I am a Lecturer in HCI interested in Accessibility and Health & Wellbeing

showing how voiceover and talkback would look through our nonvisual design space

Design Space of Nonvisual Word Completion

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three examples of the fabric collages used in blueprints

‘Blueprints’ physical to digital

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Funding and Awards

November 2019 - IDEA-FAST: Identifying digital endpoints to assess fatigue, sleep and activities of daily living in neurodegenerative disorders and immune-mediated inflammatory diseases
Funded by European Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking (IMI). H2020-JTI-IMI2/853981. The project is led by Newcastle University and in collaboration with world leading experts in healthcare and digital technologies from Europe. IDEA-FAST aims to address these issues by identifying novel digital endpoints for fatigue and sleep disturbances that will provide more objective, sensitive and reliable measures of the severity and impact of these symptoms in ecological settings. Fatigue and sleep disturbances are two common and disabling symptoms that affect patients with neurodegenerative disorders (NDD) and immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMID). These symptoms are major predictors of poor quality of life and increased healthcare cost. Current questionnaire-based approaches to measure these symptoms have key limitations preventing them from being used as reliable endpoints in clinical trials to evaluate the effect of therapies. These novel digital endpoints will not only help to gain insight into the underpinning mechanisms of fatigue and sleep disturbances, but will also vastly improve the efficiency of clinical trials, ultimately reducing the time and cost to bring new therapies to patients.

Amount: €20,900,000.

June 2019 - COLO-SPEED – Development of a world-leading colorectal cancer research hub in the North East of England.
Funded by ‘Sir Bobby Robson Foundation’ and working in collaboration with Prof. Colin Rees and Prof. Linda Sharp (Newcastle University), we are establishing a world leading hub for colorectal cancer (CRC) research across the North East of England. The research hub will recruit large numbers of patients from regional endoscopy units. This will provide a research ready “resource” to enable a wide range of CRC research studies to be conducted at scale and speed. This world-leading hub will deliver a step change in CRC screening, prevention and early diagnosis (SPED) research, improving outcomes for patients and the wider population of the NE.

COLO-SPEED will harness the enthusiasm of local endoscopy teams and build a long-term sustainable research infrastructure. It will use the patient contact point of endoscopy to develop a population-based “experimental platform”, comprising individuals attending for screening, symptomatic and polyp/cancer surveillance endoscopy. This will recruit patients into a wide range of CRC studies across the disease continuum, creating a unique, world-leading, resource for CRC SPED research, delivering benefits to patients, the wider population and society of the NE.

Amount: £985,000

February 2019 - Design and initial evaluation of an autism-specific health check for use with autistic adults in NHS Primary Care
Funded by Autistica and Lead by Jeremy Parr (Newcastle University), in collaboration with healthcare researchers across the UK, Canada and Australia, we are co-designing an autism-specific health check for use in primary care. Autistic people are on average more likely to experience poor health than people who are not on the autism spectrum. Some autistic people don’t seek health care because health professionals and services do not provide the adaptations needed. Health checks identify some important conditions that affect health and wellbeing and are available to some people through the UK National Health Service (NHS).

Amount: £464,246.

January - 2019 Engaging the workforce in real time: listening, understanding and responding to what matters most to our staff
Funded by ‘The Health Foundation’ and Led by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, the project seeks to integrate real-time understanding of staff experience with Northumbria’s well-established programme for capturing staff and patient experience. Of the 1.4 million people who work in the NHS in England, more than 50% say they are unable to meet all of the conflicting demands on their time at work, and nearly 40% say that they’ve been unwell as a result of stress at work. Staff burnout in the NHS leads to low levels of staff engagement, which affects quality of patient care, patient experience, and staff and patient safety. The organisation-wide programme will capture everyday experiences of the workforce and introduce new technologies where possible to help capture these experiences in busy working environments.

Amount: £75,000.

August 2017 - EP/P031854/1 Distributed Ledgers and Decentralised Energy in Sub Saharan Africa
The global mobile phone industry has emerged as an important partner in achieving the UN’s goals of sustainable energy access for all in Sub Saharan Africa. Support for mobile enhanced energy services in the region driven by the Groupe Spéciale Mobile Association (GSMA), which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. The GSMA has identified distributed ledger technologies as a key area of interest with the potential to transform existing business models for decentralised or off grid energy services in sub Saharan Africa and accelerate access to sustainable energy services. To this end GSMA’s Mobile for Development Utilities division is currently seeking to better understand and evaluate the potential impact, applications, use cases, benefits and costs of distributed ledgers for energy service companies and customers, with the goal of leveraging its strategic partnership with the Department for International Development to resource future trials and to catalyse private sector investment.

