University of Birmingham > Talks@bham > Artificial Intelligence and Natural Computation seminars > People, Sensors, Decisions: Customizable and Adaptive Technologies for Healthcare

People, Sensors, Decisions: Customizable and Adaptive Technologies for Healthcare

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The ratio of healthcare professionals to care recipients is dropping at an alarming rate, particularly for the older population. Further, patients are becoming more aware and involved in their own health care decisions. This is creating a void in which technology has an increasingly important role to play as a tool to connect providers with recipients. Examples range from telecare for remote regions to computer games promoting fitness in the home. Currently, such technologies are developed for specific applications, and are difficult to modify to suit individual user needs. The future potential economic and social impact of technology in the health care field therefore lies in our ability to make devices that are customizable by healthcare professionals and their clients, that are adaptive to users over time, and that generalize across tasks and environments. In this talk, I will describe my research addressing these three requirements, thereby increasing uptake by users and long-term efficiency and robustness of healthcare technology. I will present a general approach, followed by detailed descriptions of four ongoing projects that use this approach to build assistive technologies for persons with cognitive or physical disabilities: a device to help persons with dementia to wash their hands, a customizable tool for art therapists to engage clients in visual artwork, a haptic robotic system for upper-arm rehabilitation after stroke, and a prototype system to automatically build and tailor situated prompting systems for individuals based on minimal data. I will give an overview of current open problems and related projects. I will close with a discussion of the longer-term directions I foresee for this area of research.

Biography: Jesse Hoey is a lecturer (assistant professor) in the School of Computing at the University of Dundee, Scotland, and an adjunct scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute in Toronto, Canada. He received the B.Sc. degree in physics (1992) from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, the M.Sc. degree in physics (1995) and the Ph.D degree in computer science (2004) from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. His postdoctoral research was carried out at the University of Toronto, jointly in the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. His research goal is to build customizable and adaptive intelligent assistants for applications in healthcare. In pursuing this goal, he works on problems in probabilistic and decision theoretic planning, in human behaviour modelling using computer vision, and in user-centered design. He has worked extensively on systems to assist persons with cognitive and physical disabilities, and hold four current grants funding research in assistive technology. Dr. Hoey has published over thirty peer reviewed scientific papers in highly visible journals and conferences. He won the Best Paper award at the International Conference on Vision Systems (ICVS) in 2007 for his paper describing an assistive system for persons with dementia during hand washing. The system also won a “Solution of the Year” Award in 2007 by Advanced Imaging Magazine, and was named one of the top 20 Science and Medicine Stories of the Year 2007 by The Toronto Star. He won the Microsoft/AAAI Distinguished Contribution Award at the 2009 IJCAI Workshop on Intelligent Systems for Assisted Cognition, for his paper on technology to facilitate creative expression in persons with dementia. He also works on devices for ambient assistance in the kitchen, on stroke rehabilitation devices, and on spoken dialogue assistance systems.

This talk is part of the Artificial Intelligence and Natural Computation seminars series.

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