Study level


Master of Philosophy



Science and Engineering Faculty

School of Computer Science

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr Bernd Ploderer
Senior Lecturer
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


Smartphones and wearable technologies provide exciting opportunities for patients and health professionals to transform healthcare.

Patients can benefit from photos (“medical selfies”) taken on their smartphone to record a condition that they want to discuss with a health professional. Wearable devices allow patients to semi-automatically collect data about their physical activity, sleep, mood, diet, etc.

This data can help patients to better understand a health concern, its underlying causes and the impact of treatments.

Clinicians, on the other hand, can benefit from medical selfies and patient-generated health data to learn about the impact of their interventions and their patients’ lived experience.

The aim of the proposed research project is to develop a better understanding of the experiences of patients and health professionals and to design and evaluate new technology prototypes.

The proposed research will benefit from established partnerships with patients and health professionals as well as innovative technology prototypes in the following domains:

  • diabetes self-management
  • sleep and lifestyle tracking
  • post-stroke rehabilitation.

Research activities

This research project may involve the following activities:

  • qualitative research through interviews, observations, and cultural probes to understand the technologies used and the experiences of patients and clinicians
  • systematic literature reviews to identify research and design opportunities
  • co-design workshops to create technologies with patients and clinicians
  • prototyping of mobile applications and wearable technology designs
  • field studies where patients and clinicians trial prototypes.


Upon conclusion of this research, we expect to develop:

  • novel interactive technologies designed with and for patients and healthcare professionals
  • new human-computer interaction theories describing how personal data and technologies influence health management and interactions between patients and health professionals
  • participatory design methods to engage patients and health professionals.

Skills and experience

As the ideal candidate, you'll have a passion for improving health outcomes and a strong background in human-computer interaction or interaction design.

You'll also have prior experience in user studies and prototyping.


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

Annual scholarship round



Contact the supervisor for more information.