Recently, mobile and ‘smart’ telecommunication technologies, available to 2.5 billion people around the globe, have shown promise in internet-based health-delivery and data-gathering (referred to as mobile health, mHealth), amassing a $3 billion market in 2017 in the US only, and estimated to grow at least by 20% by 2010. In tandem, wearable, body-tracking devices (physical and physiological self-monitoring), Serious Games (learning through playing), and virtual reality interventions (for rehabilitation and therapy) are starting to find applications in healthcare. We are interested in evaluating the impact of digital health-coaching on chronic mental and physical health conditions using mixed method analyses that directly involve the participants in qualitative and quantitative health research.

Our methodology includes evaluation of existing health apps (currently underway, Diet apps and Pain Apps);  Validation of consumer wearable biosensors for physical and physiological monitoring against the gold standards of clinical-grade equipment in at PERFORM centre’s Conditioning Floor, Posture and Movement Lab, Sleep Lab, and Cardiopulmonary suites; and developing game-like physical and psychological interventions that will facilitated collecting data interactively and ecologically (i.e. within the momentary lived experience of the human participant)

Our work heavily relies on a ‘holistic’ approach that invites collaborations between engineers, physicians, and health and humanities scientists, as the question of agency in the context of man-machine interactions in digital healthcare comes to fore.

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