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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 gained her PhD in virtual reality and gerontology in 2010 from the School of Computing, Teesside University. Since completing her doctoral studies she has worked as a research assistant at the Centre for Innovative Ageing, Swansea University where she worked with colleagues on a Welsh Assembly Government funded project investigating Extracare. In August 2010 Hannah moved to Canada to take up a post-doctoral position 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 (IBuGs) 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. Eichbert (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.

More recently, Hannah returned to the UK and started working at the Centre for Research in Computing at the Open University on a fixed term contract (January 2015-2016), working on the Monetize Me project and the Technology In Later Life (TILL).

Hannah has a variety of research interests including digital games, gender, design, flow, ageing, later life, rural ageing (in the context of technology use). To date Hannah has published 23 journal papers, 6 book chapters, a blog and undertakes peer-review for conferences and journals. With colleagues, she is currently editing the Mobile EHealth book which will be published by Springer. She has also led on the special journal edition of the Digital Gaming & Ageing for the Games and Culture journal.

Social Media

Additional Researchers Include:

Upcoming Events

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

This years theme is “Fusion – All things Digital Health & Wellbeing”.. After a successful symposium held in March 2017 (see info below), we have decided to extend and expand. The 2nd Digital Health & Wellbeing Conference is a 3-day conference held at The Open University campus, Milton Keynes. Due to the nature of the conference, we aim to challenge research and practitioners to explore, uncover and inspire the ethos of Digital Health & Wellbeing & how this can be deployed across varying environments, research & practice, innovation, health, community and non-profit organisations.

Call for Papers: We are seeking papers, symposium, doctoral work and workshop papers to be presented during the 4-day conference. The deadline for all submissions is 30th November 2017.

Registration is now open! For More details visit the conference website . If you have any queries contact the conference organisers via

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.

Digital Health & Wellbeing Event

The Digital Health & Wellbeing Event will be taking place on Friday 24th March. If you are interested in attending please contact Dr H.R. Marston or for more details please visit the Events...

Second Health & Wellbeing Seminar in 2017

The second Health & Wellbeing Seminar for 2017 will take place on Wednesday 29th March, 2017. Professor Louise Wallace from The Open University will be speaking. Visit the Events page for more...

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