The Department of Industrial Design of the TU/e is offering a fully-funded 2-year position to master graduates leading to the award of an EngD (Engineering Doctorate) degree in Designing Human-System Interaction, in collaboration with Jheronimus Academy of Data Science (JADS). This position is in the context of the project TREAT (Transforming Healthcare Through Semantic Interoperability and Self-Efficacy. The appointment is for two years starting in April 2024.The project
Current healthcare systems were not designed for patients to prevent or manage their own chronic health conditions effectively. For patients, this involves a tangled web of medical advice from multiple healthcare providers, along with advice and recommendations from many other sources.
The overall problem TREAT aims to help solve is the management of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The negative impacts of NCDs on healthcare, productivity (~$47T in GDP from 2011 to 2025), quality of living, and morbidity (~71% of deaths) are substantial. Every UN member state has committed to reducing premature death from NCDs by ⅓ by 2035. An estimated 39M lives would be saved and generate an average economic benefit of $2.7T if an additional $18B was spent on NCDs between 2023-2036. A major determining factor in managing NCDs is patient self-care. However, healthcare systems struggle to teach translational skills that enable effective self-care (self-efficacy). Problems with patient self-efficacy include: (1) Disparate information from various self-care technologies lacking interoperability; (2) Infrequent and non-personalized monitoring and treatment guidance due to a reliance on healthcare providers for interpreting patient data; and (3) Difficulty with patient adherence to recommendations.
TREAT will transform the market value chain for managing NCDs, placing integrators and platform developers at the forefront. The TREAT solution will add value through increased patient self-efficacy using semantic interoperability, AI, and advanced interfaces. Each partner involved will leverage TREAT to offer solutions for exploiting the healthcare organizations, payers, patients and telemedicine markets. The combined value of the commercial opportunities for TREAT partners exceeds €380 million.
TREAT aims to build four innovations to address the above problem:
- Textile-integrated electrodes for wearable electrocardiograms that will undergo functional validation for measuring activity at home.
- Semantic interoperability with standards (HL7, EPSOS) using new technologies, including knowledge graphs and large language models, for easily integrating diverse data from wearables, journals, medical data and add context for interpreting relationships. TREAT interoperability tools will enable increased patient-centric analysis alongside AI recommendation algorithms.
- Automated care feedback loops with AI recommendations based on link prediction with Graph Neural Networks and controlled scaling based on Graph Rewiring, while also employing pre-trained language models. The algorithms shall reach an accuracy of 90-95% compared to practitioner recommendations with strategies to achieve 99% post-project.
- Novel interfaces using interactive augmented reality involving an avatar that verbally interacts with the patient and their environment using conversational AI on accessible digital devices (i.e. mobile) that increases adherence to medical advice by 30-40%.
The consortium, which represents the entire value chain for the solution, will leverage TREAT to target healthcare stakeholders and patients with solutions based on a validated platform pulling together disparate data to generate recommendations and increase patient self-efficacy. As part of our proposal, we will test several use cases using various digital health devices, sensors and programs to support patients living with cardiometabolic syndrome (diabetes, obesity, heart disease, arthritis, depression, anxiety) to manage their health at home. Once proven and validated, many other health conditions can be targeted. Within the context of the TREAT project, this PDEng candidate will work on the aspect 4: Novel interfaces using interactive augmented reality involving an avatar that verbally interacts with the patient and their environment using conversational AI on accessible digital devices (i.e. mobile) that increases adherence to medical advice.
The EngD candidate will collaborate closely with the project partners and researchers, including other PhD and EngD candidates involved, focusing on the data visualization and the UX design on the one hand, and contributing to the overall aim of the project on the other.Candidates should have a background in an area related to interaction design (e.g., industrial design, software engineering, human-computer interaction, design for business innovation) and significant experience working on projects related to data and ML. They need to be creative, autonomous, self-organized, and data-oriented.HSI Program
The mission of the HSI program is to train professionals who already have a Master's degree in design or engineering to develop competences in designing and evaluating interactive intelligent and innovative systems, services, and products. The goal is to ensure positive user experiences that support their values and needs. The HSI program is based on design thinking and system thinking
, as well as scientifically founded and methodologically sound user-centered
approaches, paying special attention to the frontier of the complex systems enabled by artificial intelligence
and other emerging technologies and its impact on individuals, organizations and society.
In the HSI program, candidates are positioned as designers throughout the program, as the intermediate between market demands and technical possibilities, between user needs and product satisfaction; candidates work on design cases and projects for research, industry, or government supervised by university staff and the host organization; Candidates work on assignments and case studies throughout the program; Candidates with backgrounds in the engineering, behavioral and physical sciences work in small interdisciplinary teams, together with other EngD, PhD, and Master students with different national and cultural backgrounds;
The structure of the program is attached. The design project stretches over two years with a total of 10 to 12 month of effort. The courses are offered once a year and the candidate may decide to take a course during either the first year or the second. Elective courses can be adjusted or replaced if needed. Design cases are one to three month long smaller design or research projects in the context of the research groups. For each individual candidate a Training and Supervision plan of courses, design cases and projects will be developed and followed according to the background of the candidate and the needs from the industry and business.Career perspective
Examples of positions held by HSI graduates are data designer, ai-system designer, interaction designer, usability engineer, user experience designer, human factor engineer, information architect, manager in innovative businesses, and team leader of these roles.