Research Group

Digital Health Cluster at Open Lab

Full Group Page

Alex Bowyer
Doctoral Trainee
Arlind Reuter
Doctoral Trainee
Colin Bone Dodds
Research Engineer
David Verweij
Research Engineer
Hazel Dixon
Doctoral Trainee
Irina Pavlovskaya
Doctoral Trainee
Jack Holt
Doctoral Trainee
Jay Rainey
Research Associate
Kieran Cutting
Doctoral Trainee
Remco B. De Grave
Doctoral Trainee
Ridita Ali
Research Associate
Rosanna Bellini
Doctoral Trainee
Viana Nijia Zhang
Doctoral Trainee

Projects

Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy

A project on engagement and empowerment using playful user-generated treatment in virtual reality exposure therapy.

Centre for Digital Citizens

The Centre for Digital Citizens (CDC) will address emerging challenges of digital citizenship, taking an inclusive, participatory approach to the design and evaluation of new technologies and services that support smart, data-rich living in urban and rural communities.

IDEA-FAST

A project on identifying digital endpoints to assess fatigue, sleep and activities of daily living in neurodegenerative disorders and immune-mediated inflammatory diseases building on data from sensing devices an apps.

Deep Player Behavior Models

A project on developing deep player behavior models for dynamic and generative non-player character interactions, game testing, player substitution and fraud detection.

Understanding Pathways to Sustainable Diets

A N8 priming project to review the literature and scope research on transitioning to sustainable diets.

Questionnaires in Virtual Reality

A project on potential biases and pathways to operationalisation of questionnaire-based research in virtual reality.

Mooqita

A project that aims to help students gain certifications, incomce, and employment through embedding real work tasks in online learning courses.

Science Jam

48 hours to go from zero to poster. The idea of the Science Jam is to apply the principle of game jams and hackathons to the rapid conceptualization, execution, and analysis of small-scale experiments, studies, or other pieces of research that can provide exploratory evidence or function as a pilots for larger follow-ups.

Space Project Y

A project that investigated the potential of motion-based exergames in virtual reality, focusing on locomotion techniques and feedback.

Adaptify

A project on supporting individually adapted therapy with digital games. It focused on harnessing the potential of motion-based games for health to support motivation, guidance, and feedback.

sPortal

A project that aims to help students gain certifications, incomce, and employment through embedding real work tasks in online learning courses.

Spiel Dich Fit

A project on motion-based games for health for the support of physiotherapy and rehabilitation for older adults.

WuppDi!

An early project exploring the applicability of exergames for supporting physiotherapy for people living with Parkinson’s.

Live SDI

The ‘live space-display-interaction’ project worked with the Troja pixel room to generate unique whole-room display interactions that investigate immersive displays.

Selected Publications

More Publications

In increasingly digitalised societies, government initiatives to ensure that public services remain accessible for everyone typically focus on the digital inclusion of older adults. However, by solely viewing older adults as passive recipients or consumers of services, digital inclusion strategies under-emphasise the concept of digital participation. Highlighting the importance of older adults as active contributors in a digital society, we investigated the potential of content creation to increase older adults’ digital skills whilst also strengthening their digital participation. Through a workshop and interviews involving three different groups of older content producers, we show that content creation can stimulate older adults’ digital participation. We report on challenges faced by the content creators, including time constraints, lack of professional support and the preference to create content collaboratively. We propose that by facilitating collaborative content creation activities, local communities can better support older adults’ digital participation and facilitate inclusion across different life domains.
Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 2021

Many online games suffer when players drop off due to lost connections or quitting prematurely, which leads to match terminations or game-play imbalances. While rule-based outcome evaluations or substitutions with bots are frequently used to mitigate such disruptions, these techniques are often perceived as unsatisfactory. Deep learning methods have successfully been used in deep player behavior modelling (DPBM) to produce non-player characters or bots which show more complex behavior patterns than those modelled using traditional AI techniques. Motivated by these findings, we present an investigation of the player-perceived awareness, believability and representativeness, when substituting disconnected players with DPBM agents in an online-multiplayer action game. Both quantitative and qualitative outcomes indicate that DPBM agent substitutes perform similarly to human players and that players were unable to detect substitutions. Notably, players were in fact able to detect substitution with agents driven by more traditional heuristics.
Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2020

