which Åsa Cajander (main organizer), Christiane Grünloh and Jonas Moll are organizing. This workshop was introduced by Åsa in this blog post. The planning has continued since then and now we have a setup which will soon be available in the pre-conference report which will be posted on the summit web page. On this page you can also already find a short description of our workshop, “Using Data for Better Cancer Treatments”.

In February, Åsa was interviewed about our workshop! Among other things, she discusses some challenges regarding the use of data for diagnosis and treatment of cancer and how we will make use of critical incidents as points of departure in the workshop. You can read about the interview here!

The summit will be held at Uppsala Castle, June 14-15, and according to the recently published summit programme our three-hour workshop will be held during the second day. Organizing this workshop will surely be an interesting and rewarding experience for all of us and hopefully we will come up with results that will inspire further research in this important area!

The Effects of Digitalization on the Nurses Work Environment DISA: The Coolest Project @ Uppsala University?

We think that we have a very cool project. We are truly a multidisciplinary team working on digitalization and the effects on the nurses work environment. We also have a very good reference group, and our collaboration with Region Uppsala in the project is fantastic.

When we saw that there was a competition about the coolest project at Uppsala University we nominated ourselves!

They will announce the winners of the competition in a couple of weeks at a faculty pub event. We´ll be there to celebrate with the winners, or perhaps we are the winners?

Nomination of Lars Oestreicher to Uppsala University’s Equal Opportunities Award 2018

Lars Oestreicher was recently nominated to the Equal Opportunites 2018 award by the departments’ equal opportunities group. Congratulations! 

The nomination text : 

Lars Oestreicher works as a teacher and researcher in the field of Accessibility and Design for everyone in Human Computer Interaction. The Design for All area resides on a very clear equal opportunities basis, and contains both knowledge of people’s differences, as a value base that strongly emphasizes inclusion and the problem of stigmatization of people with disabilities in society as well as their vulnerability.

Lars Oestreicher has developed a pioneering course for students in the Design for All area, and has also written a new textbook on the subject as there is no suitable course literature to find to teach these questions. In the course of the course, Lars works very consciously to learn an inclusive mindset, where he, among other things, has moments where the students themselves can experience how to live with a disability.

Lars Oestreicher has also participated as a specialist in accessibility issues in a reference group for the development of the MegaMind exhibition at the Stockholm Technical Museum, and is conducting a VINNOVA-funded project together with Årsta specialist, which aims to allow children with severe cognitive and physical impairments to create music independently.

Lars Oestreicher is the university’s most competent researcher and teacher in this field, and his work and dedication goes far beyond what is expected of a teacher as he has an inclusive perspective in mind. Through his work, he has included equal opportunities issues as part of our education programs for students in computer science. We believe that this deserves to be noted and therefore wishes to nominate Lars to the University’s Equal Opportunities Award.

Workshop on Identifying the Need of Self-reported Data and Self-measurements for Diagnosis and Treatment of Cancer

Jonas Moll, Åsa Cajander, Christiane Grünlog and Isabella Scandurra are organising a workshop at Medical Informatics Europe on “Identifying the Need of Self-reported Data and Self-measurements for Diagnosis and Treatment of Cancer”

Today, numerous data sources are available to healthcare professionals for diagnosing and treating cancer, but there are also data captured by patients, e.g. related to daily progress, which are not readily accessible to healthcare.

In this workshop, we will use the critical incidents technique to inspire participants to elaborate on the need of using new data collections and measurements, for example from continuous self-tracking, as well as utilizing already existing data in new ways for diagnoses and treatment of cancer. Real-life critical incidents related to patients, healthcare professionals, and researchers, will be discussed and used as a basis for scenarios that will illustrate future visions of how self-reported data and self-measurements should be used in combination with existing data sources.


Welcome to the workshop!

To register, visit the MIE website. 




Ongoing Pedagogic Development Work and Attending Pedagogic Development Conferences

The HTO team not only works with research, but also quite a lot with teaching and pedagogic development. The Phd students in the group usually teach around 20% of their time, whereas seniors teach around 40-60%.

Some examples from our teaching are: 

Diane Golay works with pedagogic development of an online HCI course and has substantial work in redesigning and improving the learning experience of the students. She has presented this development work at a well received seminar at the department, and submitted an abstract to a Uppsala University pedagogic development conference (TUK). Diane has written an interesting blog post about the learning experience from redesigning here. 

Lars Oestreicher from HTO is one of the departments most appreciated lecturers, and he teaches in many different areas. One example is inclusive design where he has also written a course book and has world leading expertice. Lars has been awarded the title Excellent teacher, and is indeed an inspiration related to teaching.

Åsa Cajander and Diane Golay are currently working with the development of our new course: Complex IT systems in large organisations, see this blog post.

Attending Pedagogic Development Conferences. 

In 2018 HTO are planning to attend at the following conferences in teaching and learning:

  • NU 2018.  NU stands for Network and Development (in Swedish nätverk och utveckling), is a national conference organized annually for all those involved in Swedish higher education. The main purpose of the conference is to promote pedagogical development work by offering a meeting place for dissemination, dialogue and debate. NU2018 is the sixth NU conference in the scheme.
  • TUK 2018. The Faculty of Science and Technology at Uppsala University organise this conferenec which gives possibilities for meetings, discussions and presentations for the educational development and educational projects at our faculty. At the conference, we discuss with colleagues in pleasant forms, maybe around your own project (as you can present) and / or around other projects. The conference is also a great forum for discussing new projects and project ideas, or linking contacts with future partners about pedagogically relevant issues.
  • Frontiers in Education 2018. This is an annual conference in the area of Computer Science Education, and this time it has the theme “Fostering Innovation Through Diversity”. This is a meeting place to be inspired in your research based innovation work. This conference will be organised in Uppsala 2020.
  • ITiCSE 2018. This is the 23rd Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, will take place in Larnaca, Cyprus, hosted by University of Central Lancashire, Cyprus. This conference was organised in Uppsala in 2014 with Mats Daniels and Åsa Cajander as conference chairs.