I am AdAstra Assistant Professor of Human-Computer Interaction at the School of Information and Communication Studies at University College Dublin, where my research focuses on advancing a human-centred approach to person-centred care for the digital age — through the design, development and evaluation of digital tools to enhance the clinical practice of healthcare, everyday mental health, and digital wellbeing.
Current research projects span the development of digital and AI tools to support the online and face-to-face practice of therapy, self-report technologies to inform and facilitate access to mental healthcare, and decision-support systems to augment care for chronic, co-morbid conditions.
I bring an interdisciplinary perspective to the practice of health and mental healthcare technology development, informed by a background spanning engineering, computer science and design, embracing a participatory approach to the creative practice of mixed-methods design research, and with a focus on developing caring teams and cultures in close collaboration with patient groups, professionals, and communities of practice. This approach has to date made possible the deployment in clinical practice of multiple, bespoke health technologies; including mobile and clinical interfaces to facilitate access to NHS mental healthcare for women experiencing distress during pregnancy in England, to enhance primary care for patients experiencing ‘severe mental illness’ in Denmark, and to support the conduct of speech and language therapies at the Irish National Rehabilitation Hospital.
Other prior research projects have produced conversational agents to facilitate the self-report of wellbeing in the at-home context, and gesture-based games to motivate physical activity among hospitalised gastroenterology patients, comprised studies of the practice of design for user engagement and heath technology acceptance, cybersecurity concerns among health technology startups, and the implementation of dark patterns in mobile games, encouraged collaborative reflection on the ethics of health data repositories, therapists’ experiences of mental health chatbots, and the temporal experience of digital and tangible keepsakes, among numerous other examples. Through this work – led often by students, academic, industry and clinical collaborators from Imperial College London to the Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen University, Microsoft Research Cambridge, Monsenso and many others - we have been fortunate to realise together a meaningful impact on the international practice of healthcare — as to see this work recognised in the form of multiple best paper awards at the ACM CHI conference, and the receipt of the 2019 ACM Europe Council Award.
I am Director of UCD’s MSc in Human-Computer Interaction Programme, a leading member of the cross-disciplinary HCI@UCD research group, and a member of the AI Healthcare Hub at the UCD Institute for Discovery, the ADAPT Centre’s Health Working Group, UCD’s Community of Practice for Public Engagement, the Irish Chapter of ACM SIGCHI, and the Copenhagen Center for Health Technology [curriculum vitae].