Strokes, defined as a sudden interruption in blood flow to the brain, are a leading cause of long-term disability in high-income countries. Depending on the brain area affected, a stroke can impact a person’s ability to move the body, engage with their senses, use language, think and experience emotions.
In Australia, more than 470,000 people live with the effects of stroke, with two thirds of them needing assistance to carry out basic activities of daily living like eating and washing.
The aim of this research project is to explore how interactive technologies, such as mobile apps and wearable technology, can support stroke survivors in their transition from the hospital to their homes.
Human-computer interaction research has started to explore how interactive technologies can support stroke survivors in their rehabilitation, such as using interactive games and wearable technology to support physical therapy.
Beyond that, we see opportunities to engage with stroke survivors to design technologies around the following topics:
- speech, musical and occupational therapy
- managing fatigue and interactions with health professionals across different clinics
- supporting changing relationships with partners and family members
- self-reflection and forming a narrative
- mindfulness, resilience and mental health.
During this research project you may be involved in the following activities:
- qualitative research through interviews, observations and cultural probes to understand the lives and needs of stroke survivors
- participatory design workshops to create technologies with stroke survivors and their support network to support their journey back home
- prototyping mobile applications, tangible designs, Internet of Things applications, etc.
- field studies where stroke survivors trial prototypes in their everyday lives.
We expect the following outcomes from our project:
- novel, interactive technologies for stroke survivors
- new human-computer interaction theories describing how these technologies influence the transitions of stroke survivors from the hospital to the home
- participatory design methods to engage stroke survivors and their support network.
Skills and experience
To be considered for this project you should have a passion for promoting better outcomes for people living with chronic conditions.
A strong background in human-computer interaction or health informatics will be required. Ideally you should have existing skills in qualitative research, participatory design and/or prototyping.
You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.
Contact the supervisor for more information.