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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DOME and research collaboration

Last year I joined the DOME consortium. The consortium is built by researchers from all over Sweden, and the main focus is on studies of the introduction of patients’ online access to their electronic health records (PAEHR). The DOME consortium has been in place for quite some time, and I’ve had a lot of collaborations with researchers participating in the consortium before, but for some reason I never got around to joining – until last year that is.

And I have to say I enjoy it immensly. Working together with a group of people with very varying backgrounds, but all with great passion and enthusiasm about their research and about patient empowerment through eHealth is just so much fun! We have regular online meetings where we keep each other up to date about progress on our respective projects and plan joint activities. Right now, we’re e.g. working on a large survey study where over 2500 patients in Sweden have answered questions about how they use PAEHR and what benefits and challenges they experience.

So, if you want to keep up to date with what is happening with regards to PAEHR in Sweden, follow the researchers from the DOME project on twitter and keep an eye on our website! To find us, you can also check this blog post written by Jonas Moll – introducing the team behind the survey study.

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Last day in Lille

Today is my last day in Lille (well, I fly home tomorrow, but my last working day). I was here two weeks during the summer, and now a second set of two weeks have almost passed.

So, what am I doing here? The main focus for my visit to France has been to visit the Clinical Investigation Center for Innovative Technologies (CIC-IT) and the Evalab unit at CIC-IT in Lille. Certified in January 2008 by the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM) and the Ministry of Health (Department of Hospital and Health Care Organization), the Clinical Investigation Center for Innovative Technologies (CIC-IT) is a functional unit of the Lille university Hospital and the University of Lille (Faculty of Medicine). It has a national specific expertise in innovation and usage issues. The CIC-IT is to be used by scientists, industrial partners and healthcare managers when the design, development and implementation of innovative technologies raise Human Factors problems such as usability difficulties, safety problems or difficult adoption from the intended users (physicians, nurses, patients, etc.).

The Evalab is part of the CIC-IT of Lille. It was the first usability lab dedicated to Health Information Technologies (HIT) created in Europe. It aims at improving the quality of the services and products generated by the new technologies, used by the healthcare professionals, the patients and their family/helpers.

Last year I applied for funding from the Institut Francais Suède’s mobility program FRÖ and was funded to visit Lille. And it has been great! We have had such interesting discussions on usability, the role of usability or human factors experts in healthcare organizations, patients’ access to their electronic health records and different methods for evaluating usability. We have held a panel together at MIE2016 in Munich, and are now working on submitting a workshop proposal for MIE2017 in Manchester, which will hopefully lead to new ideas and further collaboration in the future.

So I return back to Sweden with new energy, new ideas and a suitcase full of choclate and macarons – academic life is good!

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