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Digital Health and Wellbeing

The OU’s Digital Health and Wellbeing Special Interest Group (DH&W SIG) consists of researchers, academics and business development practitioners from disciplines across the University with expertise in digital games, chemistry, older adults, gamification, language, education, mixed methods, international studies, disability, design, scoping/narrative reviews, music, chronic health conditions, wearable technology, energy, artificial intelligence, active and assisted ageing/living.

The DHW SIG will enable academics, senior and early career researchers the opportunity to collaborate together, support one another through peer reviewed publications and conferences, funding grants, exchange and develop concepts, knowledge transfer, and dissemination of information with a view to positively impacting on society.

Research Lead

Dr. Hannah R. Marston Dr Hannah R. Marston is the Health & Wellbeing Priority Research Area Research Fellow and Lead for the DH&W SIG. Hannah was awarded her PhD in 2010 from Teesside University in virtual reality and gerontology. Since then, she has worked at the Centre for Innovative Ageing, Swansea University where she worked with colleagues on a Welsh Assembly Government funded investigating Extracare. In August 2010, Hannah was a post-doctoral fellow at the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo and in September 2011 she moved to Cologne to work as a research scientist at the Institute of Movement & Sport Gerontology at the German Sport University Cologne (DSHS).

During her tenure at DSHS she worked with colleagues on the EU project – iStoppFalls [287361]. iStoppFalls was a multi-disciplinary project which encompassed partners from the University of Siegen (Lead), Austrian Institute of Technology, Kaasa Solution GmbH based in Düsseldorf, Philips Research Europe, Instituto Biomecanica Valencia and Neuroscience Research Australia. Dr. Marston with her colleague Dr. S. Eichberg (DSHS), organised the iStoppFalls Symposium (24-25 October, 2014) which enabled the consortium in conjunction with experts across the fields of fall prevention, biomechanics, and HCI to present their findings and recent work.

In 2015, Hannah joined the Centre for Research in computing at The Open University as a Research Associate (05.01.15-31.12.15) on the EPSRC MonetizeMe Project. She initiated and led the Technology In Later Life (TILL) project (unfunded), an international, multi-centred, exploratory study focusing on adults aged >70 years and their ICT perceptions, and behaviours in rural and urban environments.

Hannah has a variety of research interests including digital games, gender, ICT, ethics, qualitative data, gender gamification, m(Health)Apps, design, flow/immersion, ageing, rural ageing, and quality of life. In April 2018, Hannah was a keynote speaker at the Child and Information Security Congress, which integrated a digital games theme, held in Ankara, Turkey. She is a member of the British Society of Gerontology Executive Committee and to date she has published 26 journal papers, 8 book chapters, and recently published the Mobile eHealth edited book by Springer. She led the Digital Gaming & Ageing special edition for the Games and Culture journal, and is a reviewer for national and international conference and journals. a blog and undertakes peer-review for conferences and journals.

Social Media

Additional Researchers Include:

2nd Digital Health & Wellbeing Conference, 1st – 3rd May 2018

The DH&W SIG hosted a 3-day conference at The Open University between 1-3 May 2018. This conference was a follow on from a 1-day symposium held in March 2017. Throughout the conference there were parallel tracks across different areas of Digital Health & Wellbeing including: Games for Health, Assisted Technologies, digital literacy, Social Media, Education, Wearable technologies, Telehealth/care, Environment, New Routes to Market, Psychological behaviour.
We were pleased to have 3 keynote speakers:

• Professor Andy Miah & Dr Emma Rich, Salford University & University of Bath
• Dr Josephine McMurray – Wilfred Laurier University, Brantford, Canada
• Dr Matthew Fay – General Practitioner at the Westcliffe Group and the Willows Medical
group in Queensbury, West Yorkshire.

Throughout the conference there were plenty of opportunities for delegates to network during the book launch on the Tuesday night and the Conference dinner on the Wednesday evening at the Hilton Double Tree, MK Dons Stadium.

Past Events

The first Digital Health and Wellbeing Symposium was a huge success. We welcomed researchers and healthcare professionals from a wide range if institutions, many of which were able to build their networks at the event. The talks were fantastic and provided great insight into interesting research areas within Digital Health and Wellbeing.

The videos can be replayed via stadium (The Open University’s webcasting platform) using the links below, alternatively you can download the PowerPoint presentation.

Friday 24th March, 2017

Time Schedule Presentation
08:45-09:45 Registration  
09:45-10:00 Welcome Address
Professor Regine Hampel, Associate Dean Research, Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies
Watch the replay
10:00-10:30 Dr Josephine McMurray, Wilfred Laurier University, Canada Title of Presentation: Tertius iungens: Connecting the disconnected and other notions that help build ecosystems to support health & agetech innovation
10:35-11:05 Dr Malcolm Fisk, De Montfort University Title of Presentation: Developments in Telehealth: How Consumers will Change the Way that Services are Provided
Watch the replay
11:05-11:30 Comfort Break & Networking  
11:35-12:05 Dr Matthew Fay, GP Principal The Willows Medical Practice, West Yorkshire Title of Presentation: A new paradigm in palpitation management
Watch the replay
12:10-12:40 Dr Charles Musselwhite, Swansea University Title of Presentation: Supporting mobility of older people: Why technology is getting it wrong
Watch the replay
12:40-13:45 Lunch & Networking  
13:50-14:45 Panel Discussion Watch the replay
14:50-15:15 Dr Elisabeth Boulton, University of Manchester Title of Presentation: Motivating 60-70 year olds to be more active using smart technology: The PreventIT project
Watch the replay
15:15-15:30 Comfort Break & Networking  
15:35-16:05 Professor Josie Tetley & Dr Emma Koivunen, Manchester Metropolitan University Title of Presentation: Using technology to reduce isolation
Watch the replay
16:10-16:35 Dr Verina Waights, The Open University Title of Presentation: Enhancing quality of life of carers through innovative ehealth technologies
Watch the replay
16:35-16:50 Closing Remarks Dr Hannah R Marston, Research Fellow, Health and Wellbeing Priority Research Area

If you are interested in been part of the Digital Health and Wellbeing Special Interest Group please contact Hannah R. Marston who is leading the SIG where further details will be provided.

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