The Health Informatics research group collaborates with other Northeastern faculty to explore how emerging computing technology can change the way healthcare is delivered in the United States and worldwide. Researchers are investigating how advanced human-computer interaction technology can help people stay healthy, assist with hospital care and rehabilitation, and benefit people with special needs. Their efforts are distinguished by an approach to health technology from the perspective of the individual patient or person.
The researchers’ primary areas of interest include assistive technologies and interfaces, sensor-enabled behavioral interventions, ubiquitous computing for health and wellness, conversational agents to improve health literacy, and speech analysis software tools for use in health care.
Members of the Human–Computer interaction, information retrieval and data mining, and artificial intelligence research groups are also contributing to the college’s innovative work in health informatics.
- Awarded a National Cancer Institute grant to develop computer-animated conversational agents that guide cancer patients through the oncology clinical trial process
- Created an animated virtual nurse that educates hospital patients about their health conditions and self-care after leaving the hospital, encourages people to exercise and take medications as prescribed, and simulates face-to-face conversations between patients and health-care professionals
- Developed small, low-cost sensors that can be worn for months at a time to automatically monitor physical activity via a mobile phone
- Received a National Science Foundation Expeditions Award to develop computational sensing and medical technologies to capture, measure, analyze, and understand human behavior
- Created a technology that assists the study of autistic children in a classroom setting by automatically recognizing their repetitive motor movements
- Created software to analyze infants’ babble and provide diagnostic information on whether a child may be at risk for speech-related problems
- Developed a technology for wireless recording and visualization of sympathetic nervous system functioning related to stress, arousal, anxiety, and emotion
- Developing information and communication technology to increase media and health literacy among adolescents in low-income communities
- Serving as associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games, Computers in Entertainment, and the International Journal on Entertainment Computing