MobEVAL meet HäPP

Yesterday I dared to battle the Swedish weather and went on slippery roads to Norrtälje together with Magnus Peterson. It’s not the first time, and will not be the last as we are now proud supervisors of Lovisa Jäderlund Hagstedt who was recently registered as a PhD student at the Health Informatics Centre. Lovisa’s “day job” is as a primary care physician in Norrtälje, and her research will focus on how mobile IT-solutions are used in homecare today, and what impact the introduction of new mobile IT-solutions will have. We refer to this research project as MobEVAL, and we hope that it will grow with more collaborations both within Sweden and internationally.

The electronic health record (EHR) Hälsa på plats (HäPP) is a mobile application for home care, that makes it possible to access the electronic health record by using a tablet, through the health innovation platform (HIP), thus enabling reading and writing health records on the tablet while on home visits. The application was developed in cooperation between the academic medical center in primary care (AVC) Norrtälje TioHundra AB, Innovationslussen in Stockholm County Counsil (SLL), Apple Sweden and Chorus AB. And now we get to evaluate it!

I will of course report further about our results as we move forward in the project.

[post 7 in the #blogg100 challenge]

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Salzburg Global Seminar

I am so excited it’s almost a little ridiculous. I’ve been invited to join session 553 at the Salzburg Global Seminar! The session is called Toward a Shared Culture of Health:Enriching and Charting the Patient-Clinician Relationship, and some of the most prominent researchers and activists in my field will be there. If you are not familiar with the Salzburg Global Seminar, you can read more about them online, but here’s their mission: 

The mission of Salzburg Global Seminar is to challenge current and future leaders to solve issues of global concern.

To do this we design, facilitate and host international strategic convening and multi-year programs to tackle systems challenges critical for the next generation.

Originally founded in 1947 to encourage the revival of intellectual dialogue in post-war Europe, we are a game-changing catalyst for global engagement on critical issues in education, health, environment, economics, governance, peace-building and more.

We work with carefully chosen partners to drive social change in the areas of imagination, sustainability, and justice.

Salzburg Global connects the most talented people and the most innovative ideas, challenging governments, institutions and individuals at all stages of development and all sectors to rethink their relationships and identify shared interests and goals. (

The session I will be attending begins already on Friday, and will last for five whole days. The schedule is intense, and I’m so looking forward to every minute of it. Key questions that will be adressed during the session are:

  • If fully transparent communication becomes a foundation for the future patient-clinician relationship, how will medical practice evolve?
  • Can open medical records become central vehicles for engaging individuals actively in maintaining and restoring health, and in managing illness?
  • How may such change in practice enhance equity and transform care, particularly for those at the lower end of the socio-economic gradient, among ageing populations and those with chronic or serious advancing illness?
  • How can patients and families contribute to their care in ways that help clinicians to manage larger populations of patients effectively
  • How might patient safety and the processes, outcomes and costs of care improve?
  • How may fully transparent communication help informal caregivers whose family members and loved ones are increasingly dependent on their care?
  • How might transparency and co-creation of medical records help people become better stewards of their own health outside the clinical setting?
  • How might greater transparency promote community engagement in designing systems to deliver care both needed and wanted?

Spot on, right? These are exactly the type of questions we are addressing in the DOME consortium, in my new research project PACESS, and precisely what I have been pondering as I’ve navigated healthcare myself as both a patient and a family member over the last years. I’m looking forward to engaging and inspiring discussions, to shared experiences of doing similar research and development work from all over the world, to new tools and arguments that I can bring with me back home, and hopefully to fruitful future collaborations!

So, starting Friday, expect reflections both here on the blog, on twitter and perhaps some pictures on Instagram. The fact that the seminar resides at Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg is of course just a bonus – but one I will thoroughly enjoy.

[post 6 in the #blogg100 challenge]

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Academic writing report

Remember I challenged myself last week to increase my academic writing? So, how did this week go? Well, I was aiming to write 1000 words/day for 5 of the 6 days of the week, but would be happy with 500. Here are the numbers:

Date Blog Academic writing
2017-03-01 443 300
2017-03-02 342 100
2017-03-03 0 0
2017-03-04 171 1700
2017-03-05 557 3400

As you can see, I did a ridiculous amount of academic writing over the weekend. I just simply can’t seem to fit it into my work days… I will try to work on that this week. The past week was a bit special though. I had a deadline for a paper yesterday and I was not feeling well on Friday (haunted by some complications after a surgery I had a couple of weeks ago).

But overall, quite a good first week I would say! 5500 words written (not counting the blog posts). Way to go!

I ended up not submitting the paper with the deadline yesterday though… I’m not entirely happy with it, but it’s off to a flying start.

[post 5 in the #blogg100 challenge – still behind…]

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Pokémon Go and physical activity

Today I’m working against a deadline. I have an article that needs to be submitted tonight, and a pile of exams to grade. Despite this, the urge to Catch ‘Em All drove me (and the rest of the family out on a 1 hour walk before lunch.


Look out for the Spinarak! 

We had learnt online that there was a Girafarig nest not too far from our home, and since non of us had caught a Girafarig nest it was not difficult to convince the family to go for a walk (although the 10-yearold started complaining halfway there and wanted us to turn around).