Working in partnership with the GSMA’s Mobile for Development Utilities programme and ElectriCChain, developers of the SolarCoin Blockchain, this 24 month research project brings together a team of electrical and electronic engineers, human-computer interaction specialists, and social anthropologists to explore the potential for distributed ledger technologies to accelerate access to off grid solar energy in Sub-Saharan Africa by delinking current business models from existing mobile money payment infrastructures and third parties, creating new models for incentivising and rewarding the installation of off grid solar, and developing new peer-to-peer business models.

Amount: £485,287.

February 2017 - EP/P025609/1 Enabling Ongoingness: Content Creation & Consumption in the New Digital Age

Led by Prof. Jayne Wallace from Northumbria University.
The ‘oldest old’ are the fastest growing age group in the UK and a grand societal challenge we face is that the nature of growing older and end of life is changing. There are distinct challenges that are pushing some existing systems to breaking point (e.g. there is an increasing demand for care, but there are reductions in resources available to support the older old and worryingly a reduction in people using local authority care services which is suggestive of exclusion). We position this research within the fourth age; a period of life clinically characterised by physical and cognitive frailty and decline towards death. People in this period of life are seldom included in research, but have a unique voice around critical societal challenges and could be sensitively and meaningfully included into research in order to give them a voice in the re-imagining of digital media to support sense of self for the older old. Further this research will engage with carers and those bereaved to investigate how new media could support people’s relationships and sense of self not only at end of life but also in bereavement.

Amount: £885,437.

March 2015 - EP/M023001/1 - DERC: Digital Economy Research Centre
Led by Peter Wright from Open Lab, Newcastle University. The Digital Economy Research Centre (DERC) will theorise, design, develop, and evaluate new digitally mediated models of citizen participation that engage communities, the third sector, local government and (crucially) the commercial digital economy in developing the future of local service provision and local democracy. DERC will deliver a sustained program of multi- and cross- disciplinary research using research methods that are participatory, action-based, and embedded in the real world. The research approach will operate across multiple scales (e.g. individual, family, community, institution) and involve long-term embedded research activity at scale.

Amount: £4,051,357.

January 2015 - SICSA Research Challenge: Identifying Health Promoting Elements in Care Homes
Changes in population demographics have resulted in a growing number of care home, economic, health and ethical considerations that demand attention. We require effective means of creating enabling built environments to provide older adults with healthy and socially fulfilling lives. However, built environments professionals (BEP) lack an evidence-based body of knowledge on design for wellbeing and miss research methods for assessing design impact.

With this challenge, we aim to assemble a community of stakeholders around the topic of enabling and health promoting environments including academics, social and health practitioners, BEP and policy makers. Through a series of activities we will scope the barriers and challenges to health promoting environments; create large-scale datasets that capture residents’ daily routines; and develop novel research tools that will produce objective evidence to support older adults living healthy and socially fulfilling lives.

Amount: £5000.

June 2014 - SICSA Postdoctoral and Early Career Researcher Exchange (PECE)
An exchange with Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) to extend the ongoing collaborations with Professor Vicki. L. Hanson and Dr Hugo Nicolau.

Amount: ~£4000.

May 2014 - SICSA Postdoctoral and Early Career Researcher Exchange (PECE)
An exchange with the University of Lisbon to extend the ongoing collaborations with Dr Tiago Guerreiro.

Amount ~£3500.

April 2014 - Best Paper Award, CHI 2014 Conference
Awarded to research carried out with Hugo Nicolau, Tiago Guerreiro,João Guerreiro and Vicki L. Hanson for our CHI Note “B#: Chord-based correction for multitouch Braille input”.

December 2010 - NCR Award for outstanding doctoral student
During the School of Computing, University of Dundee PhD Symposium (£250)

October 2010 - ACM ASSETS Student Research Competition
Awarded 3rd Place at ASSETS 2010, Orlando Florida for my work on ‘Accessible Indoor Navigation’. ($250)

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Open Lab
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Newcastle University
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Newcastle upon Tyne
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