Engineering for Well-being lecture series: Informatics for Healthcare

18.00 - 20.30

UCL–French Embassy Conférence-Débat Series 2013

How can new technologies improve the quality of care, the safety of drugs and the involvement of patients in their own healthcare? Through two complementary short lectures, Professor Anne Blandford (UCL Computer Science) and Professor Marie-Christine Jaulent (INSERM) will discuss the work of their groups on both sides of the Channel in creating, using and joining together computer systems to share medical information.

This is the third in a series of four lectures, bringing together experts from UCL and France to share and compare perspectives on engineering for human well-being, followed by an opportunity to ask questions, and a reception to discuss the ideas presented.

18.00 Wednesday 3rd July 2013

Location Roberts G06, Engineering Front Building, UCL, Torrington Place ( map and directions )

Followed by a reception in the Roberts Foyer

The event is free and open to all, but for planning purposes registration would be appreciated. Register quickly and easily online here.

Further details on the two talks are given below:

Challenges of semantic interoperability for better health and safer healthcare

Professor Marie-Christine Jaulent

The quality of care and patient safety are major issues, particularly as computerized health information systems are increasing adopted both inside and outside hospitals. ‘Semantic interoperability’ is a term referring to the ability of computer systems to transmit data with unambiguous, shared meaning. In this talk, I will focus on semantics and the role of ontologies for coding, sharing and reusing clinical data collected in the context of care for secondary purposes such as clinical research or disease surveillance. Important challenges that remain will be highlighted through several examples of current work, in particular the topic of pharmacovigilance (ensuring safe use of pharmaceuticals).


Interactive medical technologies: Opportunities and challenges

Professor Anne Blandford

New technologies offer great promise for enhancing the quality of healthcare. Initiatives such as “no decision about me without me” and “Digital First” are making steps towards increasing patient involvement in their own health management, and also requiring clinicians to use digital systems in new ways. The success of such initiatives relies on the delivery and use of technologies that are usable and that fit with people’s broader activities. In this talk, I will present some of our work studying how healthcare technologies are deployed in hospitals and homes, focusing on how they are used in practice (which is not always how they are intended to be used). I will discuss examples including how patients make sense of health information, the use of home haemodialysis systems, glucometer use in hospitals, and apps for remembering medication. I will draw out implications for how interactive healthcare technologies should be designed and deployed in future.


Biography of Professor Marie-Christine Jaulent

Marie-Christine Jaulent is a research director at the French national medical research institute (INSERM). Author of 86 original scientific publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals, her current research activities are in the fields of terminologies and ontologies in healthcare, semantic Electronic Healthcare Records,  clinical data warehouses and information quality, decision support systems for e-health. The applicative objectives concern several concrete medical domains: cancers, rare diseases, infectious diseases (resistance to antibiotics) and pharmacovigilance (prevention of adverse drug effects).

Since 2002, she has led a public INSERM research team (also affiliated to the universities “Paris Descartes” and “Pierre et Marie Curie” in Paris) in knowledge engineering in healthcare, which proposes innovative computerized methods to manage data and complex knowledge in healthcare to improve care quality and patient safety. Her team comprises around 30 people including researchers and lecturer/researchers specialising in medical computing and public health, associate researchers and post-docs, contracted engineers, PhD students and Master’s students.

Biography of Professor Ann Blandford

Ann Blandford is Professor of Human–Computer Interaction at University College London, and was Director of UCLIC (UCL Interaction Centre) between 2004-2011. Her first degree is in Mathematics from Cambridge, and her PhD is in Artificial Intelligence and Education from the Open University. She started her career in industry as a software engineer, followed by a period managing the Computer Assisted Teaching Unit at QMUL. She gradually developed a focus on the use and usability of computer systems. In 1991, she joined the Applied Psychology Unit in Cambridge as a research scientist, working on the Amodeus project. She moved to Middlesex University, initially as a lecturer, and subsequently as Professor and Director of Research in Computing Science. She moved to UCL as a Senior Lecturer in 2002 and became a professor (again) in 2005.

She is Principal Investigator on an EPSRC Programme grant, CHI+MED, on designing safer technology in healthcare, Principal Investigator on an EPSRC Platform grant on “healthy interactive systems in healthcare”, and UCL lead on SerenA, on designing to support new idea generation. She is a co-investigator on CHAPTER, an MRC-funded translational research centre in e-health. She has published widely on the safety of interactive health technologies, on how technology can better support people’s information needs, and on modelling situated interactions. In particular, she has been studying how people work with medical devices, how new work practices evolve, and how new technologies can be designed to support those practices.

Attendees may also be interested in other lectures in the Engineering for Well-being lecture series:

One date TBD in September, on the subject of nanomedicine and featuring Professor Quentin Pankhust (UCL Institute for Biomedical Engineering).