Needless to say, we caught some Girafarigs before heading home, and we even made a detour to take over a gym and earn some gold coins. Now, a 1-hour walk on a sunny winter day may not sound so impressive to some of you, but for me and my family it is actually a great improvement. I have never been a very physically active person and neither is my husband – and not surprisingly our children seem to take after us. Being interested in behavioural change and new technology, I have used numerous health apps and activity trackers to try to increase my physcial activity, but none has managed to create sustainable effect – it remains a struggle to motivate myself. Pokémon Go however, I have continued to use since it’s launch in July 2016, and the competitive aspects (trying to find more pokémons than my husband) and the recurring special events keeps it fun! The agony of not being able to go for long walks when the next generation was released a few weaks ago due to having had surgery… I think that one of the most compelling things about Pokémon Go is that it is not at all aimed at being a health app – it’s just a good side effect. Margaret McCartney made similar reflections in her comment in BMJ [1];

Most health appsthat promote physical activity tend to get users who want to be healthy. Pokémon Go isn’t marketed as a health app, but players still end up doing a lot of walking. The possibilities for apps to make the streets an active, reclaimed playground in which to have interconnected fun are boundless. Increased physical activity is a tantalising side effect. [1]

Professor Enrico Coiera also commented on the Pokémon Go phenomenon in August last year, stating that “if we can believe what we are seeing, Pokemon GO is the world’s most effective, and most widespread, population weight loss intervention” [2]. I’m however not so sure about the weight loss part. So far, Pokémon Go has not managed to make me loose weight – but it has probably increased my daily activity which should have health benefits. Weight loss is such a complex issue, and simply “moving more” will probably not help many of us to loose weight. But perhaps even more importantly, Pokémon Go has created social interactions and common interests that stretches across generations. Even my mother has started playing (at 61), and one of the first things she discusses with her grandchildren when they meet is “Have you caught anything good?”.

[1] McCartney, Margaret. Game on for Pokémon Go BMJ : British Medical Journal (Online); London354 (Aug 9, 2016).

[2] Coiera, Enrico. GottaCureEmAll – Pokémon Go teaches healthcare a big lesson

[post 4 in the #blogg100 challenge – still behind…]


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Interview about DOME-studies

Are you interested in finding out more about some of the results from the DOME research consortium? I’ve written before about my collaboration with researchers from all over Sweden in this consortium, and I’m bound to return to it in the future. But if you want to hear from other researchers in the consortium, you can listen to an interview with Åsa Cajander and Jonas Moll where they discuss some of the results from studies already performed, and describe some current and planned studies.

One thing they discuss is the difference in expectations of patients’ online access to their electronic health records (PAEHR) between patients and healthcare professionals. I think it’s essential that we continue to study what actually happens when PAEHR is introduced, as there is a lot of opinions and very little facts in the debate around this topic. That’s why I’m so excited to participate in several DOME-studies, including one that I am project leader for; PACESS. I will tell you more about this project in future posts!

[post 3 in the #blogg100 challenge – a little delayed, sorry!]

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MedTechs most powerful

Today the annual list of the 100 most powerful people in Swedish MedTech was published by MedTech Magazine. It’s an interesting read for anyone involved in this field in Sweden today. I’ve not yet managed to get on the list myself (not that it’s really been a goal of mine, I enjoy lurking in the shadows), but I’m very proud of HIC’s Sara Riggare who is once again ranked very high (no 5 on the list).

Sara was actually one of the first students in our international master programme in health informatics, and she stuck around and began her PhD studies at KI after graduating. I’ve had the pleasure of acting as her main supervisor since 2014, and it’s been very inspiring to try to keep up with Sara who always has more ideas and projects and contacts running in parallel than anyone else that I know. Her position on the list is definitely well deserved.

If you want to find out more about Sara and her work I suggest checking out her blog; Sara – not patient but im-patient. I guess one of her most well-known posts is this one about the amount of time she spends in healthcare vs. in self-care. The illustration with blue and red dots (1 red dot = 1 hour with her neurologist/year, and 8 765 blue dots = the hours she spends self-managing her Parkinson’s Disease), is one of the more powerful visualizations of the importance of self-care and patient empowerment I have found. What do you think?

Right now we are working on the resubmission of Sara’s second journal paper for her PhD thesis which focuses on patient-driven N-of-1 experiments. Very exciting. Here are two of Sara’s other publications (for more, please check her KI profile page):

Looking forward to co-authoring the next one!

[post 2 in the #blogg100 challenge]

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Does writing inspire writing?

Today, the annual Blogg100 challenge begins in Sweden. I first joined last year, and the blog quickly turned into a place where I could express my feelings and frustration following my father on his cancer journey. As the journey ended on sunny day in May, so did my blog writing. I just couldn’t find the energy or will to do it anymore. There have been some sporadic posts since then, but not at all as much as it could have been.

So I have been hesitating whether I should join again – is it really for me? But I do so enjoy writing, and yet somehow I’ve found that it always gets down prioritized as the work load grows. I have numerous research paper “in the pipe-line” but not much gets produced… (perhaps I’m a bit unfair to myself now – but I know I have so much more to publish). My theory now, is that writing inspires writing. I will use the upcoming 100 days to explore this. Will writing 1 blog post every day also increase my research productivity? Or will it steal more time from me?

Are you with me? I will of course need to set some realistic goal for how much academic writing I will produce during this time. But what is a realistic goal? Here’s some ideas from a quick online search:

Sounds good, right? There seems to be overwhelming agreement that 1000 words/day is a good aim, but 500 words should be the minimum. So, for myself, I will set the following goal:

I will aim for writing 1000 words/day at least 5 days/week (yes, I’ll take weekends off. Or rather have weekends as a back-up to catch up). I realize that there will be days when this is impossible, but at least 500 words/work day = 2500 words/week minimum. That should add up to a few papers in the upcoming 100 days – right? I’ll set up an excel sheet and keep track, and of course I’ll make weekly updates on this blog!

Some of you may argue now, that it’s not the blogging that will inspire academic writing, it’s the tracking and setting of goals. But hey, I won’t be submitting this little project for publication – so the lack of methodological rigour can surely be excused.

Let the writing begin!

[post 1 in the #blogg100 challenge]

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