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Co-designing technology with stroke survivors to support their journey from the hospital back to their everyday lives

Study level


Master of Philosophy


Faculty/Lead unit

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Professor Theresa Green
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Health
Dr Bernd Ploderer
Senior Lecturer
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


The aim of this research project is to explore how interactive technologies (e.g., mobile apps, wearable technology, Internet of Things applications, etc.) can support stroke survivors in their transition from the hospital to their homes.

Stroke, defined as a sudden interruption in blood flow to the brain, is 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 the senses (sight, touch, smell), 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.

Human-computer interaction research has started to explore how interactive technologies can support stroke survivors in their rehabilitation, e.g., through 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 therapy
  • musical therapy
  • occupational therapy
  • managing fatigue
  • managing 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.

Research activities

This research project may involve the following activities:

  1. qualitative research through interviews, observations, and cultural probes to understand the lives and needs of stroke survivors
  2. participatory design workshops to create technologies with stroke survivors and their support network to support their journey back home
  3. prototyping mobile applications, tangible designs, Internet of Things applications, etc.
  4. field studies where stroke survivors trial prototypes in their everyday lives


  1. Novel interactive technologies for stroke survivors
  2. New human-computer interaction theories describing how these technologies influence the transitions of stroke survivors from the hospital to the home
  3. Participatory design methods to engage stroke survivors and their support network

Skills and experience

We are looking for students with a strong background in human-computer interaction, ideally with an interest in qualitative research, participatory design, and/or prototyping.


You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round



Contact Bernd Ploderer for more information at