Questionnaires are among the most common research tools in virtual reality (VR) evaluations and user studies. However, transitioning from virtual worlds to the physical world to respond to VR experience questionnaires can potentially lead to systematic biases. Administering questionnaires in VR (inVRQs) is becoming more common in contemporary research. This is based on the intuitive notion that inVRQs may ease participation, reduce the Break in Presence (BIP) and avoid biases. In this paper, we perform a systematic investigation into the effects of interrupting the VR experience through questionnaires using physiological data as a continuous and objective measure of presence. In a user study (n=50), we evaluated question-asking procedures using a VR shooter with two different levels of immersion. The users rated their player experience with a questionnaire either inside or outside of VR. Our results indicate a reduced BIP for the employed inVRQ without affecting the self-reported player experience.
Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2020

This paper provides a critical examination of how digital systems within a charitable organisation in the North of England are being used to both support and challenge male perpetrators of domestic violence. While there exists a range of digital tools to support the victim-survivors of domestic violence, no tools are available to challenge the abusive and harmful behaviours of perpetrators. Through this work, we uncovered the compelling moral responsibilities intrinsic within interactions with technological systems between perpetrators and support workers. As such, we highlight four spaces of negotiation concerning a person’s responsibility in changing their abusive behaviour, which we have coined as mechanisms to represent their fundamental and interconnected nature. These mechanisms include self-awareness, acknowledging the extent of harms, providing peer support and respecting authorities. These insights are the basis for offering some practical considerations for HCI scholars, policymakers and intervention designers in their work with perpetrators of violence.
Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2020

Recent Publications

More Publications

Early Warning Signs of a Mental Health Tsunami: A Coordinated Response to Gather Initial Data Insights From Multiple Digital Services Providers

PDF DOI

Evaluating User Experiences in Mixed Reality

Preprint Project

A catalogue of UK household datasets to monitor transitions to sustainable diets

Preprint Project DOI

Teaching

  • Degree Programme Director for the MSc Human-Computer Interaction, School of Computing, Newcastle University.
  • 2020 - 2021: CSC8611 Human-Artificial Intelligence (AI) Interaction & Futures, School of Computing, Newcastle University. Module leader.
  • 2020 - 2021: CSC8607 Research Methods in HCI, School of Computing, Newcastle University. Module leader.
  • 2019 - 2020: CSC8008 Information Systems, School of Computing, Newcastle University. Module leader (Interaction Design).
  • 2018 - 2019: CSC8602 Research Methods for Digital Civics, School of Computing, Newcastle University. Module leader.
  • Apr. 2017 - Jul. 2017: Entertainment Computing (B.Sc. / M.Sc. in Computer Science / Digital Media). University of Bremen. Co-Lecturer.
  • Mar. 2017: IK (Interdisciplinary College) 2017 practical course: Scientific Methods: Hands-on Research from Conceptualizing to Data Analysis (B.Sc. / M.Sc. / PhD). Main lecturer.
  • Oct. 2016 - Mar. 2017: Graduate seminar for the project Motion-based Exergames in VR (M.Sc. / MA in Computer Science / Digital Media). University of Bremen. Main lecturer.
  • Mar. 2016: IK (Interdisciplinary College) 2016 lecture: A Crash Course in Human Subject Research (B.Sc. / M.Sc. / PhD). Main lecturer.

Contact

  • {MYLASTNAME}[AT]gmail[DOT]com
  • +44 191 208 4642
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  • Urban Sciences Bldg., 1 Science Square, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 5TG, UK
  • Schedule a meeting with Jan